Spousal Assault Risk Assessment (SARA) Guide

The Spousal Assault Risk Assessment (SARA) Guide is a 20 item measure to assess risk of spousal violence perpetration among males, to be administered by external evaluators.


Geographies Tested: Canada

Populations Included: Male

Age Range: Adults


General violence risk factors

  1. Past assault of family members
  2. Past assault of strangers or acquaintances
  3. Past violation of conditional release or community supervision
  4. Recent relationship problems
  5. Recent employment problems
  6. Victim of andor witness to family violence as a child or adolescent
  7. Recent substance abusedependence
  8. Recent suicidal or homicidal ideationintent
  9. Recent psychotic andor manic symptoms
  10. Personality disorder with anger impulsivity, or behavioral instability

Spousal violence risk factor

  1. Past physical assault
  2. Past sexual assaultsexual jealousy
  3. Past use of weapons andor credible threats of death
  4. Recent escalation in frequency or severity of assault
  5. Past violation of “no contact” orders
  6. Extreme minimization or denial of spousal assault history
  7. Attitudes that support or condone spousal assault
  8. Severe andor sexual assault (most recent incident)
  9. Use of weapons andor credible threats of death (most recent incident)
  10. Violation of “no contact” order (most recent incident)

Response Options:
Coded presence of 20 risk factors on a 3-point scale:
Absent - 0
Possibly or Partially Present - 1 Present - 2

Scoring Procedures

Total score is calculated by adding the individual item ratings, scores ranging from 0 to 40.

Original Citation

Kropp, P. R., & Hart, S. D. (2000). The Spousal Assault Risk Assessment (SARA) guide: Reliability and validity in adult male offenders. Law and human behavior, 24(1), 101-118.

Psychometric Score

Ease of Use Score

Scoring breakdown

Formative Research

Qualitative Research

Existing Literature/Theoretical Framework

Field Expert Input

Cognitive Interviews / Pilot Testing








Criterion (gold-standard)



Ease of Use


Scoring Clarity


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