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This book could stop domestic homicide A horrifying compendium of abuse identifies patterns of deadly violence

During lockdown, calls to domestic abuse helplines have risen by 66%


March 8, 2021   5 mins

The thing about domestic homicides is that you can always see them coming. There is a pattern of coercive and controlling behaviour consistently adopted by abusive men towards female partners that always begins with love-bombing and, if left unchecked, ends in murder.

A woman is killed by her partner or ex-partner every four days in the UK. And the myth persists that these murders are spontaneous — just the result of two people having a fight and one of them ending up dead. But, as renowned criminologist Professor Jane Monckton-Smith makes clear in her new book, In Control: Dangerous Relationships and How They End in Murder: “They are the most predictable homicides, which is why we can and should be preventing them.”

To prove her point, Monckton-Smith has developed a method for detecting and intervening in these relationships. According to her eight-stage time-line, the escalation of risk can be tracked and halted before it reaches a deadly conclusion.

She formulated the model during a research project based on 400 intimate partner homicides. Drilling down into each of these cases, she realised they all played out in the same way — even the four incidences of women killing men. When published, her research was naturally greeted with a frenzy of enthusiasm and attention so she decided to develop it into a book.

In Control is a devastating read. It opens with as powerful and heart-breaking an account of the complexity and deadliness of domestic violence as I can remember reading. It is a story from the author’s early days in the police service, an account of her attending the scene of a “domestic”. Monckton-Smith arrives to help a young woman who had been hit on the head with a lump hammer. “Her boyfriend – her assailant – had fled the scene before any of us arrived. The woman was simply gazing at the floor, quiet and very still. There was blood trickling down the back of her neck and onto the carpet.” Despite her serious injuries, the woman refused to go to hospital.

It left me in tears, keen to know what had pushed Monckton-Smith to submerge herself in the horrifying details of these hundreds of homicides. “Anger,” she tells me.

After joining and leaving the police service, and fronting a heavy metal band for a decade, she then went back to school. “That’s when I started studying criminology,” she tells me. “And that’s when I started getting angry.”

Focusing on male violence while studying for her PhD, Monckton-Smith read the work of feminist criminologists such as Sue Lees, whose work exposed the misogyny within the criminal justice system. But it was meeting Frank Mullane, the CEO of Advocacy After Fatal Abuse, whose sister and nephew Julia and William Pemberton were killed by her former husband in 2003, that led Monckton-Smith to focus on domestic homicide.

“Frank took me to meet a family where the mother had been decapitated in front of her children,” she says. “Every single one of the stories I heard when we visited these families had a ring of ‘I’ve heard this before’. Things that hardly ever came up in court, such as his controlling behaviour, such as how she wasn’t allowed to have the lights on, or how he always had to know where she was.”

From there, she went on to develop her now widely-taught forensic model for the identification of domestic abuse. But she isn’t your conventional academic. She prefers her work to be read by those outside of the elite institutions rather than churn out papers for academic journals. But even though this work isn’t gathering dust on university library shelves, there are certain of her colleagues who are dismissive.

“Am I looked down on by some academics? Oh yes!”, she says, describing one conference at which she was presenting a paper on violence against women. “Some male academics were sneering at me, saying that my work was ‘voyeuristic’ and that there wasn’t a proper academic angle. So I thought, ‘Right, fuck you, I am going to give this the forensic attention that it deserves’. It made me realise how dismissive some people are of women being killed.”

Her book is neither academic nor voyeuristic. It is one of the most important books on abuse you will read, detailing each of the eight stages from first inkling to murder. It starts with the best advice that you can give a woman at the beginning of a relationship: “Don’t ignore what his ex said just because he says that she’s lying.”

These men are a type, says Monckton-Smith. It is not a crime of passion and they do not “just snap”. We can often predict how things are going to go by looking at his history. So any allegations of abuse in previous relationships, or any criminal records should set alarm bells ringing. This is stage one of the eight.

