Conversational Tools for Risk Factors for Intimate Partner Violence


To gauge the risk of intimate partner violence, a conversational approach allows the clinician to utilize patient-specific language and better attend to the emotional aspects of discussing this sensitive topic. The goal of this assessment should be to develop a sense of whether the patient’s safety is at risk, and whether the patient is potentially minimizing issues of safety.

  1. Are you or your partner experiencing any symptoms of sadness or depression?
  2. Do you now or have you ever had a problem with alcohol or drug use?
  3. Have you ever felt like your partner needed to cut down on his or her drinking?
  4. Has your partner ever abused prescription or street drugs during your relationship?
  5. Are you unhappy in your relationship, or feel you and your partner aren’t “very good” for each other?
  6. Do you or your partner have any past history of physical, emotional, or sexual abuse or other instances that were very upsetting?
  7. Do you and your partner often have verbal fights, including things like insulting or threatening each other?
  8. Have you and your partner ever had a physical fight?
  9. Has your partner ever forced or pressured you to have sex when you didn’t want to?

Bannon, S. M., & Salwen-Deremer, J. K. (2018). Evidence-based assessment of intimate partner violence in community settings. Journal of Health Service Psychology, 44, 3–6.

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