MOSAIC Method – Online Threat Assessment Tool

I saw an interesting segment on Oprah this week. One of the guests was Gavin de Becker, security expert and author of The Gift of Fear (a book I highly recommend). De Becker, who says that violent crimes against women are often predictable, preventable, and committed by someone the victim knows, has developed a new threat assessment tool called MOSAIC.

The MOSAIC method is a free, online assessment that, according to the website, works by “breaking a situation down factor-by-factor, like pieces of a puzzle, and then seeing what picture emerges when you put them together. MOSAIC helps the assessor weigh the present situation in light of expert opinion and research, and instantly compare the present situation to past cases where the outcomes are known.”

There are several types of situations that MOSAIC can assess: Domestic Violence (by a male or female), Workplace Violence, Threat by a Student, Threats to Public Figures, or Threats to Judicial Figures. The Domestic Violence assessment is the only one that is available to the general public; the other assessments have restricted access.

MOSAIC’s Domestic Violence assessment is easy to use. You simply log onto the site and answer 48 questions, which takes about 30 minutes. Based on the answers, MOSAIC assesses the likelihood that violence will escalate and rates that threat on a scale of 1 to 10, with 10 being the greatest potential for violence. The site is highly secure, with many prompts that suggest ways to keep your information safe and private.

If you or someone you know is in any kind of abusive situation, I highly recommend using this tool to assess the potential for violence. Too many people fall victim to relationship violence because they deny or don’t understand the potential for serious harm. MOSAIC can help paint the bigger picture, and that may provide the wake-up call that saves your life or the life of someone you love.

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If you or a loved one need help, please contact the National Domestic Violence  Hotline ( on the web or call 1-800-799-SAFE (7233).



  1. My sister (42) has been estranged from our family and her friends since marrying her husband 7 years ago. What tools are there for us to get her some help from her controlling husband. We don’t know much about him or about their relationship since she has been cut off.

    I would deeply appreciate some guidance!!!
    Thank you!

    • That sounds like a dreadful situation. One of the ways abusers succeed is by isolating their victims and cutting them off (or getting victims to cut themselves off) from friends and family. I highly recommend contacting the National Domestic Violence Hotline ( on the web or call 1-800-799-SAFE (7233). I imagine they would be able to offer you some guidance about steps you can take. Good luck!

  2. I had a toxic relationship where I always chased after him and it resulted in a broken collar bone and a skull fracture/hematoma in my brain because of a wreck. I was mad, it was raining (made it slick), and drinking behind the wheel.

    • I read this book several years ago when in an abusive relationship. It is a wonderful book and should be read by EVERYONE, not just those in an abusive relationship. It made me much more aware of the twisted dynamics of my relationship and better able to get myself free of it. I am so much better off now than I was then, and The Gift of Fear was a big help.

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