Stage two, she says is the abuser pushing for a commitment from his victim, such as a baby or moving in together. “Once they’ve got that commitment, it’s written in blood as far as they’re concerned,” says Monckton-Smith. “When they say, ‘You’re mine’, it can sound romantic. But what he is saying is, ‘I own you and you can never leave me’.”

By stage three, the abuser begins in earnest to create a situation where the woman would find it almost impossible to leave. At this point, coercive control at different levels is happening in practically every case. At stage four, he feels his control slipping. This happens almost always when the victim leaves or attempts to leave the relationship. This morphs into stage five, during which he will escalate the abuse in order to regain control.

“If she has left him, this is where the stalking comes in,” says Monckton-Smith. “There may be more threats of suicide, more acts of coercive control.” Or the perpetrator may decide to go back to stage one and love-bomb her in an attempt to remind her of how things were, or he could circle back to stage three and reassert his control.

“Stages three, four and five can be revisited over and over again for years,” she says. “Alternatively, he moves on to stage six, which is where the real danger of homicide begins.”

Stage six is when the perpetrator will decide how he is going to resolve things, having decided he may not regain control unless he kills her. If this is his decision, stage seven is the planning stage. “Some plan for months, years even, others for a few hours, but the important lesson to learn is that they do plan,” says Monckton-Smith.

The homicide is the eighth and final stage: “It is rare they fail. Forget what you hear about how he ‘just snapped’, that’s bullshit.”

Despite its harrowing subject matter, In Control is very readable and extremely accessible. She brings the eight stages to life using real case histories — interviews, police files and court documents — to highlight the methods and motives of the killers.

‘Vincent’ is one such murderer. “Vincent is ordinary,” writes Monckton-Smith. “He has never sought to be otherwise. His three-bedroom semi-detached house on a pleasant urban street 
 is well maintained, as is his ageing four-door estate car – precious emblems of the life he considered any man could expect. He claimed his entitlements and nothing more.”

Vincent stabbed his wife, Donna, 38 times because she had planned to leave him. He wasn’t usually a physically violent man, but he did control the movements and behaviour of Donna and their children. According to Monckton-Smith, who visited him in prison, Vincent saw himself as the victim. “He is not unlike so many of the other men I looked at.”

Monckton-Smith brings Donna, and all the other dead women in this book back to life with respectful scrutiny as she tells their stories with the help of 999 calls and the recollections of family members. She pores over medical records, text messages, social media and letters written by the victims that describe their abuse. She allows their cries for help to be finally heard.

Monckon-Smith says wants this book to save lives. “I don’t want people saying, ‘Oh, he was really jealous’ or ‘He was depressed, isn’t it awful?’ I want them to be saying, ‘Why wasn’t it recognised before? Why didn’t somebody say something? Why wasn’t this stopped?’”

After a year of lockdown, during which calls to helplines have risen significantly and household tensions have been unescapable, this book is more important than ever. If people hear these dead women’s stories, if people learn from them, then maybe others will be spared a similar fate. For until these domestic deaths are seen as the cold-blooded murders they are, the morgues will continue to fill with the bodies of women who could — and should — have been saved.


Julie Bindel is an investigative journalist, author, and feminist campaigner. Her latest book is Feminism for Women: The Real Route to Liberation. She also writes on Substack.

bindelj

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Andrew Anderson
Andrew Anderson
3 years ago

Those are carping comments. I don’t think the author thinks she’s cracked the problem once and for all, or is arguing that every single life will be spared, merely that there’s a framework, a guideline, that could be used to prevent many of them. Isn’t that an awful lot better than nothing? I can imagine it being used by the police, social services, the NHS, not to mention friends, relations, colleagues and neighbours. If it’s true that these awful crimes don’t come out the blue, that they’re planned, it makes it easier to prevent them, doesn’t it?
As for ending all homicides, I’m sure this is lame sarcasm, but let’s not make the perfect the enemy of the good.

mike otter
mike otter
3 years ago

I agree about the carping comments but really cannot imagine the 8 stage framework being used by police, social or NHS services. I expect it is too complicated for most of their staff, they don’t have the resources and in any case without “penny dreadful” domestic murders what would the newspapers and court services have to gawk at?

