ArticlePDF Available

Integral Monitoring System in Cases of Gender Violence-VioGén System

Authors:
  • Ministerio del Interior - Secretaría de Estado de Seguridad
  • Ministerio del Interior

Abstract

This paper discusses the normative origins, elements and operative foundations of the Integral Monitoring System in Cases ofGender Violence (VioGén System), a national government software application in Spain, implemented since 2007 to coordinate the actions of Spanish public professionals involved in the monitoring, assistance and protection of abused women and their minor children. Thousands of specialist users from the different integrated institutions access daily this application, which already manages more than 510,000 cases. The law enforcement part of the VioGén System is, for the time being, the most developed one, being the "police assessment of the risk of new violence” one of the main functionalities of the aforementioned system, for which two actuarial questionnaires have been developed (VPR and VPER). These questionnaires count with almost three million assessments; which consequently help in carrying out forensic, penitentiary and welfare assessments. Although the VioGén System currently only deals with cases of gender violence, in the future it may incorporate data on domestic violence, and technically it may be extended to the monitoring of other vulnerable groups.
González-Álvarez, J.L., López-Ossorio, J.J., Urruela, C. & Rodríguez-Díaz, M. (2018). Integral Monitoring System in Cases of Gender Violence. VioGén System. Behavior & Law Journal, 4(1),
29-40.
Fundación Universitaria Behavior & Law |29
Integral Monitoring System in Cases of Gender Violence
VioGén System
Sistema de Seguimiento Integral de los Casos de Violencia de Género. Sistema VioGén
José Luis González Álvarez1,2
Juan José López Ossorio1,2
Carlota Urruela Cortés2
Marina Rodríguez Díaz, Police Commissioner1
(1) Ministerio del Interior, Gabinete de Coordinación y Estudios
(2) Universidad Autónoma de Madrid, Instituto de Ciencias Forenses y de la Seguridad
Email correspondencia: jlga@interior.es
Abstract
This paper discusses the normative origins, elements and operative foundations of the Integral Monitoring System in Cases of
Gender Violence (VioGén
System), a national government software application in Spain, implemented since 2007 to coordinate the actions of Spanish public professionals involved in
the monitoring, assistance and protection of abused women and their minor children. Thousands of specialist users from the different integrated institutions
access daily this application, which already manages more than 510,000 cases. The law enforcement part of the VioGén System is, for the time being, the
most developed one, being the "police assessment of the risk of new violence” one of the main functionalities of the aforementioned system, for which two
actuarial questionnaires have been developed (VPR and VPER). These questionnaires count with almost three million assessments; which consequently help
in carrying out forensic, penitentiary and welfare assessments. Although the VioGén System currently only deals with cases of gender violence, in the future it
may incorporate data on domestic violence, and technically it may be extended to the monitoring of other vulnerable groups.
Keywords:
VioGén System, computer application, gender violence, intimate partner violence, VPR, VPER, risk assessment.
Resumen
Este artículo expone los orígenes normativos, los elementos y las bases operativas del Sistema de Seguimiento Integral de los Casos de Violencia de Género
(Sistema VioGén), una aplicación de software gubernamental en España, implementada desde 2007 para coordinar las acciones de los profesionales públicos
españoles involucrados en el seguimiento, asistencia y protección de las mujeres maltratadas y sus hijos menores. Miles de usuarios especialistas de las diferentes
instituciones integradas acceden diariamente a esta aplicación, que ya gestiona más de 510,000 casos. La parte de aplicación policial del Sistema VioGén es,
por el momento, la más desarrollada, siendo la "evaluación policial del riesgo de nueva violencia" una de las principales funcionalidades del sistema antes
mencionado, para el cual se han desarrollado dos cuestionarios actuariales (VPR y VPER). Estos cuestionarios cuentan con casi tres millones de
aplicaciones, lo que ayuda a realizar evaluaciones forenses, penitenciarias y de bienestar. Aunque el Sistema VioGén actualmente solo trata casos de violencia
de género, en el futuro puede incorporar datos sobre violencia doméstica, y técnicamente puede extenderse al seguimiento de otros grupos vulnerables.
Palabras Clave:
Sistema VioGén, aplicación de software, Violencia de Género, Violencia contra la pareja, VPR, VPER, valoración de riesgo.
González-Álvarez, J.L., López-Ossorio, J.J., Urruela, C. & Rodríguez-Díaz, M. (2018). Integral Monitoring System in Cases of Gender Violence. VioGén System. Behavior & Law Journal, 4(1),
29-40.
Fundación Universitaria Behavior & Law |30
I. GENDER VIOLENCE IN SPAIN
Under Spanish law, Gender Violence is understood as
the type of violence which conforms the manifestation of
discrimination, the situation of inequality and the power
relations of men over women, exercised over them by
those who are or have been their spouses or who are or
have been linked to them by similar relationships of
affectivity, even without coexistence. So, it is worth noting
that, in other countries this type of violence is understood
as Intimate Partner Violence from male aggressors to
female victims.
II. THE VIOGÉN INITIATIVE. NORMATIVE
BACKGROUND
The Integral Monitoring System in Cases of Gender
Violence (VioGén System) is a computer application
created by the Spanish Secretary of State for Security (SES)
of the Ministry of Interior, which has been functioning
continuously in Spain since July 26th, 2007. The system
was created in the Office of Internal Security Studies
(abbreviated to GESI in Spanish) of the SES to facilitate
the fulfillment of the generic mandates of Articles 31 and
32 of the Organic Law 1/2004, of December 28th,
regarding the "comprehensive protection measures against
gender violence”. Article 31.3 specifies that "the action of
the Law Enforcement and Security Bodies shall take into
account the Protocol of Action of the Security Forces and
Coordination with the Judicial Bodies for the protection of
domestic and gender violence". It was ordered, in turn
(and among others), both the assessment of risk and the
establishment of an agile system of information exchange,
developing the necessary software applications. While
Article 32 established that "public authorities shall
elaborate collaborative plans that guarantee the
organization of their actions in the prevention, assistance
and prosecution of acts of gender violence, which shall
involve health administrations, Administration of Justice,
law-enforcement agencies (LEAs), social services and
equality organizations ".
In compliance with the Organic Law 15/1999 of
December 13th, regarding Protection of Personal Data,
and the regulation that develops it (Royal Decree
1720/2007, of December 21th), the VioGén System is
protected in the file "Domestic and gender violence"
referred to in Order INT/1911/2007, of June 26th
(updated by Order INT/1202/2011, of May 4th). This
Royal Decree regulates the personal data files of the
Ministry of Interior, assigning the responsibility of this file
to the SES, which may exercise the rights of access,
rectification and cancellation. Within the SES, the
management and operation of the file system VioGén
currently corresponds to the Central Service of Gender
Violence, of the Cabinet for Coordination and Studies
(Royal Decree 770/2017 of 28th, July).
This file, which has the highest level of security,
assumes the purpose of "improving the effectiveness in
the protection of victims of domestic and gender violence;
facilitating the monitoring of risk circumstances occurring
in them; alerting of their evolution, allowing the adoption
of appropriate protection measures; and preventing the
risk of new aggressions". Thus, the intended uses are "the
protection of victims, the prevention of criminal offenses
related to domestic and gender violence, and the
imprisonment of aggressors", pursuing as complementary
aspects "statistical and welfare purposes".
Although the file "Domestic and gender violence" was
foreseen as a guarantee to cover people who were victims
and authors of events likely to be classified as domestic
and gender violence (understanding ‘authors’ as the people
involved in judicial proceedings and police investigations),
currently it only contains data on gender violence, as
defined on article 1 of the Law 1/2004: women who
report being victims of violence by men who are or have
been their partners. Since the reform of the Integral Law
1/2004 operated by the Organic Law 8/2015, "regarding
the modification of the protection system for childhood
and adolescence", the possibility of adding identifying data
of minors to the quantitative data that had already been
recorded is being contemplated.
Also, Organic Law 4/2015, of April 27th, "of the
Statute of the victim of crime", indicates that minors who
are victims, as well as minors subject to guardianship and
custody of female victims of gender violence, or people
who are victims of domestic violence themselves shall be
entitled to the assistance and protection measures provided
for in Titles I and III of the mentioned Statute.
Meanwhile, Article 282 of the Criminal Procedure Law,
after the modification carried out by the first additional
provision of the aforementioned Law 4/2015, of April
27th, introduces the obligation of members of the judicial
police to comply with the duties of information provided
González-Álvarez, J.L., López-Ossorio, J.J., Urruela, C. & Rodríguez-Díaz, M. (2018). Integral Monitoring System in Cases of Gender Violence. VioGén System. Behavior & Law Journal, 4(1),
29-40.
Fundación Universitaria Behavior & Law |31
by the current legislation. Determining that they will carry
out an assessment of the particular circumstances of the
victims, this will provisionally determine what police
measures should be adopted in order to guarantee them an
adequate protection, without prejudice to the final decision
that would the appropriate for the competent Court.
Other relevant national laws in this respect are the
Organic Law 3/2007 "for the effective equality between
women and men"; the "National Strategy for the
eradication of violence against women 2013-2016" (which
the System cited in measures 63, 64, 65, and 231); and the
"Strategic Plan for Equal Opportunities 2014-2016", which
in its 72nd measure stated, regarding the eradication of
violence against women, the need to promote coordination
"for the protection of victims of gender violence against
women, through the Integral Monitoring System in cases
of gender violence (VioGén System)".
