The tragic homicide of Lilie James on the St Andrew’s Cathedral School has as soon as once more narrowed the collective consciousness of Australia on the rising epidemic of males murdering girls.
The statistics are staggering. In the previous 10 days, six girls have been killed — 5 allegedly by violence inflicted upon them by males.
Indeed, for the reason that information of Lilie James’ dying hit the media, there have been two subsequent alleged murders.
The dynamics surrounding domestic murder are multifactorial and sophisticated.
As a felony psychologist, I’ve examined and reported upon many offenders who’ve killed their companions and it’s clear that they possess plenty of widespread, persistent persona traits.
Inevitably, regardless of their bravado, they’re insufficient males, with fragile egos.
Their sense of self is just strengthened by the subordination of others and particularly, their feminine companions.
Any challenges to this authority are seen as a menace and with the passage of time can result in a sample of bodily and psychological violence, culminating in homicide.
How can girls higher defend themselves and keep away from these doubtlessly homicidal relationships? There are plenty of consistent red flags which emerge in the course of the course of their relationships.
These embrace love bombing, the place upon assembly their potential accomplice, the girl is showered with affection, items and intense consideration.
Whilst this can be flattering, it might effectively additionally sign extra insidious psychological forces working inside the male.
These people are typically quick movers by way of establishing the connection and as soon as this happens, a delicate sample of escalating management develops.
This could embrace coercive management, the place the male insists on realizing his accomplice’s whereabouts, makes an attempt to dam ongoing relationships with household and shut pals, and calls for growing unique time.
Objections to this are met with emotional withdrawal equivalent to silent therapy, denigration attacking an individual’s vanity and ultimately, an escalating sample of violence which can contain breaking furnishings, artifacts after which assaulting the sufferer.
Because the sufferer has misplaced contact with exterior sources of assist, they turn into more and more inclined to this sort of manipulation.
Gaslighting can be a well-liked software of management.
This entails the male denying the accomplice’s actuality, inflicting them to query their judgment and in excessive instances to query their sanity.
Other elements could embrace substance use with alcohol and medicines impacting upon the offender’s judgment and impulse management, making it extra doubtless that they are going to act in a violent method.
Whilst the habits of the offender could appear “loopy”, they’re actually not mad however reasonably, dangerous.
They are people who’re effectively conscious of what they’re doing and the implications of their actions and because the homicide of Lilie James clearly demonstrated, there could also be appreciable ahead planning forward of the crime.
By this stage, the offender has come to view his accomplice as a chattel, no completely different to the possession of a motorized vehicle, tv and different inanimate objects.
They turn into threatened after which enraged by the thought that the particular person they’ve managed would select to depart the connection.
This results in real threats to their very own sense of masculinity and superiority.
Consequently, the time of highest threat of murder for the potential sufferer is once they depart or in the course of the interval that they try to depart the connection.
At these occasions, girls are in appreciable hazard.
There could be a sample of separation and reconciliation with the feminine accomplice being both suborned by the threats or seduced by their guarantees of modified habits and timeless love.
Inevitably, the sample of abuse returns resulting in separation and potential murder.
The tragic case of Hannah Clarke, who was stalked by her former accomplice Rowan Baxter, previous to him dousing her and the kids of the wedding with gasoline and setting them alight, demonstrates this dynamic. As within the case of Thijssen, Baxter then ended his life.
It is evident that Paul Thijssen was decided to take care of management of the dynamics even after murdering Lilie James.
This is effectively amplified in him utilizing the deceased cell phone to textual content her household with a request to gather her from the college.
He then spent some hours near The Gap at Vaucluse, advising the police as to what had occurred earlier than evidently assembly his dying.
This sample of management has been evidenced in different instances I’ve reviewed, together with one case, the place the husband murdered his spouse and baby earlier than killing himself.
As a closing act of management past the grave, he requested that he be buried together with his household.
Tim Watson-Munro is a felony psychologist.