Christopher Wheatley
Christopher Wheatley
3 years ago
Reply to  mike otter

Agree with you. There are literally thousands of issues of domestic violence every year and almost none lead to murder.

Joe Blow
Joe Blow
3 years ago

I wonder what the false-positive rate is for this “framework”?
How many people have criminal records? How many of those go on to commit murder? So, not a great warning sign.
How many people with a criminal record look for “a commitment” after starting a relationship? My guess? This criterion has a predictive value of about zero.
This is not carping, or dismissing what sounds like a grim study. But the trouble with “models” constructed purely from ‘positive’ cases is that they tend to be awash with criteria that apply equally to ‘negative’ cases.

Last edited 3 years ago by Joe Blow
Jennifer Britton
Jennifer Britton
3 years ago

The operative word in these toxic relationship scenarios is “control.” To the perpetrators of deadly domestic violence, control of the home, especially the eventual victim and any children, is required. And mounting levels of punishment for violations of “house rules” aim at total control: mind, body, and soul. People with control issues are easily recognizable if one knows what to look for. Young people would do well to learn the signs, many of which appear as concern but signal control.

Lucille Hughes
Lucille Hughes
3 years ago

Jess Hill’s See what you made me do is also a great resource. I worked at a women’s helpline for 5 years and welcome any work which drills down into this phenomenon. One caller said ‘Why do they do it?’ She had been married for 40 years to a prominent citizen who beat and abused her in secret. She hadn’t told anyone before because she wanted to protect the family’s reputation for the sake of her children. Why indeed.

Caroline Galwey
Caroline Galwey
3 years ago
Reply to  Lucille Hughes

And Lundy Bancroft’s Why Does He Do That?

Joe Blow
Joe Blow
3 years ago

This is not a comment dismissing the article or the work it describes. If you think it is, you have failed to understand.
Bindel writes that “…formulated the model during a research project based on 400 intimate partner homicides. Drilling down into each of these cases, she realised they all played out in the same way — even the four incidences of women killing men.”
OK, so that gives us a potentially useful hypothesis about a predictive pattern. It does NOT establish that the pattern is predictive. That requires more research – a new dataset. Take a sample of (say) 400 couples, look for the dubious patterns, and watch. Does the progression actually occur? If not, the model is bunk.
Crude analogy: look at every single serious heroine addict in the UK. Look closely. Every single one of them ate baked beans. Probably on toast. Clearly a pattern? Well, yes. But predictive?

Last edited 3 years ago by Joe Blow
Chauncey Gardiner
Chauncey Gardiner
3 years ago
Reply to  Joe Blow

Joe —
Thanks for the comment. Let me see if I can construct where you’re going.
As we understand it, the research works out of a dataset of 400 homicides. We discern a pattern in these data. One question might whether or not these homicides encompass a representative sample (or even the universe within some time frame) of homicides involving people engaged in important domestic relationships. There may be a host of homicides that unfold in a manner distinct from the eight-stage hypothesis. That’s one point. Another matter would involve looking at a representative sample domestic relationships. Does the pattern bear out in some share of these other relationships — absent “stage eight” homicide? How many relationships carry on indefinitely in some intermediate stage?
Let’s suppose one has access to a dataset of a representative sample of domestic relationships. What kind of analysis might we do? Off the top of my head: Analyze the duration of relationships. Relationships can end in various: a person leaves and runs off with the DHL delivery man; a person gets hit be a city bus and dies; one partner kills the other. So, exit can be endogenous (someone leaves on his or her own accord; murder) or exogenous (city bus accident). We’d like to get a hold of exogenous factors — some type of personality indicators, say?
An ambitious project. It makes research on “school choice” (in the United States) look easy. Ideally, the school choice experiment would be what?: assign kids randomly to the public schools (schools run by the state) and to private schools, and see how everyone fares. The best the can do, however, is examine kids who attempted to get in to private schools by lottery. The best research tracks those lottery winners who did attend private schools and those lottery losers who ended up in public school Those kids demonstrated important self-selection (their parents chose to put them in the lotteries), so we’re not looking at a random sample of kids. But we can at least get away from comparing lottery winners from those kids whose parents would never have self-selected in to the lottery in the first place.