In summary, the VioGén System is useful for (Zurita,
2013):
a) bringing together the different public institutions that
have competences in gender violence;
b) integrating all the information of interest that is
considered necessary, thus facilitating its exchange;
c) facilitating the assessment of risk of further violence
occurring;
d) taking into account the risk level, facilitating
monitoring and, if necessary, protection of victims,
throughout the national territory;
e) helping the victim to draw up a "personalized security
plan", with relevant self-protection measures within
their reach; and, finally,
f) facilitating preventive work, issuing warnings, alerts
and alarms, through a subsystem of automated
notifications, when an incident or event is detected that
could endanger the victim's integrity.
Although the VioGén System is established within the
Secretary of State for Security of the Ministry of Interior,
as it was precisely who first assumed the software
developments and the development of the Law
Enforcement part of the System. It should be taken into
account that the System was created with the aim of
integrality emerging from Law 1/2004 and serving the rest
of the public institutions with competences in the fight
against gender violence (such as justice, health, social
services, and equality) as a main task to accomplish.
III. THE VIOGEN SYSTEM
A. Data: description, system integration and exchange
Technically, the VioGén System is based on a WEB
application integrated in the Spanish SARA Network
(Application Systems and Networks for Administrations),
designed to have full compatibility, for navigation
purposes, with the software browser Microsoft
INTERNET EXPLORER version 10/11 and with
operating system Windows 7 Professional Service Pack 1.
through the URL: https://viogen.ses.mir.es or
https://10.11.200.154.
The gathered information refers to the commission of
crimes related to gender violence: infractions and criminal
records of the alleged perpetrators and their penitentiary
situation, regarding the granting of permits or the release
(probation or definitive) of the inmates who are subject to
judicial measures, such as restraining orders or prohibition
of communication with the victim. It contains identifying
data, such as IDs/passports, as well as other identification
documents, photographs, addresses, telephone numbers
and email addresses. It also contains data of a personal
nature: filiation, family, date and place of birth, gender,
nationality, employment status, occupation, educational
level and marital status. And finally, data regarding
assistance and support to victims appears in the files
prepared by the different services and bodies that support
victims of gender violence, such as the type of help the
victim receives, use of shelters, among others.
To comply with the purposes of the system of
exchanging data with ease, the integration through web
services with the Prison Information System (N-SIP) has
been already achieved. Efforts are underway for a similar
integration with the other penitentiary system (SISPE),
with the different criminal information systems, such as
SIGO and SIDENPOL, from the law enforcement field
(Guardia Civil and National Police, respectively), and with
the SIRAJ, from the judicial scope. Data is also currently
exchanged with the Autonomous Police that do not
directly use the VioGén System (Mossos d'Esquadra in
Catalonia and Ertzaintza in the Basque Country) when the
victims move their homes to territories under other LEAs.
At the same time, efforts are being made to integrate
the social, welfare and equality services of the
Autonomous Communities (through web services in the
case that they have their own computerized systems); and
it would also be possible to integrate any other service,
González-Álvarez, J.L., López-Ossorio, J.J., Urruela, C. & Rodríguez-Díaz, M. (2018). Integral Monitoring System in Cases of Gender Violence. VioGén System. Behavior & Law Journal, 4(1),
29-40.
Fundación Universitaria Behavior & Law |32
such as health services. All of this would be done to
prevent users from having to record the same data
multiple times in different systems, which, in addition to
leading to unwanted duplicities, can cause errors.
Along with the aim of integrality, taking into account
that more than 25% of female victims are foreigners and
the interest shown by various international delegations,
several demonstrations of the system have been carried out
in recent years to experts on violence against women in
countries of our geographical and cultural environment.
During the year 2016, a pilot test was carried out to
connect outside our borders, through the Internet, with
the Office of the Attorney General of the Dominican
Republic, in a satisfactory manner.
Consequently, the intention is to establish a network of
institutions, resources and information that allows
monitoring and protection, in a quick, integral and
effective way, of women and minors victims of gender
violence, irrespective of their nationality and origin, at all
times, and in any part of the national territory. Figure 1
shows the start screen of the system.
Figure 1. Starting page of the VioGén System.
B. Users of the VioGén System
Normatively (Order INT / 1202/2011), the use of and
access to the VioGén System is limited to:
a) members of the judicial branches of criminal order and
Courts of Violence against Women;
b) the Public Prosecutor’s Office;
c) specialists in judicial police and/or gender violence of
the LEAs throughout the national territory (both at
the state, regional, and local levels);
d) Penitentiary Administrations, through Directors of
Penitentiary Centers or through Centers of Social
Integration;
e) members of the Coordination Units and Units of
Violence against Women of the Delegations and Sub-
delegations of the Government (respectively);
f) the Integral Forensic Appraisal Units of the Legal
Medicine and Forensic Sciences Institutes of the
Ministry of Justice, and those of the Autonomous
Communities;
g) Welfare Services, coordination points for protection
orders for domestic and gender violence, and Offices
for crime victims of the Autonomous Communities;
and
h) Social Services of local entities, with protection
competencies for victims of domestic or gender
violence in their territory. All of them are able to
introduce and modify data, in relation to the subjects
of their competence and in their territorial scope.
At the time of preparing this report, close to 30,000
users have their access to the system enabled (see Table 1),
although (fortunately) they do not access at the same time:
the number of simultaneous work sessions that the system
usually maintains during peak demand times moves in the
range of 800 to 1,000 users.
Table 1. Habilitated users of the VioGén System as to 31/07/2018.
Law Enforcement Agency
Users
Guardia Civil
National Police
Mossos d’Esquadra
Policía Foral
Attached Units of Galicia
Penitentiary Institutions
Coordination and Violence Units
Social and Equality Services
Ministry of Justice
C.G. del Poder Judicial
Total
As in any information system in which personal data is
collected, in compliance with the Organic Law on Data
Protection (15/1999), users access the system with a
username and a personal and non-transferable key that
allows the auditing of their activities, but has limitations,
both in terms of the information that they can access and
the functionalities they can activate. Each one has a
specific profile, with different levels of privileges. These
González-Álvarez, J.L., López-Ossorio, J.J., Urruela, C. & Rodríguez-Díaz, M. (2018). Integral Monitoring System in Cases of Gender Violence. VioGén System. Behavior & Law Journal, 4(1),
29-40.
Fundación Universitaria Behavior & Law |33
measures also comply with the recent European General
Data Protection Regulation.
To both protect and monitor victims, communications
between users with their administrators must be very fluid.
This is achieved within the system itself through a
"requirements module", through which the warnings,
doubts, or suggestions that appear, are raised and answered
hierarchically.
In order for the users to be able to use the System
efficiently, different Manuals and Procedure Guides are
available in the System for each of the modules and
functionalities (see below). Moreover, the SES provides
training activities that are compulsory (in person or via
videoconference), both for existing users and for new
users, moving the components of the Central Service to
the territories that require it. Through these training
activities, the aim is to bring users from different
institutions together, facilitating interaction between them,
and collating suggestions that allow the System to be
refined and perfected.
C. What is understood as a “case”?
The VioGén System contains "cases of gender
violence". A single case contains all the information that
relates a victim to a single aggressor, so that, if a woman
over time becomes a victim of gender violence of more
than one offender, there will be a different case for each of
her aggressors. The same procedure is set in place when an
offender mistreats different women. Cases will always
outnumber people.
At the moment, only LEAs can register cases in the
VioGén System, but this does not discard the possibility
that, in the future, other users could do it. Likewise, each
case is automatically assigned to a specific police unit,
which will be responsible for monitoring it, based on the
victim's address, and that unit will be the only one that can
modify any data of the case.
The cases contain, at least, a complaint and a fact
associated with them, and can be found in different
“situations”. A situation is active when it is subject to
police attention because its level of risk, depending on the
time and circumstances surrounding it, evolves over time.
A case is inactive when it no longer needs to be subject to
police attention, and can be reactivated at any time. Finally,
a case is considered to be of ‘low risk’ when it is cancelled
due to one of the following causes:
Firm acquittal of the accused.
Dismissal of the proceedings of the
investigated or processed.
Firm conviction that has been executed in
which the legal term for cancellation has
elapsed.
The cases are registered or activated in the System at
the time of a complaint. The case is assessed with the VPR
questionnaire (Valoración Policial del Riesgo, see below) and
the protection measures proportional to the resulting risk
level are immediately assigned. The risk of gender violence
is reassessed with the VPER (Vasloración Policial de la
Evolución del Riesgo) questionnaires every time a significant
incident occurs (such as a new complaint), or in
predetermined periods of time.
In this process of risk reassessment, the indicators
usually point out that the risk decreases, until there is no
reason to think that recidivism will occur, at which time
agents can turn off the case to "inactive". When legal
assumptions for this are provided, the case becomes
deregistered in the System in compliance with the rules for
the protection of personal data, as in any other database.
Naturally, if unfortunately, there is a new violent episode
between the couple and a new complaint is made, the
whole follow-up and police protection protocol is
reactivated, as many times as deemed necessary.
There are a few cases that are "resistant to
abandonment" in the System. In these cases, due to the
dynamics of the relationship between the victim and the
aggressor and their personal circumstances, the indicators
of the risk assessment forms report that the risk is
maintained over a significantly longer time than usual.
Without a doubt, while it is estimated that there might
occur some type of recidivism, follow-up and necessary
protection of the victim will still be active.
Tables 2 and 3 show a summary of the System’s
activity.
Table 2. Cases included in the VioGén System from 26/07/2007 to
31/07/2018
Type of case
N
Active cases
55.823
Inactive cases
448.104
Discharged cases
508
Foreign residents cases
5.576
Total included cases
510.011
González-Álvarez, J.L., López-Ossorio, J.J., Urruela, C. & Rodríguez-Díaz, M. (2018). Integral Monitoring System in Cases of Gender Violence. VioGén System. Behavior & Law Journal, 4(1),
29-40.
