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Media Release: Danger Assessment Tool Invaluable in Assessing Risk for Women: New Training Event

Media Release

February 12, 2021

Danger Assessment Tool Invaluable in Assessing Risk for Women: New Training Event

EDMONTON, ALBERTA—Since the pandemic took hold in 2020, instances of domestic violence in Alberta have not only risen in frequency, they have also risen in severity. Danger Assessment scores (which measure the likelihood of abuse escalating to homicide) in emergency shelters have maintained their all-time high levels, while the scores in second-stage shelters have spiked dramatically.

The Alberta Council of Women’s Shelters (ACWS) will be delivering its impactful Danger Assessment training in two parts on February 12 and 19, for the first time in virtual format, providing critical skills to frontline shelter staff and helping keep women and children safe from violence.

The training will be led by the creator of the Danger Assessment Tool, Dr. Jaquelyn Campbell of Johns Hopkins University, and Noreen Cotton, a former shelter Executive Director with extensive frontline and Danger Assessment experience.

The Danger Assessment Tool (DA Tool)—used by many ACWS member shelters across the province—is a validated method of assessing a woman’s risk of being killed by a current or former partner. It is a powerful process of inquiry that helps women stay safer by identifying risk factors, reducing minimization and denial of danger, and building supportive relationships with helpers.

Originally developed by Dr. Campbell in 1986, the DA Tool has evolved over the past 30 years through continued research, testing and validation.

ACWS members began using this tool almost 20 years ago and have developed internationally recognized expertise in this area.  “Working with Dr. Campbell, the ACWS Danger Assessment training combines a trauma-informed approach with in-depth understanding of the research and technical aspects of the tools,” said Jan Reimer, Executive Director.

Alberta has one of the highest rates of domestic violence among the Canadian provinces. To meet this ongoing challenge, the Alberta Council of Women’s Shelters (ACWS) is committed to using data-informed practices and innovation. The Danger Assessment tool has become a standard practice for many ACWS member shelters in their intake procedures, empowering women at risk with information. The data collected also provides barometric insight into the state of domestic violence across the province.

Jan Reimer is available for interviews upon request.

Background: The Alberta Council of Women’s Shelters represents 41 emergency and second stage shelters for women and children fleeing violence and abuse. The ACWS provides professional development and training, action-based research and increases public awareness of issues related to family violence for the benefit of abused women and their children.

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Media Contact:
Olivia Street, Coordinator of Communications & Social Advocacy
(780) 566-3091   Olivia.Street@acws.ca