Matthew Powell
Matthew Powell
3 years ago

These are appalling crimes but are these stages well defined enough to be of any use?

If you cast your net wide enough every toxic relationship becomes a potential murder case but how do you distinguish the real threats, from the thousands of ones which are just terrible relationships, often between damaged individuals?

We have the same issue with policing potential terror threats. If every angry individual who posted ill defined threats online was imprisoned, we’d have gulags in this country.

Sadly there are no easy answers on where the line between protecting the individual and falsely imprisoning or punishing the innocent begins and that is the tragic problem that we face, that anger alone cannot surmount.

Last edited 3 years ago by Matthew Powell
Karen Lindquist
Karen Lindquist
3 years ago
Reply to  Matthew Powell

I was in a relationship for ten years that followed exactly these stages as described. It is actually quite telling how much they follow an escalating course.
And for those who don’t understand why the women (or in some cases, the men) don’t leave, there are a few, but they are also generally the same in most cases.
The types of sociopath/psychopath that ends up murdering their partner is generally good at finding just the right type of partner: someone who is very empathic and caring and who will not just pick up and run when the abuser starts the psychological campaign of apologizing and love bombing repeatedly, as well as playing on their sympathies for why the abuser needs their love.
The abused partner is also intertwined, either by living arrangements or by kids, and is often financially twisted up with this cunning person who has already set it up so they cannot easily just go.
What isn’t mentioned here is that is is also common for the abuser to isolate the victim from their friends and family. Mine waged a strong campaign about those people didn’t really love me. And sadly, it felt true because those people had backed away knowing I was in an abusive relationship and didn’t know how to react. Which is why a book like this is actually quite important. People need to see the signs and not abandon a loved one who is trapped in this situation.
One big problem is that abused partners often won’t press charges during initial stages. I didn’t. My partner almost suffocated me to death. I was in shock and so ashamed that i didn’t want to cement my newfound status of “abuse victim” in court records. It feels so shameful.
I would be curious to know if mandatory laws that force police to arrest someone if there is a violent domestic abuse call have any effect or not.

Simon Newman
Simon Newman
3 years ago

Very good post Karen.

Jennifer Britton
Jennifer Britton
3 years ago

Based on your description of your experiences and what Is in the column, it seems that the victims of controlling partners tend to be caring and unusually sympathetic to others’ needs, not liable to stick up for their own needs, weak sense of self, and naive as to others’ intentions. This constellation of traits makes one quite susceptible to controlling personalities. Perhaps as part of anti- bullying programs, public schools should address with their high school students how to spot the more subtle bullying behaviors of adults with controlling behaviors.

Glyn Jones
Glyn Jones
3 years ago

This is a real issue but the big question is how do you intervene to stop it getting that far?
The current system is not working.
Nearly two years ago my partners ex-husband attacked us with a hammer. after a 999 call the police came and he was arrested. The CPS took 3 months to decide whether to prosecute him. When they did they went for a lower charge (Assault – max sentence 6 months) than they could have (the Police wanted Affray – max 3 years). we only found that out a week before the trial when it was too late to object.
In that period her car tyres were punctured 3 times and we had to install CCTV at her house. We also spent thousands on lawyers to get a Non Molestation Order in place (fortunate that we could fund the lawyers – in the process we met several ladies who couldn’t and were trying to navigate the process themselves).
It then took another 2 months for the case to come to court. He was convicted on 3 counts of Assault (me, her and their 9 year old daughter). He was sentenced to 6 months on each charge (the maximum). However, to be served concurrently and therefore, with standard procedures) he served 13 weeks in prison. When he was released (which we could not be told when as it would breach his data protection rights) she was terrified to go out in her home town.
We then spent nearly another year (and many thousands of pounds) to force him to undergo treatment before being allowed to have access to their children (he started a court case for access). He currently has supervised (by his sister) access to the children. Obviously still a very concerning situation.
We are no longer an item (other reasons but this didn’t help) but I am still very concerned that something else could happen.
What should the system do to protect her?