Fundación Universitaria Behavior & Law |34
Table 3. Analysed Risk Assessments from 26/07/2007 to
31/07/2018
Risk Assessments
N
VPR
709.429
VPER
2.595.120
Total
3.304.549
Taking into account the country of origin of the victims
(see Figure 2), of the active cases, 72.1% corresponded to
Spanish citizens, 12.9% to women from Latin America,
8% to the EU, without accounting for Spain (highlighting
Romania, with 50.3%), and the rest to other regions of the
world. To consult much more descriptive data in the
System, the reader can go to the statistics pages of the
Ministry of Interior's website, to the Doctoral Theses of
Garrido (2012) or Zurita (2014), as well as López Ossorio
and collaborators (2017).
Figure 2. Distribution of cases by country of birth of the victim as
to 31/07/2018
D. Elements of the VioGén System
Users navigate through the system in a very intuitive
way, thanks to two search engines that facilitate the
location of the cases, to allow a custom search of those
involved, both at a national and territorial level. Once the
case of interest is found, the System guides the user
through a tab summary that he or she can access
immediately being lead to all registered information.
According to the needs of each user, specific modules to
update data can be edited.
One of the great advantages of computerization is that
the system helps with the automatic assignment of cases to
the competent police units by reason of the residence of
the victims. Also, it is necessary to emphasize that the
subsystem of generation and distribution of automated
notifications that, from a thirty management rules or
individual/multiple causes (related to circumstances
relevant to the safety of victims), automatically issues
notifications to users, warning them of meeting deadlines,
of changes of the situation, among others. This makes it
easier for law enforcement officers to be up to date with
the most relevant events.
In this sense, perhaps one of the most notable features
to protect the victims is the technological tool of
transmission of critical incidents, which facilitates the
immediate exchange of information significant or urgent
among the different specialists involved in the follow-up
of a particular case. This module is aimed at the prevention
of further violence, mainly directed to inform law
enforcement users, who prior to the implementation of the
actions that correspond have to confirm the veracity of the
incident. In addition, it allows for the incorporation of
multimedia elements, or any other document that is
considered important, as well as selecting one or multiple
recipients in addition to those initially defined by the
system itself.
Without wishing to be exhaustive, other significant
elements of the VioGén System are the statistical module;
the subsystem of deceased victims as a result of gender
violence; the functionality of the unification of cases; the
user management module; and, finally, the modules for the
efficient administration of the entities of the system
(templates, units and districts).
E. Law Enforcement Functions of the System
It has already been mentioned that the law enforcement
functions of the System are the most developed ones, and
nowadays, local law enforcement agents oversee the cases.
Other institutions have the right to access the System
(according to their territorial competencies) and to issue
communications about critical events.
With it being a computerized system, VioGén
immediately manages all the information available and
guarantees its accuracy. It also allows the sharing of the
information with other specialists across the country.
All the trained National Police units and the Guardia
Civil participate in the VioGén System. Regarding
Autonomous Communities, Navarra’s police force is
integrated. The System interacts both with the Catalonian
González-Álvarez, J.L., López-Ossorio, J.J., Urruela, C. & Rodríguez-Díaz, M. (2018). Integral Monitoring System in Cases of Gender Violence. VioGén System. Behavior & Law Journal, 4(1),
29-40.
Fundación Universitaria Behavior & Law |35
police force and the Basque police force, which is just
starting to share their data. Both police forces have their
own protocol of risk assessment and management. At a
local level, more than 300 law enforcement forces are
participating.
The VioGén System allows for the standardization of
the police assessment of risk and the protection and
preventive measures around the whole national territory. It
means that all the victims receive organised police
attention in order to avoid becoming a victim a second
time. When a victim moves to a place where the VioGén
System is not used (Catalonia and the Basque Country),
their case is coordinated through specific protocols. In this
way, no victim will be unattended. Furthermore, the
system also protects women in a timeframe and in a way
that is proportional to the risk of each individual victim.
IV. RISK ASSESSMENT
In addition to helping in keeping all the victims’ and
aggressors’ data up to date, the main law enforcement
purpose of the VioGén System is to make risk assessments
of women who reported that they were suffering from
violence.
The traditional assessment based on the dangerousness
of the offender has been questioned lately, since it tends to
produce false negatives - dangerous subjects do not
commit serious violent behaviors - and false positives - the
subjects considered as not dangerous do commit serious
violent behaviors -. In addition, the predictive capacity of
the concept of dangerousness is limited, since it does not
value other aspects of the reality of Intimate Partner
Violence (IPV), such as the vulnerability of the victim and
the specific situational context of the event (Andrés-Pueyo
and Echeburúa, 2010).
Therefore, the VPR and VPER questionnaires follow
the approach of risk assessment, taking into account both
risk and protection indicators. Violence risk factors are
considered those which increase the probabilities of a
behavior taking place, being divided in two main groups:
historical/static - such as gender - and dynamic - such as
substance abuse - (Andrews and Bonta, 2010). On the
other hand, protection indicators are those which
determine the victim’s exposition to risk indicators. Both
types of factors have been taken intro account for the
creation of the VioGén forms.
A. Updating of the questionnaires
In April 2014, three ministers related to gender
violence (Interior, Justice and Health, Social Services and
Equality) gathered to agree on the creation of a work
group to oversee the “Risk Assessment Protocol”. The
new protocol would create a questionnaire in which the
victim’s and aggressor’s employment situations,
vulnerability factors and risk factors would be included
(ones like disability, minority, care of minors). In
compliance with this norm, a new multidisciplinary group
of experts in gender violence from different law
enforcement forces was formed. Some of these experts
were psychologists who had been working for years in the
training of law enforcement officers of the specialized
units in this area (Equipos Mujer Menor from the Guardia
Civil and Attention to Women Services from the National
Police, UFAM), as well as academic experts who improved
the two questionnaires previously developed in 2007.
Specifically, for the development of the two latest
versions of the questionnaires (version 4.0; see below), an
expert group from Universidad Autónoma de Madrid
(UAM) and another group from the University of
Barcelona (UB) were involved in order to analyze the
suitability of the indicators for the questionnaires
according to their professional opinions and the available
scientific literature. Finally, a group of 10 experienced
police officers in the field of IPV and risk assessment,
where consulted about the adequacy of the indicators for
the law enforcement assessment context. This process was
designed to enhance the validity of content of the
questionnaires.
For the development and validation of both the
VPR4.0 and VPER4.0 forms (in its two versions),
technical criteria and specific parameters advised for
violence risk assessment tools in specialized literature were
followed (Rice, Harris and Lang, 2013; Singh, 2013;
Rossegger, Endrass, Gerth and Singh, 2014; Kropp, 2008).
As for its predictive validity, the VPR4.0 obtained an
AUC (area under the curve) value of .658, and both
versions of the VPER4.0 form got a value slightly over .80.
(López-Ossorio, 2017). These results are comparable to
the ones reported in other national and international
similar tools (Muñoz and López-Ossorio, 2016).
González-Álvarez, J.L., López-Ossorio, J.J., Urruela, C. & Rodríguez-Díaz, M. (2018). Integral Monitoring System in Cases of Gender Violence. VioGén System. Behavior & Law Journal, 4(1),
29-40.
Fundación Universitaria Behavior & Law |36
B. VPR4.0 and VPER4.0 questionnaires
Law enforcement officers fill in the VPR4.0 when there
is a new report. It is necessary to have enough and reliable
information. The VPR4.0 questionnaire (Valoración
Policial del Riesgo - Police Risk Assessment), has 39 items
that provide information about the male offender and his
interaction with the victim. These items are valued as
"present" or “not present”. The scores of the VPR4.0
items are obtained automatically ending with a given risk
level, which, however, can be modified - never reducing
the risk - by the officer who carried out the assessment.
Risk levels are “unappreciated”, low”, “medium”, “high”
and “extreme”. Depending on the risk level set out, law
enforcement agents immediately begin to take measures to
safeguard the victim, and a period of time for the
completion of the next risk assessment is stipulated
(7/2016 SES Instruction). These reviews are performed
consistently through the instrument VPER4.0. The
VPER4.0 questionnaire (Valoración Policial de la
Evolución del Riesgo - Police Risk Evolution Assessment),
counts with 43 indicators (34 of risk and 9 of protection)
to be assessed in the same way as the VPR4.0
questionnaire.
The aforementioned questionnaires have been
modified (the first VPR had 16 indicators and the VPER
17) by taking into account social needs and legislative
changes. These changes are due to the victim’s and the
aggressor’s employment situations, the vulnerability of the
victim (disability, whether they are a minor, or are
responsible for minors), and risk factors. Moreover,
relevant factors nowadays are: distinguishing the situations
of especially vulnerable groups, the new technologies used,
social networks, and, finally, gender violence that occurs in
schools and between immature couples.
Law enforcement officers are still in charge of the risk
assessment of any new violent incidents (according to
established in 2007) and to apply the protection measures
adapted to every level of risk. This measures have proven
suitable to avoid a new violent incident against the victims
(González y Garrido, 2015 a,b). It is expected that the new
questionnaires distinguish better those victims in need of
more protection, consequently reducing the relapse rate.
As an initial diagnosis, this questionnaire helps the
police to establish the risk of a new episode of violence
occurring in the short term. These law enforcement
officers have special training in victim care and in risk
assessment. If the report is made in court, it must be
transferred to the appropriate police unit for them to
update the case in the VioGén System. From here, the risk
assessment is made.
During the monitoring of the victim´s situation, the
VPER4.0 is filled in by the police units in charge of the
victim´s protection in order to keep the risk estimation
updated so that it can be acted upon if/when necessary.
The VPER4.0 can be filled in in two ways: the first way,
“without any incidents”, must be completed in a set
timeframe (extreme level: before 72 hours, high level:
before 7 days, medium level: every 30 days, and low level:
every 60 days); whereas, the second, “with incidents”, must
be completed when a new violent episode or relevant
circumstances take place. The VPER4.0 can also be filled in
at the request of the court or the Public Prosecution.
