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Stalking and Harassment Assessment and Risk Profile (1)
Frequently Asked Questions

SHARP 

How can I see what SHARP is?

We recommend that you do several test or practice cases to get familiar with SHARP. We also recommend you use SHARP to help others understand more about stalking, harassing, and threatening situations.

Where can I find SHARP?

www.CoerciveControl.org (click on the SHARP link)

What is SHARP?

The Stalking and Harassment Assessment and Risk Profile (SHARP) is a 43 item web-based assessment developed from the empirical research, clinical literature, stories from stalking victims, case studies, as well as feedback from victims, advocates, and other professionals in the field. SHARP provides an assessment of the “big picture” of the stalking situation. The conceptual framework for assessing stalking is based on three key components of stalking: (1) intentional course of conduct; (2) that causes fear, concern for safety, or other emotional distress; and (3) is unwanted. It also provides a situational risk profile that consists of 12 factors associated with a wide variety of harms including physical or sexual attack, harm to close others, ongoing and escalating stalking and harassment, and life sabotage. For the research on each component of the conceptual framework see Logan and Walker (2015 2).

Specifically the goals of SHARP include:

  1. To assess the big picture of the stalking situation examining the course of conduct, concern for safety, and unwantedness;
  2. To contextualize the person’s unique stalking situation and examine a wide range of potential harms; and,
  3. To educate about risks and offer safety suggestions.

 

How Does It Work?

The goals of SHARP are accomplished in two ways. First, users respond to 43 stalking situation questions in the web-based assessment. Second, based on how the 43 questions are answered two individually tailored narrative reports are developed. The first report provides a narrative of the stalking situation and the risk profile and the second report provides information about stalking risks and safety suggestions.

How was SHARP developed?

Every component of SHARP is informed by research as outlined in Logan and Walker (2015).2 Research on SHARP continues and funding is being sought to expand the research. Validation or validity of the tool in reaching its main goal as a tool for education has been gathered only anecdotally at this point. Validation for prediction has not and will not be done as prediction is not a goal of SHARP.

SHARP is a tool to help educate victims and others about stalking. It should only be used as a tool for that purpose. SHARP does not provide a score or a prediction but rather provides a description, based on how the questions are answered, of the stalking situation and a situational risk factor profile. These risk factors come from the research on stalking and are not weighted in any way. Whether or not one risk factor might be more important than another must be determined by the user who would have more detailed information about the situation. However, these 12 basic risk factors should be assessed in every case and should be considered in understanding the level of concern in a stalking situation.

SHARP has been piloted with a variety of professionals and victims. The tool has changed based on that feedback and recent rounds of feedback suggest that victims and professionals find the tool educational and useful for a variety of purposes. SHARP is in the second stages of piloting and is still in the feedback phase. To provide feedback you can fill out a short survey on the website

Confidentiality.

SHARP has multiple layers of security in place including: (1) the web-based access to SHARP is protected using HTTP Secure. HTTP Secure protects the data as it is transmitted between SHARP and the user’s web browser; (2) once the assessment is completed the user has 10 minutes to download and save the report. After those 10 minutes the report is deleted and it is no longer available. If a user does not save the report the only way for them to get it again would be to redo SHARP; (3) when a SHARP is submitted the information entered into the Offender Name/Initials/Nickname and the Victim Name/Initials/Nickname are encrypted and remain encrypted in our database. 128 bit AES is used for the encryption. (4) The webserver and data server running SHARP are maintained inside a locked-down facility with 24/7 monitoring and uninterruptable power supplies. The network infrastructure is constantly monitored for intrusions.

What if the SHARP narratives are not 100% accurate?

As with any assessment there is a balance between the time it takes to complete an assessment and perfect accuracy which means more questions and a longer assessment. Although the feedback we have received about SHARP suggests there is a relatively good level of accuracy, based on how the questions are answered some of the unique features of the cases will not be included.

We have two options to customize the initial SHARP narratives.

  • There are two open-ended questions at the end of SHARP that can be used to describe unique features of a case and unique safety concerns or recommendations. These comments will print out on each narrative.
  • The narratives can be downloaded to a personal computer and edited for accuracy and for added details.

What else do I need to know about SHARP?

  • The assessment will take about 15 minutes or longer depending on how long it takes to answer the questions. SHARP is only as good as the answers that are given in response to the questions. The accuracy of SHARP is dependent on the responses.
  • The SHARP assessment is a research-informed tool for increasing awareness of stalking, harassment, and threat and is designed to educate users about these situations. It is not designed to take the place of a person’s intuition or decision-making.
  • SHARP will not provide direction toward a specific action. SHARP is a tool that can be used, along with other tools, for ideas about what to consider in dealing with a harassing or stalking situation. Please see the Stalking Resource Center website for more information and resources about stalking (www.victimsofcrime.org/src).  
  • Once SHARP is completed, there are two narrative reports that are provided based on the responses to the questions. NOTE: If the reports are not saved there will be no way to get them other than to redo the assessment.

1) Created by TK Logan, Ph.D. Robert Walker, M.S.W., L.C.S.W., and Jeb Messer, B.A. (9/11/13). For more information contact TK Logan, tklogan@uky.edu.

2) Logan, T. & Walker, R. (2015). Stalking: A multidimensional framework for assessment and safety planning. Submitted for publication.