Phil Mac
Phil Mac
3 years ago
Reply to  Glyn Jones

The law has no useful process for a situation such as this.
I saw an early stage of such a relationship happening to my daughter and made sure it ended for good before it could escalate. Happily that was done through peaceful means but I knew from the start the law would not have been any help. Indeed, probably quite the opposite.

Jane Purcell
Jane Purcell
2 years ago
Reply to  Phil Mac

Phil, good for you for noticing and stepping in. Can I ask, how did you persuade your daughter?

Chauncey Gardiner
Chauncey Gardiner
3 years ago
Reply to  Glyn Jones

Tough issues. Can we really operationalize a scheme by which government can swoop in and impose some type of drastic intervention? A state that can pluck people out of the crowd and impose treatments (?) or incarcerate people (?) or get people committed to an institution (much the same as incarceration) is a frightening prospect.

Alex Camm
Alex Camm
3 years ago

As someone who worked in the field of Child Protection for 40 years and did a research degree into the prediction of abuse I can assure you there are no simple tick box exercises that identify or predict outcomes accurately. The idea that that there are simple straightforward methods of risk assessment is naive.
There is a parallel to the use of covid tests here, they are each prone to create many false positives that can create more problems than they solve.
Common factors in abuse have been available to professionals for a number of years as indicators not predictors. Any body who uses them as the latter should not be in practice they simply have not understood the complexity of the problem.

Scott Allan
Scott Allan
3 years ago

Once again this Femanazi leaves out the real statistics:
There is equal chance of both men and women being victims of domestic violence. In every credible study the ratio of men vs women has never been lower than 31:69. Roughly one third vs two thirds. However, the notes of these credible studies (As apposed to Femanazi propaganda pamphlets) state the fact that they note 97% of men would not attempt to complain because they have been told by police that they do not take these complaints. Why? “Because it may discourage women from making complaints”. This is the official UK police policy on domestic violence against recording and prosecuting vexatious complaints of violence and sexual violence made by women against men.
Controlling behaviour is an element of domestic violence and is used more by women than men. Especially threats of vexatious complaints.
The common tactic used to criminalise men has been to erode the presumption of innocence. Re-define actual harm to implied hurt feelings and alter the test of guilt from “beyond reasonable doubt” to “on the balance of probabilities” (Also known as the 50/50 test).
Whilst these are the main ones the wish list for the future includes that an accused is not allowed to know the identity of his accuser and a third party is appointed to conduct the accusation on their behalf, therefore denying the facing of your accuser in court.
I do not know what this woman’s damage is but every article she pens is open attack on men.
All responsible community minded people want to work to reduce domestic violence. But if we are not to have an honest conversation about it then no real progress can be made.
Things Julie will never tell you about Domestic Violence;

  1. The group with double the national average of domestic violence is lesbians. Woman on Woman violence. How can this be? According to Julie women are so naturally innocent and absent of any violent tendencies.
  2. Married women are three times less likely to be a victim of domestic violence.
  3. Women who grew up with a father in the home are times less likely to be a victim of domestic violence.

Everything that Julie spews is an attack on the traditional family by furthering the destructive narrative that men are oppressors of women historically (The patriarchy myth). If this were true then these facts could not be true:
Children without a father:
5 times more likely to live in poverty and/or have child out of wedlock, 9 times more likely not to drop out of high school, 11 times more likely to develop a mental illness, 18 times more likely to be sexually exploited (9 out of 10 girls) and 20 times more likely to be incarcerated (9 out of 10 boys). (Source: Barack Obama)
Julie is a profiteer of pushing for the destruction of the traditional family. Her whole livelihood is built on the back of convincing women of the Femanazi narrative that leads to sexual exploitation of mainly women and incarceration of men. These are two lucrative industries. I wonder if she is on commission or salary?
The key contributors for stability and happiness for both women and men:

  1. Graduate high school
  2. Do not have a child out of wedlock

These two actions within the agency of every person contribute to the life success of families. It does not guarantee happiness but gives a greater chance.
The natural ally of Women for the past 5000 years of civilisation is Man.
Def Ally: combine or unite a resource or commodity with (another) for mutual benefit.

