The purpose of this mixed-methods triangulation study was to assess the face validity and comprehension of a femicide risk assessment tool, the Danger Assessment-Brazil (DA-Brazil) among women seeking care in a one stop center for abused women in Curitiba, Brazil. Our secondary aim was to assess professionals’ perceptions of feasibility for using the DA-Brazil in the same setting.
Fifty-five women experiencing relationship violence completed the instrument and participated in cognitive interviews about their experience; professionals attending survivors were also interviewed.
The vast majority of women described the DA-Brazil instrument as being easy to comprehend (n = 41, 73.2%). Nearly half of participants (n = 26, 46.4%) had some kind of question regarding the DA-Brazil calendar, a tool to visualize abuse frequency and severity. Queries aligned with five categories: recollection of dates, scale, relationship status, terminology, and discomfort. Professionals reported that the DA-Brazil instrument would support referral decision-making.
The overall face validity and comprehension of the DA-Brazil appears to be high. The majority of challenges were around the calendar activity. Professional perceptions of the DA-Brazil suggest a high degree of feasibility for its use in Brazilian healthcare settings. In order for the DA-Brazil to effectively be administered with facilitated support there is a need for training on the best use of the instrument. Accurate assessment of femicide risk is critical in a country like Brazil with high rates of femicide. The DA-Brazil provides a valid assessment of femicide risk and has the potential to trigger early intervention for those at risk.