Scenario One: DV Risk Assessment 1

 Laura’s Story

 Laura Smith is an administrative assistant at a local business, and is in the process of leaving her husband of 17 years, Todd Smith. Laura recently got a protection order against Todd, but says this was done only as a precautionary measure. According to Laura, Todd has physically assaulted her on several occasions, with the most recent assault (one month ago) resulting in an overnight hospitalisation due to a back injury she sustained when he threw her to the ground (picture below). She reports that her husband is only “bad” when he drinks, which he does only at night because of his job as a security guard for a local company. Laura plans to move out of the home she shares with Todd in the next week. Todd is aware that she is moving out, and he knows he has to stay away from her from now on. She also said that her husband is embarrassed about his violent behaviour and has said that he will never physically harm her again. Laura mentions that her husband’s supervisor recently advised her that the security company has sacked him because of the protection order. Company policy states that no security guards may have these orders against them. The supervisor said that Todd seemed surprising calm at being let go, almost as if he expected it. Laura is now concerned that Todd may blame her for losing his job, and may pose a threat to her physical safety. Discussions with Laura’s work supervisor have confirmed that she has had several one- and two-day absences in the past six to eight weeks, including one right after the weekend that corresponds with the dates of her most recent assault and hospitalisation.

Your Task

 Laura has enlisted VirtualPsych Consulting Services to compile a risk assessment which outlines whether Todd poses a risk of physical violence to Laura, and for what period of time.


 (Hint – look for research on separation assault in domestic and family violence to include in the presentation)

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