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Tijdschrift voor Psychiatrie 54 (2012) 4, 329 - 338

New research

Risk assessment of violent women: development of the ‘Female Additional Manual’ (FAM)

V. de Vogel, M. de Vries Robbé, W. van Kalmthout, C. Place

background Violence perpetrated by women is a growing problem. Research has shown that the risk factors associated with women differ from those associated with men and that the risk assessments currently in use are not adequate for predicting violence in women.
aim To develop a clinically relevant, useful tool for an accurate, gender-sensitive assessment of risk of violent behaviour in women and to offer guidelines for risk management in women.
method On the basis of literature research, clinical expertise and the results of a pilot study, we adapted the much-used ‘Historical Clinical Risk management-20’ (hcr-20) for use with female (forensic) psychiatric patients who have a record of violence towards other people.
results The ‘Female Additional Manual’ (fam) supplemented and added value to the hcr-20 for assessing the risk of violent behaviour by women.
conclusion The fam is a valuable addition to the currently available risk assessment tools in that it provides a more accurate gender-specific risk assessment with regard to female (forensic) psychiatric patients. Future research will have to further demonstrate the value of the fam.

keywords gender, risk assessment, violence, women