Rainbow House Announces Regional Lethality Assessment Program


Rainbow House is working with all eleven law enforcement agencies throughout Marinette and Oconto Counties on the implementation of the Lethality Assessment Program (LAP), a Maryland research-based model on preventing domestic violence homicide. “I am impressed with each Sheriff Office and Police Department in Oconto and Marinette County for implementing this new policy.  From training of all Deputies, Officers and Rainbow House staff on the LAP, we are better prepared to respond to Domestic Violence Incidents and provided safety and resources immediately.  I look forward to working closely with Law Enforcement to continue to improve our working collaboration and services to victims and their families,” says Jessica Honish, Lead Advocate at Rainbow House.


Beginning February 27th, LAP will be used at the scene of all domestic violence-related calls to assess the risk inherent in each victim’s situation. Officers will ask victims a series of set questions to determine if they are at heightened risk of injury or great bodily harm. Victims in potentially lethal situations will be placed by law enforcement in immediate contact with the crisis line at Rainbow House to begin safety planning. High danger cases are those in which victims in similar circumstances have been statistically demonstrated to be at risk of being killed by their abusive partner. This program is being implemented to identify those potentially at greatest risk and connect them with life saving services. Only 4% of abused victims had used a domestic violence hotline or shelter within the year prior to being killed by an intimate partner. Yet in the year prior to the homicide, more than 44% of abusers were arrested, and almost one-third of victims contacted the police*. “The gap is where the opportunity for prevention lies. What we can predict, we can prevent,” indicates Courtney Olson. According to her research, almost 90 Wisconsin residents lost their lives to domestic violence homicide in 2016, the highest year on record. For further information see, www.domesticviolencehomicidehelp.com, a program of the Rainbow House. For immediate assistance for yourself or someone you know, call Rainbow House at 715-735-6656.


*Sharps, P. W., et al. (2001). Health care providers’ missed opportunities for preventing femicide. Preventive Medicine 33, 373-80.