ssmsn@... asked this question on 4/3/2000:
Hello, I am a nurse clinician at the VA hospital in Philadelphia. I would like to know if you are routinely screening your clients to determine if they are perpetrators of abuse. If so, what tools are you using? I am in the process of preparing a research project to screen these individuals.
Thank you, Stephanie Sloan MSN RNCS
vernsting gave this response on 4/3/2000:
I previously worked at Project Rap in Philadelphia with Paul Bukovec. We used a modified version of the Conflicts Tactics Scale. This instrument was developed by Murray Strauss. In its early days it was not a normed instrument. There has since been updates which I believe are normed. In addition to the Scale, or maybe as a result of its shortcomings, we also relied on good old fashioned interviewing of both partners, separately. Asking about the worst incident, most recent incident, what type of weapons used, gave you a good sense of how honest the batterer was being. Of course, there are some safety issues that need to be address before you involve the non-batterering partner.
Some folks have assessed, relying on the DSM-IV Intermittent Explosive Disorder as a criteria. I don't agree with this because alot of the violence is not intermittent, it is controlled and planned. DSM-IV also implies a "disease", of which the batterer may not be responsibile for.
I hope this is a help to you. Assessing batterers is still not a exact science. While some instruments may produce typologies, the batterering itself is still a learned behavior which no psychodynamic formulation will capture.