More than 1,000 women and 300 men died in intimate-partner homicides across the U.S. in 2005, and of those victims, only 4 percent ever used domestic-violence services. In response, more than 50 Maryland police departments have implemented a screening program that helps officers identify domestic-violence victims at high risk of being killed. Officers ask victims 11 questions that include whether they have ever been threatened with a weapon, been choked or received death threats, and whether the abuser has access to a handgun. When a case shows a high risk of lethality, police talk to the victim about the danger, phone a counselor at the scene and encourage the victim to talk. The "lethality assessment" is based on a study by experts at John Hopkins University, in which cases of women killed or almost killed by husbands and boyfriends in 11 U.S. cities were examined and compared against other cases of abused women. Numbers from 2006 show that almost one in three of the 900 victims who spoke to a counselor on the scene of a domestic incident later showed up at a domestic-violence services agency for a protective order, shelter, counseling, support group or other service. To learn more about the program, visit