Experts say “yes” answers to at least four of 11 questions on a “lethality assessment” means people may be at risk of violence. The brother of a woman killed by her ex-husband in Ohio wants to require the test in domestic abuse cases.
Aisha Fraser Mason’s brother took an 11-question test to determine the level of risk his sister faced before the day her estranged husband, disgraced former Cuyahoga County, Oh., Judge Lance Mason stabbed her to death, reports Cleveland.com. Police and domestic violence experts often consider anyone who answers “yes” to at least four of the questions at risk for homicide from their domestic partner. Fraser Mason could have answered “yes” to at least six questions, her brother George Fraser determined. The tests — known as lethality assessments — are used in domestic violence cases by some Ohio law enforcement agencies. Most states, including Ohio, do not require them by law.
Fraser believes a lethality assessment may have saved his sister’s life, and that it could still save many other victims of domestic violence. He wants Ohio legislators to require law enforcement to conduct lethality assessments several times throughout the course of a domestic violence case — from the moment a report is made until the time an abuser is sentenced to prison and considered for parole. “I am not looking for revenge,” Fraser said. “I’m looking for justice. It’s obvious justice was not served the first time around.” He has a name in mind: Aisha’s Law.”It is said that one never dies if one’s name is always spoken, for one reason or another,” Fraser said. “It simply would mean that Aisha did not live her incredible life in vain.” Across the U.S., the 11 questions are typically asked by police officers responding to an initial complaint about domestic violence. Fraser’s idea is to have them asked at other times — such as before an abuser is sentenced to prison, or when he is eligible for parole — to evaluate the continued risk to a victim.