The Suffolk County Legislature unanimously approved a bill Tuesday to adopt risk-assessment forms to help predict whether a domestic batterer will attack again.
"The ultimate goal here is to get victims to seek help," said Legis. Kara Hahn (D-Setauket), who said the assessment form will be provided by police to all victims who dial 911.
Anti-domestic-violence advocates, lawmakers and Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone had urged county lawmakers to pass the bill Tuesday.
At an earlier news conference in Hauppauge, Hahn said, "Recognizing that violence is escalating and fully understanding the risk can be very difficult. This is someone you love, someone who's supposed to love you."
Suffolk police will use a model developed by Portland, Oregon police to determine the risk of domestic-violence offenders to abuse again. It uses questions such as prior domestic-violence offenses and alcohol and drug arrests to give offenders a score from 1 to 13. The higher the number, the more likely they will reoffend.
Suffolk ran the form through five years' worth of domestic-violence data and found the model helped predict recidivism, police officials said. Police will use that score to prioritize responses and decide whether a victim requires extra services from the police department's domestic violence unit.
Police will also give victims forms to assess their own danger.
There were 4,003 intimate partner violence incidents in Suffolk in 2013 and 3,921 in 2012, according to the New York State Division of Criminal Justice Services. There were 38 domestic-violence-related homicides from 2009 to 2013 in Suffolk, Hahn said.
The anti-domestic violence agencies will also use the Danger Assessment while providing services to victims.