The History of DART

DART was developed after some significant changes and challenges occurred at a national level in the area of Domestic Abuse and Stalking:

2011: The introduction of statutory Domestic Homicide Reviews as part of the Domestic Violence, Crime and Victims Act 2004
2012: The official definition for domestic abuse changed to acknowledge the importance of coercion and control
2012: The introduction of ‘course of conduct’ offending in the so-called stalking legislation contained in the Protection from Harassment Act
2014: HMIC inspected all 43 Home Office funded police services in England and Wales and found significant challenges in responding to Domestic Abuse
2015: Domestic Abuse protections recognised across Europe
2015: Coercive Control criminalized through the Serious Crimes Act 2015

All these changes are an acknowledgement that we now have more evidence based knowledge about Domestic Abuse, Coercive Control and Stalking which tells us how dangerous these behaviours can be. The research which underpinned development of DART was driven by a desire to align the professional and victim perspectives around calls for assistance. So we interviewed widely with police officers, paramedics and other professionals, as well as with victims, and the families of deceased victims. We looked at the emerging findings from DHRs and the research which exists in the area; we went to international experts and experienced practitioners. The analysis of all that data produced a reference tool and response model which takes full account of the victim and professional perspective, and the needs of both.

So DART is a reference tool which helps professionals understand the issues, respond to victims, and pursue prosecutions. It contains information around:

  • Coercive Control and Stalking
  • High risk markers
  • Victim Care, including diverse victim groups
  • Evidence gathering for course of conduct offending and threat to life assaults
  • Threat assessment and the Homicide Triad
  • FAQs

DART is a valuable support to existing policies, practices and training, and assists with the use of Risk Identification Checklists like DASH or DIAL.

DART is not a risk assessment tool, it is a reference tool which helps professionals respond to victims consistently and confidently. It contains a threat assessment model (Homicide Threat Triad) which can enhance risk assessment. Threat assessment is being increasingly recognized as important in considering victim safety.

Homicide Threat Triad

The DART approach is structured around understanding of the Domestic Homicide Threat Triad (copyright)