The tragic homicide of Lilie James on the St. Andrew’s Cathedral College has as soon as once more narrowed the collective consciousness of Australia on the rising epidemic of males murdering ladies.
The statistics are staggering. Previously 10 days, six ladies have been killed — 5 allegedly by violence inflicted upon them by males.
Certainly, for the reason that information of Lilie James’ dying hit the media, there have been two subsequent alleged murders.
The dynamics surrounding home homicide are multifactorial and complicated.
As a legal psychologist, I’ve examined and reported upon many offenders who’ve killed their companions and it’s clear that they possess quite a few frequent, persistent character traits.
Inevitably, regardless of their bravado, they’re insufficient males, with fragile egos.
Their sense of self is barely strengthened by means of the subordination of others and specifically, 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 ladies higher defend themselves and keep away from these doubtlessly homicidal relationships? There are a selection of constant crimson flags which emerge in the course of the course of their relationships.
These embody love bombing, the place upon assembly their potential associate, the girl is showered with affection, presents and intense consideration.
While this can be flattering, it might properly additionally sign extra insidious psychological forces working inside the male.
These people are usually quick movers by way of establishing the connection and as soon as this happens, a refined sample of escalating management develops.
This will embody coercive management, the place the male insists on understanding his associate’s whereabouts, makes an attempt to dam ongoing relationships with household and shut pals, and calls for rising unique time.
Objections to this are met with emotional withdrawal akin to silent remedy, denigration attacking an individual’s shallowness and finally, an escalating sample of violence which can contain breaking furnishings, artifacts after which assaulting the sufferer.
As a result of the sufferer has misplaced contact with exterior sources of help, they change into more and more vulnerable to one of these manipulation.
Gaslighting can be a well-liked software of management.
This includes the male denying the associate’s actuality, inflicting them to query their judgment and in excessive circumstances to query their sanity.
Different elements might embody substance use with alcohol and medicines impacting upon the offender’s judgment and impulse management, making it extra probably that they may act in a violent method.
While the conduct of the offender could seem “loopy,” they’re actually not mad however moderately, unhealthy.
They’re people who’re properly conscious of what they’re doing and the results 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 associate as a chattel, no totally different to the possession of a motorized vehicle, tv and different inanimate objects.
They change into threatened after which enraged by the thought that the particular person they’ve managed would select to go away 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 go away or in the course of the interval that they try to go away the connection.
At these occasions, ladies are in appreciable hazard.
There could be a sample of separation and reconciliation with the feminine associate being both suborned by the threats or seduced by their guarantees of modified conduct 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 associate Rowan Baxter, previous to him dousing her and the kids of the wedding with gas and setting them alight, demonstrates this dynamic. As within the case of Thijssen, Baxter then ended his life.
It’s clear that Paul Thijssen was decided to keep up management of the dynamics even after murdering Lilie James.
That is properly 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 Hole 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 circumstances I’ve reviewed, together with one case, the place the husband murdered his spouse and youngster earlier than killing himself.
As a remaining act of management past the grave, he requested that he be buried together with his household.
Tim Watson-Munro is a legal psychologist.