Over and over again, I get requests from domestic violence groups requesting that I evaluate a case that they are involved with. Most of the time I do not comply with their requests because I usually don’t get involved with evaluations unless the law enforcement entity that is handling the case invites me in. The primary reason for that is because when I deal with a police agency I am afforded the availability of all the pertinent information in that specific case. In other words, I am not just getting one side of the story.
That being said, myself and the vast majority of trained stalking investigators strongly feel that compiling a threat assessment is mandatory when conducting an on-going stalking investigation. In our latest book Antidote For A Stalker as well as the stalking protocol we provide to law enforcement we show a stalking threat assessment form that we utilize and encourage those that we train to utilize as well. In order for you as an investigator how fast you can proceed or at least the direction you are going to go you must get a lethality reading on your stalker. In other words, is he or she an immediate danger to the victim and/or those she or he associates with. What are the chances the stalking is going to escalate into violence. If your lethality reading is low, you may have more time to put your entire investigative case together. If your reading is high, then you must react immediately and get the stalker into the system as best you can. This evaluation also gives you an idea of how the stalker may or may not react to a restraining order. The threat assessment gives you a direction on how you are going to case manage your victim. What precautions you need to take concerning her or his safety requirements.
We strongly suggest that anyone involved with working with stalking victims either in the guise of law enforcement or as domestic violence advocates to get any training they can on how to better conduct a threat assessment.