The initial assessment, as well as any subsequent ones
that involve a modification into a higher or lower level
from the last risk assessment, are communicated to the
judicial body and the Public Prosecution. Also, a report
about the main risk indicators observed is communicated.
After determining a given risk level, protection
measures are established (Compulsory and
Complementary; attached in 7/2016 SES Instruction).
These measures are designed to protect the integrity of the
victim., becoming more intense as time and risk increase.
Even when the victim changes her physical location,
she will still remain under police protection. As it has been
mentioned, the current place of residence of the victim is
one of the most relevant pieces of information in the
System. This is an automatic process completed by the
System, which determines the competent police unit
according to the victim’s residence and makes any suitable
reassignment.
The risk assessment not only depends on a machine, as
the System also allows police officers (the ones who are
more familiar with each case due to having to thoroughly
investigate them) to correct the automatic result of the risk
assessment protocol when they have their own
information that contradicts or improves it. It is
impossible to introduce all the indicators in an accurate
way into the machine, so the protocol does not try to
replace police officers with a machine, but rather considers
that the protocol is just a tool to improve their day-to-day
work. The importance of professional experience is
assumed in this situation, just as in any other profession.
González-Álvarez, J.L., López-Ossorio, J.J., Urruela, C. & Rodríguez-Díaz, M. (2018). Integral Monitoring System in Cases of Gender Violence. VioGén System. Behavior & Law Journal, 4(1),
29-40.
Fundación Universitaria Behavior & Law |37
At the end of every assessment, the VioGén System
sums up the results assigned to each case and requests for
the conformity of the officer (which is usually high, 95%;
Zurita, 2014). By doing so, it allows the officer to show his
or her disagreement and to establish the level of risk that
they consider to be more appropriate. At the same time,
the officer writes down observations, helping to perfect
the System and both update and improve the training of
other officers.
In this way, the Spanish protocol is the only one of its
kind on an international level. Firstly, this is due to its
complexity, having two questionnaires, one to establish the
initial level of risk, and another to reassess this level of risk
as time goes by. Secondly, due to its national
implementation and its efficiency in obtaining the level of
risk. And, finally, because it is developed on a computer
system that allows thousands of users to connect to it at
the same time. The Spanish questionnaires are action-
oriented and have an automatic algorithm of correction
that reduces the subjectivity of evaluators. Finally, this
protocol goes beyond the risk assessment meaning the
activation of protection measures is proportionate to each
level of risk.
Since this protocol was created on July 31st, 2018,
3,304.549 risk assessments have been made (709,429 VPR
and 2,595.120 VPER). This fact lets us observe the
magnitude of the VioGén System, merely proving that
there are no other systems in the world that work with so
many cases. Related to the level of risk, on July 31st, 2018,
there were 55,823 active cases: 26,111 are classified as non-
appreciate risk (46.77%); 24.555 (43.99%) are classified as
having low risk; 4.956 (8.88%) have medium risk; 188
(0.34%) have high risk; and, 13 (0.02%) are classified as
having extreme risk. As this is an active system, this means
that changes are constant, so this data presented only
reflects the state of the risk assessment at the time of
writing.
C. Complementarity between the police risk assessment and the
forensic or penitentiary assessments.
During the construction and validation of the new
forms of police assessment, contacts were established with
professionals in charge of risk assessment in this area of
violence against the couple by judicial requirement,
belonging to the Institutes of Legal Medicine and Forensic
Sciences (Psychologists and forensic physicians), the
General Council of the Psychology of Spain, and the
Association of Forensic Psychologists of the
Administration of Justice (APF), in case they could
provide suggestions and useful indicators to the police
from their perspective.
A major limitation of using the police for risk
assessment is that agents cannot be asked to assess
indicators which, being known to influence violent
behavior, are out of their professional reach, such as those
related to the presence of psychopathology or beliefs,
attitudes, or cognitive distortions of aggressors and victims
to justify this violence. So, the police’s assessment of risk
can never be perfect. This gap should be filled by other
experts, such as penitentiary and forensic psychologists,
who are trained to a much higher level than police officers
in assessing any type of risk, especially the criminal
conduct of the offender.
For both police officers and victims, it would be ideal
to count with these professionals who could take care of
the complete assessment of the risk of recidivism. This
would mean deploying enough forensic psychologists
throughout the country, as well as providing them with
means so that they could face both the initial risk
assessments, in all reported cases, and subsequent
assessments, which allow knowing when to deactivate the
protection measures.
Until this stage is reached, what is currently available
from the VioGén System to facilitate the work of forensic
psychologists is the possibility of consulting the
assessment that the police agents made when these
forensic psychologists are commissioned with making
some expert report in this regard, as they can access the
system from both the court and from the Institutes of
Legal Medicine and Forensic Sciences.
The same could be said of the penitentiary field:
although there is still a risk assessment procedure, like
those of the VioGén System, after their interventions with
convicted offenders (deprived from their freedom or
enforcement measures in a less severe enforcement
regime), penitentiary psychologists in charge of the System
could provide valuable data to improve the protection of
victims.
González-Álvarez, J.L., López-Ossorio, J.J., Urruela, C. & Rodríguez-Díaz, M. (2018). Integral Monitoring System in Cases of Gender Violence. VioGén System. Behavior & Law Journal, 4(1),
29-40.
Fundación Universitaria Behavior & Law |38
V. MANAGEMENT OF THE RISK OF RECIDIVISM:
THE CUSTOM SECURITY PLAN
Other significant developments of the new "law
enforcement protocol for the assessment of the gender
violence risk level (L.O. 1/2004) and the management of
the safety of victims" (07/2016 SES Instruction) is that, in
order to try to reduce the rate of recidivism, law
enforcement shall ensure that victims are better involved
with their own self-protection, helping them to implement
the measures that they voluntarily agree to and are within
their reach, without, in any way, impairing the proceedings
for the protection the agents themselves are responsible
for.
The security plans for the victims of intimate partner
violence have been studied scientifically, both in the case
of women (Murray, Horton, Johnson, Notestine, Garr,
Marsh, Flasch and Doom, 2015) and the case of minors of
which they are responsible for (Carter, Kay, George and
King, 2003). They have been recommended by both
international agencies (UNODC, 2010) as well as by
independent organizations (WAVE, 2012). In addition to
this, security procedures have already been put into
practice in countries like Sweden (Belfrage, Strand, Storey,
Gibas, Kropp and Hart, 2012; Storey, Kropp, Hart,
Belfrage and Strand, 2014), the United Kingdom (ACPO,
2008), New Zealand (SNZ, 2006), Canada (Center for
Children and Families in the Justice System, 2004), United
States Department of Health and Human Services (2011),
and even in Spain (for example, see the Municipal Points
of the Regional Observatory of Gender Violence of the
Municipalities of Valladolid and Madrid).
Based on references discussed in the previous
paragraph, the most suitable measures for self-protection
for women victims of gender violence and for minors who
are dependent of these victims have been collected and
incorporated in the annexes of instruction 7/2016,
organized based on the risk levels estimates. At the end
of 2017, a total of 76,395 custom security plans had already
been produced.
How does the VioGén System help with situations in
which the victim resumes living with an abuser that she
had previously reported? The police risk assessment
protocol includes this type of behaviors as indicators in
favor of the existence of risk and the need to maintain
protection. It also helps agents to reliably detect this type
of situation with automated notifications when the
residences of victim and aggressor coincide.
Agents know that some victims may not be fully aware
of the risks they run by keeping in touch with their
aggressors and how victims may even hinder police
protection efforts. So in these cases, extreme follow-up is
imperative, carried out taking into account a delicate
balance between the victim's right to privacy and not being
"overwhelmed" by the police, and the police assurance that
the victim’s behavior puts her at risk.
Of course, it is not possible to protect those who reject
full police protection, so in these cases, the participation of
professionals from the healthcare field is of utmost
importance. These professionals help informing the
victims of the situation and encouraging them to
collaborate, if that was the case.
Apart from the System, if the coexistence is resumed
while a Restraining Order is in force, law enforcement
proceeds to instruct the pertinent proceedings for that
violation, reporting this to the judicial authorities, so that
they adopt the measures deemed necessary.
VI. THE FUTURE OF THE VIOGÉN SYSTEM
The VioGén System will be adapted to the regulations
that changed with the entry into force of the Istanbul
Convention on August 1st, 2014.
In addition, on June 17th, 2015, the UN issued a report
on the situation of women in Spain, through the "Working
Group on the question of discrimination against women in
law and in practice", which made a series of
recommendations to the Spanish Government, amongst
which it requested the extension of the VioGén System "to
consider all forms of violence against women".
More recently, in the National Agreement on the field
of Gender Violence of the 12th Legislature,
several proposals on the VioGén System and the Protocol
of Police Risk Assessment were specified.
This system, as any computer system, is technically
adequate for being expanded into the areas that are
necessary. Currently, its contents are limited to cases of
gender violence as it is foreseen in the Integral Law
1/2004, but they could be extended to other vulnerable
groups, such as the following, with the ultimate
objective of protecting the most vulnerable as well as to
develop specific security strategies, tailored to their needs:
González-Álvarez, J.L., López-Ossorio, J.J., Urruela, C. & Rodríguez-Díaz, M. (2018). Integral Monitoring System in Cases of Gender Violence. VioGén System. Behavior & Law Journal, 4(1),
29-40.
Fundación Universitaria Behavior & Law |39
Family and domestic violence.
Abuse or abandonment of the elderly.
Bullying.
Harassment in the workplace.
Human trafficking.
Pedophilia.
Missing persons.
People with disabilities and their dependents.
Hate crimes.
