Saving lives and changing lives through early identification, intervention and prevention

DASH Risk Model


The Domestic Abuse, Stalking and Honour Based Violence (DASH 2009) Risk Identification, Assessment and Management Model was implemented across all police services in the UK from March 2009, having been accredited by ACPO Council, now known as National Police Chief Council (NPCC).

This was pioneering and a significant step forward in keeping victims safe, turning a reactive ‘it’s just a domestic’ into a proactive ‘you must ask’ questions approach. This also meant for the first time all police services and a large number of partner agencies across the UK started to use a common checklist for identifying, assessing and managing risk.

The model was further developed from the SPECSS+ model in London by Laura Richards who was the ACPO Violence Adviser who worked in partnership with Safe Lives, formerly known as CAADA. Questions about stalking were further developed by Drs Lorraine Sheridan and Karl Roberts. The 12 questions can be asked in all stalking cases.

‘The First Time, Right Time’ approach underpins the DASH, as these are some of the most dangerous cases where women and children are more likely to be killed. The DASH Risk Checklist is a tried and tested way to understand risk. DASH is a lifeline to victims. It is based on research about the indicators of high-risk domestic abuse.

Why was the DASH developed?

There was widespread agreement that a more proactive risk based approach was need to keep victims safe. Many domestic homicides and serious case reviews showed:

  • A lack of understanding and training regarding risk identification, assessment and management
  • insufficient risk identification, assessment and management
  • insufficient information sharing
  • failure to manage the intelligence
  • failure to make the links across public protection and serial offending.

Who can use the Dash Risk Model?

  • The DASH is for all professionals working with victims of domestic abuse, stalking and harassment and honour based violence.
  • There is also a risk checklist for victims of domestic abuse, stalking and honour based violence. This is called the Victim-DASH (V-DASH 2010).
  • There are also further screening questions on stalking. This again has been adapted for victims to use.

university-of-brightonWe are delighted that the DASH training has been university accredited by the University of Brighton. It has received the ‘REQ’ kite mark – recognising educational quality – in 2014 and was re-accredited in September 2016. If you were trained prior to 2014 you will need to undergo refresher training. Refresher training should be undertaken every six months ideally.

The DASH is a lifeline for many victims. The questions and answers are important, so to is the action that you take. Please ensure you are trained and accredited to use the DASH Risk Model.

  • Training is crucial to understanding the DASH Risk Model. Without effective training, the same mistakes will continue to be made and questions will be asked about the DASH (2009) implementation process and what training professionals received.
  • It could make agencies especially vulnerable if the tool has been implemented without accredited training or support for staff.
  • All professionals working in the field of public protection including domestic abuse, stalking and harassment, honour based violence, safeguarding children, safeguarding vulnerable adults, missing persons, sexual violence, MARAC, MAPPA, mental health and homicide should attend DASH training.
  • The training is set within the wider context of public protection, using many cases studies and is continuously rated as some of the best training professionals have received.

How can I be trained on DASH, Domestic Homicide Reviews (DHRs), Stalking law and coercive control and the new law?