Simon Newman
Simon Newman
3 years ago

There is at least impliedly the important point that these are not normal men who ‘just snap’. This form of partner murder is primarily a male on female crime, and the behaviour patterns do relate tangentially to some healthy masculine traits, but it is abnormal and there are empirically detectable behaviour patterns leading up to it.
Still “then maybe others will be spared a similar fate” – I’m not sure how we get to this. Obviously we can stop these (mostly) men killing *again* by treating their crime seriously & not letting them out of jail. The article did not give any practical suggestions for stopping first-time killers. And hopefully Bindel does not want to pathologise all assertive masculinity – the very thing many women find attractive in a potential mate.

Last edited 3 years ago by Simon Newman
Laura Creighton
Laura Creighton
3 years ago
Reply to  Simon Newman

There are steps which you can take as a man who has issues about controlling others, which can keep you from becoming one of these people who end up thinking that it would be ‘better that she be dead than out of my control’. Most men who end up there didn’t start with this as a possible goal, indeed most of them are themselves abused souls who at one time thought that the only true thing they know about themselves is that they could never abuse another the way that they were abused.
But, of course, the first step there is recognising that the potential problem exists, long before you get to the place of no return. It is possible — at least for many people, some may be beyond help — to learn to not be controlling. But you first have to understand that your desire to control other people is a problem, and then decide to do something about it. For many people these two things never happen.

crispletters
crispletters
3 years ago

A reasoned approach to murder,that clarifies patterns of behaviour by the perpetrator.Sounds very useful to me.Also I recognise those patterns. It’s a deal I will go along with Moncton Smiths formula. It could save lives,it could prevent huge amounts of suffering.That would be a good thing.

Joe Blow
Joe Blow
3 years ago
Reply to  crispletters

How do you envisage this being used?

Chauncey Gardiner
Chauncey Gardiner
3 years ago
Reply to  Joe Blow

We set up a Star Chamber and organize public executions. Easy.

Chris Milburn
Chris Milburn
3 years ago

It’s always easy to fix problems with a retrospectroscope. In reality though, one must look at the characteristics of relationships TODAY and work forward, and see if the models hold. How many thousands and thousands of other relationships had the same toxic characteristics as the ones that ended with homicide? How predictive are these characteristics? Retrospective analysis always seems conclusive.

D Ward
D Ward
3 years ago

Is homicide what we used to call murder in the old days?

Richard Gipps
Richard Gipps
3 years ago
Reply to  D Ward

I guess the point is to also try and predict such homicides as don’t count as murder – e.g. manslaughter with diminished responsibility. (Homicide also includes much else beyond murder and manslaughter, e.g. euthanasia, killing in war etc.)

Steve Hall
Steve Hall
3 years ago

Monckton-Smith’s observations are quite telling, but there is no control group. How do we know how many relationships exist where indicators of these stages appear to be evident but do not lead to abuse or murder? Failure to establish this would not only send agents of intervention on a wild goose chase but justify intrusion into large numbers of relationships and be open to abuse by calumniators looking to incriminate partners. A suitable control group could alert researchers to subtle nuances able to differentiate between the behaviours likely or unlikely to lead to high-harm violence or murder.

William Shaw
William Shaw
2 years ago
Reply to  Steve Hall

It’s an excellent point. We have evidence selected to support a chosen outcome. The only cases on which the theory is based are ones that lead to the pre-determined answer. The control group that you propose might well be orders of magnitude greater in number. As a successful PhD candidate the author must realise her thesis falls short of the expected level of rigour.

Tim Knight
Tim Knight
3 years ago

When can we expect your book Julie?

Margaret Donaldson
Margaret Donaldson
3 years ago

There should be several copies of this book in every women’s refuge. Or at least a weekly talk. At least the women could then think about their situation for themselves away from their partner in safety.

