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Defusing Hostile Interactions: One Day Course

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Lesson 10, Topic 1
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Physical Violence Risk Assessment

Kerry September 15, 2021

While physical violence can never be fully or accurately predicted, there are several factors associated with the risk of high violence. Predisposing refers to conditions, either past or ongoing, that can indicate a higher risk potential. Presenting refers to actual “in the moment” behaviour.

Violence risk rises in proportion to the number of presenting factors, and it could be present without violence occurring.

Predisposing Factors

  • History of directed violence
  • History of voiced and plausible threats
  • Ongoing severe substance abuse
  • Ongoing or past high conflict relationship
  • Suicidal ideation

Presenting Behaviour

  • Physical escalation
  • Direct threats of violence
  • Physical encroachment
  • Blocking exit routes
  • Intoxication
  • Extreme emotional intensity / flatness
  • Extreme suspiciousness
  • Impulsiveness