The WAVR-21 – Workplace Assessment of Violence Risk – is a 21-item coded instrument for the structured assessment of workplace targeted violence risk. It is also applicable to students, 18 years of age or older in campus contexts. First published in 2007 by its co-developers, Drs. Stephen White and Reid Meloy, the WAVR-21 reflects the authors’ extensive case and forensic experience and a thorough review of the research literature. The WAVR is now in its third edition, published in 2016. The manual is written in an accessible style, with non-clinical users in mind, that they may gain a fundamental understanding of workplace violence risk.
The item domains of the WAVR include psychological, behavioral, historical, and situational factors associated with workplace violence, including intimate partner violence posing a threat to the workplace.
The primary focus of the WAVR-21 is to assess the risk of workplace targeted violence. A term originally coined by the behavioral scientists of the US Secret Service, targeted violence refers to situations in which an individual intentionally commits an act of violence against a pre-selected target, whether people or places. Also referred to as intended violence, these acts are potentially foreseeable, as they are the result of an understandable, evolving and often discernable process of thinking, behavior, and preparation. Several of the WAVR-21 factors incorporate this “pathway to violence” escalation dynamic.