The tragic murder of Lilie James at the St Andrew’s Cathedral College has the moment all over again narrowed the collective consciousness of Australia on the mounting epidemic of men murdering girls.
The stats are staggering. In the earlier 10 times, 6 girls have been killed — 5 allegedly by violence inflicted on them by adult men.
In truth, since the news of Lilie James’ demise strike the media, there have been two subsequent alleged murders.
The dynamics encompassing domestic murder are multifactorial and elaborate.
As a legal psychologist, I have examined and documented on many offenders who have killed their partners and it is obvious that they possess a variety of widespread, persistent personality qualities.
Inevitably, despite their bravado, they are inadequate guys, with fragile egos.
Their perception of self is only strengthened through the subordination of other individuals and in specific, their female companions.
Any issues to this authority are noticed as a danger and with the passage of time can guide to a sample of physical and psychological violence, culminating in murder.
How can gals far better safeguard by themselves and keep away from these probably homicidal interactions? There are a quantity of constant crimson flags which emerge for the duration of the program of their associations.
These involve appreciate bombing, the place upon assembly their prospective lover, the girl is showered with affection, items and intensive notice.
Even though this could be flattering, it may well properly also sign more insidious psychological forces operating in the male.
These individuals are likely to be rapidly movers in conditions of establishing the relationship and once this occurs, a subtle pattern of escalating regulate develops.
This may possibly involve coercive handle, in which the male insists on figuring out his partner’s whereabouts, makes an attempt to block ongoing relationships with family and near close friends, and calls for increasing exclusive time.
Objections to this are fulfilled with psychological withdrawal this kind of as silent therapy, denigration attacking a person’s self-esteem and at some point, an escalating pattern of violence which may well entail breaking furnishings, artifacts and then assaulting the target.
Because the victim has lost make contact with with external resources of support, they grow to be increasingly vulnerable to this sort of manipulation.
Gaslighting is also a well-known tool of management.
This consists of the male denying the partner’s truth, triggering them to concern their judgment and in severe conditions to concern their sanity.
Other components may contain compound use with alcoholic beverages and prescription drugs impacting on the offender’s judgment and impulse command, making it a lot more probable that they will act in a violent manner.
Whilst the behavior of the offender may appear to be “crazy”, they are in simple fact not mad but relatively, undesirable.
They are men and women who are nicely aware of what they are performing and the repercussions of their steps and as the murder of Lilie James plainly shown, there may well be sizeable forward arranging forward of the crime.
By this stage, the offender has come to look at his associate as a chattel, no distinct to the possession of a motor motor vehicle, tv and other inanimate objects.
They turn out to be threatened and then enraged by the considered that the man or woman they have managed would pick out to go away the marriage.
This potential customers to genuine threats to their individual feeling of masculinity and superiority.
For that reason, the time of greatest hazard of murder for the probable victim is when they depart or during the period that they endeavor to depart the connection.
At these moments, women are in sizeable hazard.
There may possibly properly be a pattern of separation and reconciliation with the female companion staying both suborned by the threats or seduced by their guarantees of changed conduct and undying love.
Inevitably, the pattern of abuse returns main to separation and likely homicide.
The tragic circumstance of Hannah Clarke, who was stalked by her former companion Rowan Baxter, prior to him dousing her and the youngsters of the relationship with gas and location them alight, demonstrates this dynamic. As in the case of Thijssen, Baxter then ended his daily life.
It is apparent that Paul Thijssen was identified to maintain management of the dynamics even following murdering Lilie James.
This is very well amplified in him using the deceased cellular cellular phone to textual content her loved ones with a request to obtain her from the school.
He then used some hrs close to The Gap at Vaucluse, advising the law enforcement as to what experienced transpired ahead of evidently meeting his demise.
This pattern of management has been evidenced in other circumstances I have reviewed, which include just one situation, where the spouse murdered his wife and child ahead of killing himself.
As a last act of command further than the grave, he asked for that he be buried with his loved ones.
Tim Watson-Munro is a legal psychologist.