Ian French
Ian French
3 years ago

There are a lot o people (men noticeably) pontificating on here who clearly have no knowledge of the subject or existence of these intervention groups. Such groups often manage to break the cycle of abuse, an otherwise repeating nonsensical pattern of events for the receiver. True people, (at all social levels) may well contribute factors to their own abuse: from background and life choices, but they do not deserve blaming and dismissing out of hand for what happens to them, especially should they end up murdered. Adding to the sum of understanding of this subject can only improve matters that, until recently, have been ignored or worse still hidden from history as someone once said.

Chauncey Gardiner
Chauncey Gardiner
3 years ago

I’ve appreciated the comments out here. It’s hard not to see that the problem of domestic violence is hard to police, whether it involve spouses, partners, or children. Basically: Can we effectively outlaw and police bad relationships? Can we empower the authorities to swoop in and incarcerate people or take children away from their parents? Do we really want to empower the authorities to swoop and haul people away? Imagine how that could be abused.

Christopher Wheatley
Christopher Wheatley
3 years ago

I’ve read this a couple of times and I’m a little confused. There is only one mention of domestic violence. Does this mean:
1) Domestic violence is like a safety valve and, therefore, does not tend to lead to homicide, or
2) Domestic violence is just one of the coercion methods and doesn’t count as special.
The account seems to suggest that domestic violence on a regular basis just happens and is not part of the long-term plot??

Last edited 3 years ago by Christopher Wheatley
younbe75
younbe75
3 years ago

I would assume that not all domestic violence leads to murder, but if it’s part of a pattern of controlling, obsessive behaviour then it is a strong warning signal of a potential murder.

Simon Newman
Simon Newman
3 years ago
Reply to  younbe75

I guess there is a difference between Ike & Tina Brown hitting each other, and purely one-way violence of control? I’m not sure Bindel would agree though.

Ian Perkins
Ian Perkins
3 years ago

What on earth do you mean? The article’s about domestic homicides. Do you consider homicides non-violent?

Last edited 3 years ago by Ian Perkins
Christopher Wheatley
Christopher Wheatley
3 years ago
Reply to  Ian Perkins

What on earth do you mean? I know from statistics published every year that the police force in my area has domestic violence at the very top of the list of crimes. There are thousands of cases of domestic violence but I don’t believe that a single one has led to murder.
I am asking a sensible question. If A hits B every day, does this mean that we expect homicide to occur. Statistically, the answer is clearly, ‘No’. So the article is just confused and confusing.

Ian Perkins
Ian Perkins
3 years ago

The article is clearly and explicitly about domestic homicides.
If you feel an article about domestic violence in general is needed, why not write one, instead of expecting Bindel to write what you want to read?

Joe Blow
Joe Blow
3 years ago
Reply to  Ian Perkins

I think, Ian, that it is you that is missing the point. I believe that Christopher is pointing out that most DV cases – bad as they are – do not lead to murder. Therefore they have almost no predictive value if the focus is ‘murder avoidance.’
You say that “The article is clearly and explicitly about domestic homicides”, which it is, but it is presented as a model of progression that might have some predictive value. Therefore Christopher’s question is entirely legitimate and relevant.

Last edited 3 years ago by Joe Blow
jetpac76
jetpac76
3 years ago

Why are these arguments presented almost entirely one sided against men? I’d be interested to know the figures whereby men commit suicide due to being in a relationship with a controlling narcissistic female.

hartcharlesg
hartcharlesg
3 years ago
Reply to  jetpac76

Men are rarely murdered by women. On International Women’s Day, can’t you at least try to show support?

Susie Coll
Susie Coll
3 years ago
Reply to  hartcharlesg

Whataboutthemen???

Claire D
Claire D
3 years ago
Reply to  Susie Coll

Just so we are clear, according to the ONS, between March 2017 – March 2019, domestic homicide figures are;

274 women killed, 263 of the suspects were men, 11 suspects were women.
83 men killed, 39 of the suspects were women, 44 suspects were men.