VII. REFERENCES
ACPO. Association of Chief Police Officers. (2008). Guidance on
investigating domestic abuse. Retrieved from
http://library.college.police.uk/docs/npia/Domestic_Abuse_2008.
pdf.
Andrés Pueyo, A., Echeburúa, E. (2010). Valoración del riesgo de
violencia: instrumentos disponibles e indicaciones de aplicación.
Psicothema, 22 (3), 403-409.
Andrews, D. y Bonta, J. (2010). The psychology of criminal conduct (5th ed.).
New Providence, NJ: Lexis Nexis.
Belfrage, H., Strand, S., Storey, J.E., Gibas, A.L., Kropp, P.R. y Hart,
S.D. (2012). Assessment and management of risk for intimate
partner violence by police officers using the Spousal Assault Risk
Assessment Guide. Law and human behavior, 36(1), 60.
Carter, L., Kay, S.J., George, J.L. y King, P. (2003). Treating children
exposed to domes- tic violence. Journal of Emotional Abuse, 3, 183
202. doi: 10.1300/J135v03n03_02.
Centre for Children and Families in the Justice System. (2004). A
Handbook for Police Responding Domestic Violence: Promoting Safer
Communities by Integrating Research & Practice. London, Ontario,
Canada: Centre for Children and Families in the Justice System of
the London Family Court Clinic.
Consejo General del Poder Judicial (España). Grupo de Expertos en
Violencia Domés- tica y de Género (2016). Guía práctica de la Ley
Orgánica 1/2004, de 28 de diciembre, de Medidas de Protección
Integral contra la Violencia de Género. Retrieved from
http://www.poderjudicial.es/cgpj/es/Temas/Violencia-domestica-
y-de-genero/Actividad-del-Observatorio/Guias-practicas/Guia-
practica-de-la-Ley-Organica-1-2004--de-28-de-diciembre--de-
Medidas-de-Proteccion-Integral-contra-la-Violencia-de-Genero--
2016-
Department of Health and Human Services. (2011). Safety Packing List.
Office on Women’s Health. US.
Garrido, M. J. (2012). Validación del procedimiento de valoración del riesgo de los
casos de violencia de género del Ministerio del Interior de España [doctoral
thesis]. Madrid: Facultad de Psicología, Universidad Autónoma de
Madrid.
González, J. L. y Garrido, M. J. (2015a). Satisfacción de las víctimas de
violencia de género con la actuación policial en España. Validación
del Sistema VioGén. Anuario de Psicología Jurídica, 25, 29-38.
González, J. L. y Garrido, M. J. (2015b). Utilidad de las medidas
policiales de protección de víctimas de violencia de género en
España. Opinión de los agentes. Cuadernos de la Guardia Civil, 51, 41-
61.
Kropp, P. R. (2008). Intimate partner violence risk assessment and
management. Violence and victims, 23(2), 202-220.
López-Ossorio, J.J. (2017).Construcción y validación de los formularios de
valoración policial del riesgo de reincidencia y violencia grave contra la pareja
(VPR4.0 VPER4.0) del Ministerio del Interior de España [doctoral
thesis]. Madrid: Facultad de Psicología, Universidad Autónoma de
Madrid.
López-Ossorio, J.J., González, J.L. y Andrés-Pueyo, A. (2016). Eficacia
predictiva de la valoración policial del riesgo de la violencia de
género. Psychosocial Intervention, 25, 1-7. doi:
10.1016/j.psi.2015.10.002.
López-Ossorio, J.J., González, J.L., Buquerín, S., García, L.F. y Buela-
Casal, G. (2017). Risk factors related to intimate partner violence
police recidivism in Spain. International Journal of Clinical and Health
Psychology, 17, 107-119.
Muñoz, J.M. y López-Ossorio, J.J. (2016). Valoración psicológica del
riesgo de violencia: alcance y limitaciones para su uso en el contexto
forense. Anuario de Psicología Jurídica, 26, 130-140. doi:
10.1016/j.apj.2016.04.005.
Murray, C.E., Horton, G.E., Johnson, C.H., Notestine, L., Garr, B.,
Marsh, A., Flasch, P. y Doom, E.B. (2015). Domestic violence
service providers’ perceptions of safety planning: A focus group
study. Journal of Family Violence, 30, 381-392. doi: 10.1007/ s10896-
015-9674-1
Rice, M., Harris, G., y Lang, C. (2013). Validation of and revision to the
VRAG and SORAG: the Violence Risk Appraisal Guide-Revised
(VRAG-R). Psychological Assessment, 25(3). doi.10.1037/a0032878.
Rossegger, A., Endrass, J., Gerth, J., y Singh, J. (2014). Replicating the
Violence Risk Appraisal Guide: A Total Forensic Cohort Study. Plos
ONE, 9(3). doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0091845.
Singh, J. (2013). Predictive validity performance indicators in violence
risk assessment: A methodological primer. Behavioral Sciences & the
Law, 31, 8-22. doi: 10.1002/bsl.2052
SNZ. Standards New Zealand. (2006). Screening, risk assessment and
intervention for family violence including child abuse and neglect,
NZS 8006:2006, Wellington. Retrieved from
http://www.police.govt.nz/sites/default/files/publications/nzs-
8006-2006.pdf
Storey, J. E., Kropp, P. R., Hart, S. D., Belfrage, H., y Strand, S. (2014).
Assessment and management of risk for intimate partner violence
by police officers using the Brief Spousal Assault Form for the
evaluation of risk. Criminal Justice and Behavior, 41(2), 256-271.
UNODC, United Nations Office On Drugs And Crime. (2010)
Handbook on Effective Police Responses to Violence against Women. Criminal
Justice Handbook Series. New York, United States. Retrieved from
https://www.unodc.org/documents/justice-and-prison-
reform/Handbook_on_Effective_police_responses_to_violence_ag
ainst_women_English.pdf
González-Álvarez, J.L., López-Ossorio, J.J., Urruela, C. & Rodríguez-Díaz, M. (2018). Integral Monitoring System in Cases of Gender Violence. VioGén System. Behavior & Law Journal, 4(1),
29-40.
Fundación Universitaria Behavior & Law |40
WAVE. Women Against Violence Europe. (2012). Protect II.
Competencias para la Evaluación del Riesgo y la Gestión de la
Seguridad para la protección de Víctimas de Alto Riesgo. Women
Against Violence Europe (WAVE), European Network and Euro-
pean Info Center Against Violence. Viena, Austria. Retrieved from
http://fileserver.wave-
network.org/trainingmanuals/PROTECTII_Risk_Assessment_and
_Safety_2012_Spanish.pdf
Zurita, J. (2013). La lucha contra la violencia de género. Seguridad y
ciudadanía. Revista del Ministerio del Interior, 9, 63-127.
Zurita, J. (2014). Violencia contra la mujer. Marco histórico evolutivo y predicción
del nivel de riesgo [doctoral thesis]. Madrid: Facultad de Psicología,
Universidad Autónoma de Madrid.
... One of the main concerns of law enforcement agencies is to ensure the protection of victims who report their aggressors and to prevent a violent episode from occurring again (González-Álvarez et al., 2018). In this regard, several standardized measures that facilitate risk classification according to the statistical likelihood of recidivism (new reported IPVAW incident) have been developed in the international context for IPVAW offenders (e.g., the Brief Spousal Assault Form for the Evaluation of Risk version 2 [B-SAFER], Kropp et al., 1995; the Ontario Domestic Assault Risk Assessment [ODARA], Hilton et al., 2008; the Spousal Abuse Risk Assessment-Version 3 [SARA-V3], Kropp & Hart, 2015; and the Violence Risk Screening−Police Version [V-RISK-POL], Roaldset et al., 2017). ...
... In Spain, IPVAW is legally referred to as gender-based violence (see Organic Law 1/2004 of 28 December on Integrated Protection Measures against Gender Violence), and is considered the manifestation of discrimination, the situation of inequality and the power relations of men over women, exercised over them by those who are or have been their spouses or who are or have been linked to them by similar relationships of affectivity, even without cohabitation. The Organic Law 1/2004 spurred the police and judicial protection for women exposed to IPVAW in the country and, in 2007, the Comprehensive Monitoring System of Gender-Based Violence Cases (VioGén System; a computer application which gathers information on all reported cases of gender-based violence in Spain) was created (González-Álvarez et al., 2018). Once a woman reports a man for genderbased violence, law enforcement investigate the situation and prepare a detailed report for the judge. ...
... During the time a case is active, the risk of IPVAW is reassessed with a second actuarial tool, the Police Assessment of Risk Evolution tool (Valoración Policial de la Evolución del Riesgo; VPER), every time a significant incident occurs (such as a new complaint), or in predetermined periods of time (López-Ossorio et al., 2019a). Cases remain active in the VioGén System until no recidivism risk is detected, which may take from a few days to a few years, depending on the case (González-Álvarez et al., 2018). The goal of the VioGén System dual risk assessment protocol (VPR and VPER) is to promptly identify reported individuals who pose a higher risk to their partners, in order to assign victim protection resources in the most efficient way; additionally, the risk management approach is oriented to the deactivation of the identified dynamic-relational risk indicators. ...
Article
Spanish intimate partner violence against women offender types (i.e., high instability/high antisociality, HiHa; low instability/high antisociality, LiHa; high instability/low antisociality, HiLa; low instability/low antisociality, LiLa) were matched with their police recidivism outcomes in a longitudinal study of 9,672 cases. Our goal was to examine whether these subtypes differed in (1) their recidivism rates, (2) the severity of the new violent episodes, and (3) the evolution of their risk levels. Results showed that individuals with high antisociality features where associated with the highest recidivism rates (26.5% HiHa; 22.6% LiHa), and higher likelihood of new severe violent episodes. HiHa offenders showed the highest risk over time, although the risk posed by all subtypes decreased during follow-up. Implications for police work are discussed.
