The WAVR-21 – Workplace Assessment of Violence Risk – is a 21-item coded instrument for the structured assessment of workplace and campus targeted violence risk. It is appropriate for assessing adults and students 18 years of age or older, including outsiders who may possibly pose a risk of harm to a member or members of an organization. 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 targeted violence risk in organizational settings.
The WAVR-21 consists of 19 static and dynamic violence risk factors, one protective factor (the buffers countering any violence risk), and an organizational impact factor; hence the name, “WAVR-21.” The item domains include psychological, behavioral, historical, and situational factors associated with workplace and campus violence, including intimate partner risk factors for violence.
The primary focus of the WAVR-21 is to assess the risk of workplace and campus-related 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 discernible process of thinking, behavior, and preparation. Several of the WAVR-21 factors incorporate this “pathway to violence” escalation dynamic.