Following is a listing of questions a CASA advocate is likely to ask to assess the degree of danger that exists in the relationship. It is not a perfect “test,” but your responses to the questions can be used along with the advocate’s experience and intuition to determine the likelihood of an attack. Once a danger assessment is made, you can work with a CASA advocate to develop an appropriate safety plan.
1. What is the current mood of the abuser? Angry? Hostile? Depressed? Enraged?
2. Is the abuser ever known to have unpredictable, violent mood changes?
3. Does the abuser currently have weapons or quick access to them?
4. Is there a history of violence against people, besides the intimate partner and children (especially past relationships)?
5. Does the abuser ever brag about having killed or mutilated someone in the past?
6. Does the abuser ever “act out” in front of others?
7. Does the abuser ever attack children?
8. What are the current expectations of the abuser (is the victim expected to pick them up from work, be at home when the abuser calls, etc.)?
9. Does the abuser ever do the “unexpected” (leave work early, call at odd times)?
10. List any current stalking behavior: (phone harassment, following the survivor, Internet stalking, searching everywhere for the victim).
11. Has the survivor recently left your shared dwelling?
12. If you’re not living together, was there a recent break-up?
13. Does the abuser currently believe the children are being “hidden” or taken away from them?
14. Does the abuser currently have the children and is the abuser known to have suicidal thoughts or behaviors?
15. Does the abuser display current violent behavior to other people’s or the survivor’s property?
16. Is the abuser currently holding belongings “hostage” to get the victim or survivor out of hiding or return? (e.g. children’s toys, money, clothing, valued possessions.)
17. Is there currently unusual credit card or bank account activity?
18. Is the abuser currently trying to locate the survivor by saying there is death in family, claiming that children are hurt, or threatening suicide?
19. Have you recently initiated any protective actions like applying for an Injunction for Protection, or filing divorce papers?