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I read the article about Lethality Assessment, "Cops to put it on the line with victims of domestic violence," (Aug. 16), with alarm. After telling some victims they are "in danger of being killed," police will refer them to the Women's Center.
Where is the response to the potential killer?
Referrals to shelter or counseling do not necessarily protect women. Some may decide against shelter or be unable to get away to work with the advocates. Should they be killed, one can imagine the dismissal of the justice system: "Well, we tried to warn her, but she didn't listen?" The logical extension of this kind of "warning" is that women will be blamed for their own murders.
Once the recognition is made that a person is at risk of being killed, it would make more sense to take steps to isolate the potential killer. He (not the victim) should be removed from the home and his movements strictly monitored. If there are kids, his right to unsupervised contact with them should immediately be suspended.
Unless the lethality assessment ensures protection that does not depend on the actions of the victim, women will remain at risk and abusers will remain exempt from accountability.