Enhanced Safety: Risk Assessment Tool in Family Courts

The Clinic received funding from the Law Foundation of Ontario for a two-year project to create a risk assessment tool that will take into account the complex lived realities of survivors and current understandings of gender-based violence (GBV). The risk assessment tool takes into consideration physical, emotional, mental, social/cultural, financial, legal and spiritual abuse and will also take into account the multiple sources of oppression and systemic barriers that women experience.

Available Resources

Final report – coming soon

RIA User Guide

The User Guide outlines important information pertaining to the value of risk assessment, intimate partner violence and the family courts. This document should be read before and used in tandem with RIA Assessment Tool.

Risk Assessment Tool

The RIA tool is divided into three progressive parts: RIA I, RIA II and RIA III. RIA I consists of 13 questions based on validated risk factors that help Court stakeholders identify red flags for high-risk situations. The presence of such red flags indicates that the assessor must move on to RIA II, which consists of seven categories: type of abuse, relationship history, survivor, perpetrator background, systemic factors, Indigeneity factors, and children. Using these categories, the assessor will explore a range of risk factors that would require appropriate interventions to protect survivors and their children from future harm. From here, the assessor would move on to
RIA III, which requires a safety or action plan and a referral for each identified risk factor.