CRG 33/19-20: Domestic and family violence perpetrator screening and risk assessment: Current practice and future opportunities

Australia has implemented substantive domestic and family violence (DFV) reforms in recent years. While the identification, risk assessment and management of victim-survivors has increasingly been embedded across service system responses, there is scant understanding and practice in relation to perpetrators of DFV. Men using DFV often have diverse service system contact for co-occurring issues. However, their use of DFV frequently remains invisible, constituting missed opportunities for risk identification, assessment and management, and effective referral pathways.

This mixed-methods study examines current screening and risk assessment practices for DFV perpetration in service systems that frequently encounter men who may be using DFV, including mental health, alcohol and other drug, corrections and child protection services. Results show significant variation in screening and risk assessment practices as well as practitioner attitudes across service areas. Specialist DFV training for practitioners and organisational leadership that prioritises responses to DFV are critical to implementing screening and risk assessment protocols for DFV perpetration across service areas.