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Identifying & managing risk

Identifying & managing risk

Identifying & managing risk

Family violence has serious impacts of the health and wellbeing of victim/survivors. It may result in a range of physical injuries and other impacts on physical health, effects on mental and emotional health (e.g. anxiety, depression and post-traumatic stress disorder) and even death. On average, one woman is killed almost every week in Australia by a partner or ex.

In Victoria, the Common Risk Assessment Framework (CRAF) is used to support consistent, evidence-based practice when undertaking family violence risk assessment. The CRAF provides practice guidance on how to effectively and appropriately respond to family violence while maintaining the safety of both the client and the worker.

Note: The CRAF is being redeveloped in 2017 as part of a broader set of reform recommendations from the Royal Commission into Family Violence.

There are currently three different levels of CRAF, called practice guides, which represent different types of assessment. In your role as a specialist family violence practitioner, you will need to have an in-depth understanding of Practice Guide 3 (Specialist Risk Assessment).

This will enable you to:

  • ascertain the victim’s view of the risk the perpetrator poses to her or her children
  • identify the presence of risk factors
  • identify whether a crime has been committed (for example, physical or sexual assault, threats, pet abuse, property damage, stalking and/or breach of an Intervention Order)
  • identify current protective factors
  • establish whether risk is present
  •  identify and document the contact details of any services currently involved
  • document any referrals made as a result of the assessment
  • record the assessment process and outcomes (police use ‘L17’ and other services use the recording template included in this guide)
  • obtain written consent from the victim for the risk assessment to be passed on as part of any referral made
  • make plans to address the immediate safety and needs of all parties affected by the violence, including making appropriate referrals.

Training in Practice Guide 3 is being rolled out free-of-charge across Victoria. Training dates and registration details are on the Domestic Violence Resource Centre Victoria website.

Further resources

  • See our materials and resources section for the CRAF manual and Practice Guide 3 handbook.  
  • Download the at-a-glance tool for identifying the factors from the CRAF that put family violence victims at increased risk of being killed or seriously injured.