... The sample consisted of 381 cases, of which 171 were IPHAW cases and 210 were IPVAW cases, all extracted from the Integral Monitoring System in Cases of Gender Violence (VioGén System, a computer application created in the Secretary of State for Security of the Spanish Ministry of Interior, which regulates data files, i.e., it contains and manages the country's IPHAW and IPVAW cases; González-Álvarez, Ossorio, et al., 2018;López-Gutiérrez, 2021). Thus, 381 women with a mean age of 38 (SD = 13.52, ...
Article
Full-text available
Intimate partner violence against women (IPVAW) and intimate partner homicide against women (IPHAW) are multidimensional phenomena. The aim of this study was to identify typologies of Spanish IPHAW and IPVAW victims, based on the differences between their characteristics and the determinants of aggression. The sample consisted of 381 cases from the Spanish Integral Monitoring System in Cases of Gender Violence. The instrument used was a semi-structured interview. Results showed differences between IPHAW and IPVAW victims, and latent class analysis suggested a three-profile solution: 1-fatal victims, with low neuroticism, low isolation, and feelings of loneliness, less reconciliation with the aggressor, lower perception of risk and low suicidal ideation; 2-non-fatal victims, with the loss of a loved one and the role of caregiver as stressors, low psychoticism and alcohol abuse, high feelings of loneliness, risk perception, and suicidal ideation; 3-mixed profile, with high neuroticism and psychoticism, alcohol abuse, isolation, and greater reconciliations with the aggressor, and absence of bereavement and caregiver role as stressors. Knowing the differences between IPHAW and IPVAW victims allows the design of more specific instruments for risk assessment and the design of more individualized prevention and treatment programs. This also facilitates police work in identifying victims and deploying more intense protection measures.
... to be assaulted by the same perpetrator again, which is used for determining the victim's eligibility for police protection [26]. Its use of statistical models to predict the risk faced by a victim raise questions regarding the accuracy of its predictions since these would be highly dependent on the quality of data fed into the models. ...
Chapter
Full-text available
The growing number of incidents caused by (mis)using Artificial Intelligence (AI) is a matter of concern for governments, organisations, and the public. To control the harmful impacts of AI, multiple efforts are being taken all around the world from guidelines promoting trustworthy development and use, to standards for managing risks and regulatory frameworks. Amongst these efforts, the first-ever AI regulation proposed by the European Commission, known as the AI Act, is prominent as it takes a risk-oriented approach towards regulating development and use of AI within systems. In this paper, we present the AI Risk Ontology (AIRO) for expressing information associated with high-risk AI systems based on the requirements of the proposed AI Act and ISO 31000 series of standards. AIRO assists stakeholders in determining ‘high-risk’ AI systems, maintaining and documenting risk information, performing impact assessments, and achieving conformity with AI regulations. To show its usefulness, we model existing real-world use-cases from the AIAAIC repository of AI-related risks, determine whether they are high-risk, and produce documentation for the EU’s proposed AI Act.
Chapter
SOMMARIO: 1. Introduzione. – 2. Il principio di realtà, sua rappresentazione e la raccolta massiva di dati. – 3. Rappresentazione e discriminazione: una questione non solo terminologica. – 4. La formazione delle black box tra privacy e principio di non discriminazione. – 5. Sommarie conclusioni: aderire o manipolare la realtà? – 6. Bibliografia.
Book
L’obiettivo di questo studio riguarda l’analisi dei sistemi algoritmici decisori automatizzati attraverso un approccio multidisciplinare al fine di inquadrare il funzionamento e, in conseguenza di ciò, come valutare sotto un profilo giuridico tali software, in particolare nei casi in cui i risultati da essi prodotti provochino effetti discriminatori. A questo fine occorre vagliare il rapporto intercorrente tra principio di uguaglianza, tutela della privacy ed elaborazione massiva dei dati, personali e non personali, che nutrono gli algoritmi stessi. L’intrusione di tali programmi nella vita quotidiana, seppure sottostimata, merita attenzione per acquisire consapevolezza che la loro caratteristica principale, cioè l’automazione decisoria, non riguarda delle ipotetiche autonomia e indipendenza di giudizio, ma concerne l’obbedienza a istruzioni prestabilite dai loro programmatori.
Conference Paper
Full-text available
La violencia de pareja contra la mujer (violencia de género, VdG) y el homicidio de pareja contra la mujer (feminicidio) son fenómenos multidimensionales. El objetivo de este estudio fue identificar las tipologías de las víctimas españolas de feminicidio y VdG, basado en las diferencias entre sus características y los determinantes de la agresión. La muestra constaba de 381 casos del Sistema Español de Seguimiento Integral de Casos de Violencia de Género. El instrumento utilizado fue una entrevista semiestructurada. Los resultados mostraron diferencias entre las víctimas de VdG y las víctimas de feminicidios y el análisis de clases latentes sugirió tres perfiles: 1 víctimas mortales, con bajo neuroticismo, bajo aislamiento y sentimientos de soledad, menor reconciliación con el agresor, menor percepción de riesgo y baja ideación suicida; 2-víctimas no mortales, con la pérdida de un ser querido y el rol de cuidador como estresores, bajo psicoticismo y abuso de alcohol, sentimientos de soledad elevados, percepción de riesgo e ideación suicida; 3-perfil mixto, con neuroticismo y psicoticismo elevados, abuso de alcohol, aislamiento y una mayor reconciliación con el agresor y ausencia de duelo y del rol de cuidador como estresores. Conocer las diferencias entre víctimas de feminicidio y de VdG permite el diseño de instrumentos más específicos para la evaluación del riesgo y el diseño de programas de prevención y tratamiento más individualizados. También facilita la labor policial en la identificación de las víctimas y el despliegue de medidas de protección más intensas.
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Introducción El homicidio intencionado consiste en terminar con la vida de otra persona de manera voluntaria, y es la manifestación más extrema de la violencia humana y del comportamiento criminal. Más de un tercio (39%) de los homicidios de mujeres son cometidos por una pareja íntima varón (en lo sucesivo, feminicidios), considerándose violencia de género; y, en conjunto, la mujer presenta seis veces más riesgo de morir violentamente que el hombre (UNODC, 2019). España presenta tasas de homicidio inferiores a las medias europea y mundial, tanto en general como de mujeres en la pareja en particular (2.8 frente al 3.9 y 5 por millón de mujeres mayores de 14 años, respectivamente). Y cuenta con políticas activas para combatir y reducir la violencia contra la mujer (Ley Orgánica 1/2004 de Medidas de Protección Integral contra la Violencia de Género; y Pacto de Estado, de 2019), que parecen ser efectivas, al ser el país de la Unión Europea con la menor prevalencia de este tipo de violencia (Bermúdez y Meléndez-Domínguez, 2020). No obstante, se siguen registrando feminicidios: 1126 entre los años 2003 y 2021, el 17% del total de homicidios en España. Para prevenir, desde los años 90 se han creado en distintos países equipos especializados en la revisión de homicidios en el entorno familiar, que los analizan de manera multidisciplinar, especialmente los de las mujeres, identificando indicadores de riesgo específicos de feminicidio, y estableciendo tipologías que caractericen a los feminicidas para identificarlos precozmente. Tras revisar las buenas prácticas de esos equipos, en 2015 se constituyó en España un Equipo nacional de revisión pormenorizada de Homicidios en el contexto de la Violencia de Género (EHVdG; González, Garrido, et al., 2018). Que se planteó tanto la clásica recogida de las variables sociodemográficas sobre autor y víctima, y sobre el hecho feminicida, como un estudio comparativo entre feminicidios (casos) y delitos de violencia de pareja no letal (controles). Con el objetivo aplicado de identificar modos prácticos de prevenir las muertes. El EHVdG se creó a iniciativa del Ministerio del Interior (Secretaría de Estado de Seguridad), integrándose la Fiscalía de Sala Contra la Violencia sobre la Mujer, el Consejo General del Poder Judicial (Observatorio contra la Violencia Doméstica y de Género), y la Delegación del Gobierno para la Violencia de Género. Cuatro instituciones públicas que consiguieron la adecuada coordinación de las actividades del resto de los componentes del Equipo, que fueron los encargados de la revisión pormenorizada y sobre el terreno de los casos, por todo el territorio nacional. Debido a la dispersión territorial de los feminicidios, fue imprescindible constituir varios grupos descentralizados, que operaron de manera simultánea. Ese trabajo de campo se delegó en expertos en el análisis de la conducta criminal, conformando el Equipo expertos de 21 Universidades, públicas y privadas, conforme a la siguiente distribución: universidades de Granada, Sevilla y Málaga en Andalucía; Universidad Autónoma, Complutense, Pontificia de Comillas, y Rey Juan Carlos en la Comunidad de Madrid; Universidad de Valencia, de Alicante, Miguel Hernández y Jaime I de Castellón en la Comunidad de Valencia; la Universidad Nacional de Educación a Distancia, Universidad a Distancia de Madrid, y Universidad Internacional de La Rioja; del resto de Comunidades Autónomas, la Universidad de Barcelona, de Santiago de Compostela, Oviedo, Illes Balears, Murcia, País Vasco y Castilla La Mancha. También colaboraron expertos del Colegio Oficial de Psicólogos de Madrid, e investigadores de la Fundación Universitaria Behavior & Law y de la Fundación para la Investigación Aplicada en Delincuencia y Seguridad (FIADYS). En total colaboraron más de 450 expertos académicos, fundamentalmente psicólogos (78%) y criminólogos (20%), la gran mayoría con posgrados en el ámbito jurídico y forense; y principalmente mujeres (83.3%). Método La revisión, pormenorizada y sobre el terreno de los hechos criminales, implicó numerosas tareas. 