The Pennsylvania Coalition Against Domestic Violence is doing more than just
counting domestic violence fatalities. We are trying to prevent them. LAP is a
nationally recognized, evidence-based initiative with demonstrated success in
strengthening partnerships between law enforcement and community-based
domestic violence programs. LAP connects victims of domestic violence with
life-saving services, thereby reducing domestic violence fatalities.
In partnership with the Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency
(PCCD), community-based domestic violence programs and local law enforcement
agencies, PCADV implemented the Maryland Network Against Domestic Violence
Lethality Assessment Program in 12 counties beginning in 2012.
LAP is designed for implementation only by trained law enforcment officers
responding to the scene of a domestic violence call involving intimate partners who
then work in tandem with a domestic violence hotline counselor to connect the
victim with services. PCADV offers the opportunity for every Pennsylvania
municipality to implement LAP.
A law enforcement officer responding to the scene of a domestic violence incident
asks the victim 11 questions designed by researchers to identify factors that place a
victim at high risk of being murdered. If a victim screens in at high risk, or the
officer believes the victim is at high risk for lethality, the officer calls the local
domestic violence hotline and encourages the victim to speak with a hotline
advocate. The hotline advocate helps the victim make a safety plan and encourages
the victim to access domestic violence services.
By the first quarter of 2016, LAP will have been implemented in 38 counties with 40
domestic violence programs and 163 law enforcement agencies. Since 2012, 2,789
victims accessed domestic violence program services in the month a LAP screen was
completed regardless if they screened-in as high-danger or not.
The Pennsylvania Coalition Against Domestic Violence (PCADV) in collaboration
with the Pennsylvania State Data Center, Institute for State and Regional Affairs at
the Pennsylvania State University Harrisburg secured funding from PCCD to
implement the Lethality Assessment Program digital dashboard system.
The interactive digital dashboard visually summarizes the data PCADV receives from
participating domestic violence programs and law enforcement agencies on a