1) El estudio del material documental existente sobre los delitos, tanto policial (atestados, diligencias e inspecciones técnico-oculares), como judicial (sumarios e informes periciales) y penitenciario. 2) La identificación de los posibles informantes: personas próximas al agresor y a la víctima, de los entornos familiares, laborales, de ocio, y educativos. 3) El desplazamiento de los revisores hasta los lugares en donde ocurrieron los hechos, y hasta los lugares de residencia de los informantes. 4) La entrevista personal de esos primeros informantes, recopilando datos sociodemográficos y criminológicos inexistentes en el material documental, que permitieran cumplimentar la autopsia psicológica de las víctimas mortales y de los autores suicidas y el perfilamiento indirecto de la personalidad de víctima y de agresor. 5) Identificación y contacto con nuevos informantes, realizando nuevas entrevistas a personas todavía más significativas (con quienes víctima y autor se sinceraban en los días previos al crimen). 6) Entrevista semiestructurada en profundidad con el propio autor en prisión, con carácter voluntario y previo consentimiento informado. 7) En los casos no letales, entrevista con las propias víctimas. 8) Elaboración del correspondiente informe de cada caso, resumiendo los hallazgos con respecto a indicadores de riesgo presentes en cada caso y circunstancias que facilitaron, o impidieron, su adecuada identificación en el momento del crimen. 9) Sobre cada crimen, cumplimentar una plantilla de recogida de datos automatizada, para garantizar la homogeneidad de las variables y la fiabilidad interjueces. 10) Recopilación de todos los informes y plantillas por parte de la coordinación central del Equipo, comprobación de la fiabilidad o congruencia de los datos, y elaboración de una base de datos para análisis estadísticos. Para evitar sesgos en la recogida de los datos se empleó un protocolo estandarizado explicando cada una de las categorías de cada variable, para que no hubiera problemas en su apreciación. En el caso de los feminicidios se contemplaron un total de 386 variables, que incluían datos de a) identificación de los casos (5 variables); b) autor, agrupadas en variables de perfil sociodemográfico (40), personalidad y estilo de vida (22), factores de riesgo psicosocial (10), y suicidio (10); c) víctima, agrupadas en las mismas clases que las del autor (82); d) dinámica relacional (38); e) escena del crimen (37); f) escena suicida (10); indicadores de la VPR4.0 (64); y de la VPER4.0 (68). Para la revisión de los casos no letales se utilizó una adaptación del mismo protocolo, descartándose los apartados de escena del crimen, escena suicida, VPR y VPER. Siendo cada caso revisado al menos por dos expertos, que podían consultar a otros si discrepaban, hasta llegar al acuerdo interjueces. De modo multidisciplinar, todos los grupos territoriales contaron con revisores de diferentes colectivos profesionales: agentes policiales, operadores jurídicos, penitenciarios, y académicos. Resultados Se llegaron a revisar pormenorizadamente 202 casos de feminicidio, de los ocurridos en España entre 2006 y 2017. Resultandos válidos para análisis 171 (el 84.7%), debido a que en 28 hubo dificultades insalvables para llevar a cabo las entrevistas, y en 3 resultaron absoluciones judiciales. También se llegaron a revisar un total de 425 casos de control, de los que resultaron válidos para análisis 210 (el 49.41%) debido, principalmente, a la reticencia de las víctimas a colaborar. Los revisores de campo recopilaron datos cuantitativos de la documentación de todos esos hechos criminales, y lo que es más importante, datos cualitativos a través de entrevistas semiestructuradas a más de 2000 implicados (agentes policiales que investigaron los casos, las víctimas supervivientes, los entornos sociales de víctimas y autores, y los propios delincuentes). Los análisis de todas estas variables han quedado recogidos en un informe interno del Ministerio del Interior (no publicado por el momento), en donde se muestran los descriptivos con todo detalle. Además de esos análisis, el EHVdG realizó diversos estudios bivariantes y multivariantes, habiéndose presentado resultados preliminares en Trabajos Fin de Master y Tesis Doctorales en diferentes universidades, y, sobre todo en posters, ponencias y simposios en Congresos. Los estudios más completos se han publicado en artículos científicos, habiéndose abordado con especial profundidad la valoración del riesgo de muerte; las características psicopáticas de los feminicidas; las tipologías de los maltratadores letales y de los no letales; el fenómeno del suicidio posterior al homicidio y especialmente al feminicidio; la influencia de la separación en el feminicidio; el perfil del feminicida en prisión; y, en fin, el efecto imitación del feminicidio. Encontrándose en curso la elaboración de nuevas publicaciones comparando los casos letales y los no mortales una vez finalizada la fase de revisión pormenorizada de los casos no letales. Conclusiones La existencia del EHVdG se considera un hito digno de tener en cuenta, por su composición y operativa, puesto que a) reunió a las más altas Instituciones implicadas en la lucha contra la violencia de género en España; b) se coordinaron centenas de investigadores de 24 Universidades e instituciones de investigación científica entre sí, y con los miembros de las FFCCS, profesionales penitenciarios, y operadores jurídicos (algo poco habitual); y c) se abordó una tarea de revisión pormenorizada de feminicidios y de casos no letales sobre el terreno nunca antes realizada en el mundo (que se sepa) por la cantidad y variedad de variables contempladas. Muchos de los hallazgos del Equipo ya se han publicado a nivel nacional e internacional, y han fundamentado desarrollos preventivos en el Sistema VioGén (González- Álvarez et al, 2018). Como el EHVdG ya no está revisando más casos sobre el terreno, cabe formular como línea de futuro que, si persiste el interés gubernamental en el estudio y seguimiento del feminicidio, se cree un equipo de revisión estable y profesional, a semejanza de los existentes en otros países europeos. Referencias Bermúdez, M. P., y Meléndez-Domínguez, M. (2020). Análisis epidemiológico de la violencia de género en la Unión Europea. Anales de Psicología, 36(3), 380-385. https://doi.org/10.6018/analesps.428611 González, J. L., Garrido, M. J., López-Ossorio, J. J., Muñoz, J. M., Arribas, A., Carbajosa, P., y Ballano, E. (2018). Revisión pormenorizada de homicidios de mujeres en las relaciones de pareja en España. Anuario de Psicología Jurídica, 28(1), 28-38. https://doi.org/10.5093/apj2018a2 González-Álvarez, J. L., López-Ossorio, J. J., Urruela, C., y Rodríguez-Díaz, M. (2018). Integral Monitoring System in Cases of Gender Violence - VioGén System. Behavior & Law Journal, 4(1), 29-40. https://doi.org/10.47442/blj.v4.i1.56 UNODC, United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime. (2019). Global Study on Homicide. Recuperado de: https://www.unodc.org/documents/data-and-analysis/gsh/Booklet1.pdf Palabras clave: Feminicidio de pareja, fuerzas y cuerpos de seguridad, colaboración institucional, valoración de riesgo, tipología (UNODC, 2019). España presenta tasas de homicidio inferiores a las medias europea y mundial, tanto en general como de mujeres en la pareja en particular (2.8 frente al 3.9 y 5 por millón de mujeres mayores de 14 años, respectivamente). Y cuenta con políticas activas para combatir y reducir la violencia contra la mujer (Ley Orgánica 1/2004 de Medidas de Protección Integral contra la Violencia de Género; y Pacto de Estado, de 2019), que parecen ser efectivas, al ser el país de la Unión Europea con la menor prevalencia de este tipo de violencia (Bermúdez y Meléndez-Domínguez, 2020). No obstante, se siguen registrando feminicidios: 1126 entre los años 2003 y 2021, el 17% del total de homicidios en España. Para prevenir, desde los años 90 se han creado en distintos países equipos especializados en la revisión de homicidios en el entorno familiar, que los analizan de manera multidisciplinar, especialmente los de las mujeres, identificando indicadores de riesgo específicos de feminicidio, y estableciendo tipologías que caractericen a los feminicidas para identificarlos precozmente. Tras revisar las buenas prácticas de esos equipos, en 2015 se constituyó en España un Equipo nacional de revisión pormenorizada de Homicidios en el contexto de la Violencia de Género (EHVdG; González, Garrido, et al., 2018). Que se planteó tanto la clásica recogida de las variables sociodemográficas sobre autor y víctima, y sobre el hecho feminicida, como un estudio comparativo entre feminicidios (casos) y delitos de violencia de pareja no letal (controles). Con el objetivo aplicado de identificar modos prácticos de prevenir las muertes. El EHVdG se creó a iniciativa del Ministerio del Interior (Secretaría de Estado de Seguridad), integrándose la Fiscalía de Sala Contra la Violencia sobre la Mujer, el Consejo General del Poder Judicial (Observatorio contra la Violencia Doméstica y de Género), y la Delegación del Gobierno para la Violencia de Género. Cuatro instituciones públicas que consiguieron la adecuada coordinación de las actividades del resto de los componentes del Equipo, que fueron los encargados de la revisión pormenorizada y sobre el terreno de los casos, por todo el territorio nacional. Debido a la dispersión territorial de los feminicidios, fue imprescindible constituir varios grupos descentralizados, que operaron de manera simultánea. Ese trabajo de campo se delegó en expertos en el análisis de la conducta criminal, conformando el Equipo expertos de 21 Universidades, públicas y privadas, conforme a la siguiente distribución: universidades de Granada, Sevilla y Málaga en Andalucía; Universidad Autónoma, Complutense, Pontificia de Comillas, y Rey Juan Carlos en la Comunidad de Madrid; Universidad de Valencia, de Alicante, Miguel Hernández y Jaime I de Castellón en la Comunidad de Valencia; la Universidad Nacional de Educación a Distancia, Universidad a Distancia de Madrid, y Universidad Internacional de La Rioja; del resto de Comunidades Autónomas, la Universidad de Barcelona, de Santiago de Compostela, Oviedo, Illes Balears, Murcia, País Vasco y Castilla La Mancha. También colaboraron expertos del Colegio Oficial de Psicólogos de Madrid, e investigadores de la Fundación Universitaria Behavior & Law y de la Fundación para la Investigación Aplicada en Delincuencia y Seguridad (FIADYS).
Article
Full-text available
This investigation studied the interaction between seven risk factors included in the police risk assessment of the VioGén System and found that these factors formed groups based on the dimensions of violence and psychopathology. The 171 femicides analysed were categorised into four groups: normalised (23.4%), violent (25.7%), pathological (18.7%), and pathological/violent (32.2%). These groups exhibited significant differences concerning their psychosocial profile and relationship dynamics. One of the main findings is the identification of the pathological type that had not been detected in previous typologies, thus highlighting the importance of the psychological factor when classifying the perpetrators of femicide. These results have important practical implications, as the classification of the aggressor could be a preliminary step taken before the risk assessment, which would make it possible to individualise predictions and improve the protection of the victims as well as the therapies and intervention programmes.
Article
Full-text available
Background/Objective: Some professionals, such as police officers, are required to prevent violent behavior, such as intimate partner violence (IPV). For this task they use actuarial tools designed to estimate the risk of occurrence of further violence after a previous complaint (police recidivism), taking into account risk and protective indicators which they can observe, in spite of they are not behavioral assessment experts. Method: To try to refine the police risk assessments carried out in Spain since 2007 and to improve the two tools available on the Spanish VioGén System, Police Risk Assessment and Risk Evolution (VPR3.1 and VPER3.0), this paper, using an epidemiological design, in a sample of 6,613 new cases of IPV of Spain, studies empirical relationships among 65 indicators (56 risk and 9 protection) and IPV police recidivism up to six months. Results: It resulted in a recidivism rate of 7.4%, finding statistically significant associations of 46 indicators. Conclusions: Empirical evidence about static indicators and new relevant dynamic indicators in the victims’ police protection management is presented. Practical implications for future police risk assessments are discussed.
Article
Full-text available
Desde hace tiempo, en contextos jurídicos y científicos existe preocupación por la falta de criterios técnicos para valorar la prueba pericial por parte de jueces y tribunales, dada la influencia que puede tener en las resoluciones judiciales. En el presente trabajo se aborda esta preocupación en relación a la prueba pericial psicológica del riesgo de violencia, que ha adquirido un especial protagonismo con las recientes reformas penales. Se analizan las principales claves explicativas, a juicio de los autores, de las limitaciones en la predicción del riesgo de violencia asociadas a las pruebas más utilizadas en la actualidad con este fin —las guías actuariales y las guías de juicio clínico estructurado—, y se presentan también las ventajas que para los distintos operadores jurídicos puede tener el recurrir a estas periciales. Por último, se sugieren algunos criterios desde el punto de vista técnico que podrían facilitar un análisis crítico de las mismas por parte de jueces y tribunales.
Article
Full-text available
Para prevenir la violencia de género se desarrolló el protocolo denominado «valoración policial del riesgo» (VPR) para su uso por profesionales de las fuerzas de seguridad del Estado. Este protocolo es el núcleo principal del sistema VioGén, del Ministerio del Interior español, y que se aplica de forma reglamentaria en todas las situaciones de violencia de género denunciadas. Para evaluar la eficacia predictiva de la VPR se realizó un estudio longitudinal prospectivo con un seguimiento de 3 y 6meses de 407 mujeres que habían denunciado ser víctimas de violencia por parte de su pareja o expareja. Los resultados obtenidos por medio del análisis de regresión logística ofrecen una AUC=0.71 para intervalos de tiempo en riesgo de 3meses (p<.003) y con una odds ratio de 6.58 (IC95%: 1.899-22.835). La sensibilidad de la VPR fue del 85% y la especificidad, del 53.7%. Los resultados indican que la VPR muestra una buena capacidad predictiva y unas características psicométricas adecuadas para la tarea para la que se diseñó.
Article
Full-text available
En el marco de las políticas de lucha contra la violencia de género en España, el Ministerio del Interior asumió la responsabilidad de realizar un seguimiento integral de las víctimas, diseñando para ello un sistema informatizado (SVdG), y poniendo a la vez en marcha un protocolo de valoración del riesgo de que las mujeres volvieran a ser víctimas de violencia una vez formalizada la denuncia, que se acompañaba de medidas de actuación policial tendentes a prevenir esa posible violencia. Tras varios meses de implantación del sistema se consideró conveniente conocer la opinión de los agentes policiales respecto a la utilidad de las medidas de protección de las víctimas de violencia de género, a modo de validación externa de una parte de ese sistema integral. Para ello se actualizó un Cuestionario de Opinión Policial (OPPOLv3), a cumplimentar por internet de forma anónima, que se difundió a todos los agentes encargados de atender a este tipo de víctimas. En este informe se da cuenta de los resultados preliminares obtenidos con el OPPOLv3 después de un periodo de tres meses de recogida de datos, durante el que se recopilaron 613 opiniones válidas, que informaban de la utilidad de cada una de las 22 medidas preventivas, discutiendo los resultados y proponiendo líneas de actuación para el futuro.
Article
Full-text available
In the fight against gender-based violence in Spain, the police play an important role in prevention, protection, and victims’ safety; the information provided to them is used in research to improve policing and policy. The aim of this study was to determine the level of satisfaction attached to victims’ experience of security police measures, especially once they have been incorporated into the Comprehensive Monitoring System of the Home Office (VioGen). An online satisfaction questionnaire was used, which has already been piloted in two previous studies, collecting 1,128 valid questionnaires completed by victims of domestic violence. Our results show that 80% of women who had participated in the study reported feeling very satisfied with the police performance, regardless of the police service they had contacted, and provide some suggestions to improve policing. These results serve as validation of the VioGen.
Article
Full-text available
Although safety planning is a widespread practice with clients impacted by domestic violence, the research on it is limited. In this article, we present a review of existing literature describing practices and research in order to understand the gaps in the field’s current understanding of safety planning practices. Next, we describe the methodology, findings, and implications of a focus group study that aimed to identify domestic violence service providers’ perspectives toward safety planning. The major themes discussed include safety risks for domestic violence victims; safety planning within the community context; and agency policies, procedures, and forms related to safety planning.
Article
Full-text available
Introduction: The performance of violence risk assessment instruments can be primarily investigated by analysing two psychometric properties: discrimination and calibration. Although many studies have examined the discrimination capacity of the Violence Risk Appraisal Guide (VRAG) and other actuarial risk assessment tools, few have evaluated how well calibrated these instruments are. The aim of the present investigation was to replicate the development study of the VRAG in Europe including measurements of discrimination and calibration. Method: Using a prospective study design, we assessed a total cohort of violent offenders in the Zurich Canton of Switzerland using the VRAG prior to discharge from prisons, secure facilities, and outpatient clinics. Assessors adhered strictly to the assessment protocol set out in the instrument's manual. After controlling for attrition, 206 offenders were followed in the community for a fixed period of 7 years. We used charges and convictions for subsequent violent offenses as the outcomes. Receiver operating characteristic analysis was conducted to measure discrimination, and Sanders' decomposition of the Brier score as well as Bayesian credible intervals were calculated to measure calibration. Results: The discrimination of the VRAG's risk bins was modest (area under the curve = 0.72, 95% CI = 0.63-0.81, p<0.05). However, the calibration of the tool was poor, with Sanders' calibration score suggesting an average assessment error of 21% in the probabilistic estimates associated with each bin. The Bayesian credible intervals revealed that in five out of nine risk bins the intervals did not contain the expected risk rates. Discussion: Measurement of the calibration validity of risk assessment instruments needs to be improved, as has been done with respect to discrimination. Additional replication studies that focus on the calibration of actuarial risk assessment instruments are needed. Meanwhile, we recommend caution when using the VRAG probabilistic risk estimates in practice.
Article
The management of intimate partner violence (IPV) typically falls to police. For assistance, officers are increasingly using violence risk assessment tools like the Brief Spousal Assault Form for the Evaluation of Risk (B-SAFER). This study replicates the methodology of Belfrageet al.but examines the B-SAFER as used by Swedish police officers when assessing and managing IPV. Results revealed a positive relationship between risk and management. Total scores and overall risk ratings predicted recidivism (AUC [Area under the curve] = .70 and .69, respectively). Finally, a pattern where management recommendations were associated with decreased recidivism in high risk perpetrators but increased recidivism in low risk perpetrators was found. Results validate the use of the B-SAFER by police and reveal mostly comparable findings between the B-SAFER and the Spousal Assault Risk Assessment Guide, as examined by Belfrage et al., but suggest that the B-SAFER may be better suited for police. © 2013 International Association for Correctional and Forensic Psychology.
Article
The Violence Risk Appraisal Guide (VRAG) was developed in the early 1990s, and approximately 60 replications around the world have shown its utility for the appraisal of violence risk among correctional and psychiatric populations. At the same time, authorities (e.g., Dawes, Faust, & Meehl, 1989) have argued that tools should be periodically evaluated to see if they need to be revised. In the present study, we evaluated the accuracy of the VRAG in a sample of 1,261 offenders, fewer than half of whom were participants in the development sample, then developed and validated a revised and easier-to-score instrument (the VRAG-R). We examined the accuracy of both instruments over fixed durations of opportunity ranging from 6 months to 49 years and examined outcome measures pertaining to the overall number, severity, and imminence of violent recidivism. Both instruments were found to predict dichotomous violent recidivism overall and at various fixed follow-ups with high levels of predictive accuracy (receiver operating characteristic areas of approximately .75) and to significantly predict other violent outcomes.