That means 50 women killed their partners, that is not “rarely”.

None of those figures are negligible, they all matter.

Last edited 3 years ago by Claire D
J D
J D
3 years ago
Reply to  Claire D

Thank you for this Claire. Very informative.

jetpac76
jetpac76
3 years ago
Reply to  hartcharlesg

Did you read what I said? I’d just like to know how many men murder *themselves* due to controlling narcissistic women.

Last edited 3 years ago by jetpac76
hartcharlesg
hartcharlesg
3 years ago
Reply to  jetpac76

Men killing themselves is not the subject under discussion here. What made you think your intrusive voice was needed?

jetpac76
jetpac76
3 years ago
Reply to  hartcharlesg

I’m simply after balance in the debate that’s all. I can concede that men do most of the murdering, so it’s salient to the essay to raise the point that men can and do murder themselves as a result of being with narcissistic women. Why is it so difficult for you to concede that?

hartcharlesg
hartcharlesg
3 years ago
Reply to  jetpac76

Who hurt you, Jetpac? What “narcissistic” woman dared to say no to you?
How about you grow up, gain a bit of dignity, and keep your whiny MRA tantrums to yourself for one single day.

jetpac76
jetpac76
3 years ago
Reply to  hartcharlesg

You reveal more about yourself than you can obviously comprehend with replies like this. But by all means, crack on!

J D
J D
3 years ago
Reply to  hartcharlesg

This is the sort of infantile, abusive bile I expect to see on Twitter not Unherd.

Susie Coll
Susie Coll
3 years ago
Reply to  jetpac76

But this isn’t a debate. This is an article about someone who has investigated patterns of control, coercion and abuse towards females by men. There is no debate. It happens. So does abuse of men by women. But this article does not address that subject. There are other articles that do.

jetpac76
jetpac76
3 years ago
Reply to  Susie Coll

The text box I’m typing in says “join the discussion” before I click on it. Discussion is simply another word for debate in a lot of scenarios. The very existence of this thread confirms as much.

Ian Perkins
Ian Perkins
3 years ago
Reply to  Susie Coll

I also find jetpac76’s comment pretty objectionable, but I cannot agree that this is not a debate. The article itself is an article, but surely the comments are a debate of some kind, and intended to be so.

Susie Coll
Susie Coll
3 years ago
Reply to  Ian Perkins

Well there is discussion of sorts. But also deflecting and derailing.The article clearly states that she investigated 400 cases of domestic homicide and found these patterns leading up to the murders – even in the four commited by women.So she does mention male victims but females were victims in 396 of the cases studied. The figures show a proportionate imbalance, reflected by statistics elsewhere.

Ian Perkins
Ian Perkins
3 years ago
Reply to  Susie Coll

I concede your point.

Joe Blow
Joe Blow
3 years ago
Reply to  hartcharlesg

Have you been appointed arbiter of what may and may not be discussed?
If not, what made you think your intrusive voice was needed?

Tim Knight
Tim Knight
3 years ago
Reply to  jetpac76

The causes of death by suicide are complex and unpredictable. In my experience and extensive reading of the literature of suicide I have never come account “being controlled by a narcissist” as an explicit or even implicit cause.

Karen Lindquist
Karen Lindquist
3 years ago
Reply to  jetpac76

Also, why don’t we talk about why men from other non-related issues as well. I mean, why is there an essay talking about something other than men, or men who want to pretend they are women, or men who have any one of a million other issues?
Oh, that’s right, because women aren’t supposed to matter the way men matter.

jetpac76
jetpac76
3 years ago

I’m just asking for balance and that is all. I can see the debate can only be framed in one way, the way that affirms your own issues with men in general.

Last edited 3 years ago by jetpac76
Miro Mitov
Miro Mitov
3 years ago
Reply to  jetpac76

Perhaps you can share such a statistic for everyone to read? Then compare it to a statistic showing the figures whereby women commit suicide due to being in a relationhsip with a controlling narcissistic male. That will be most useful for the discussion.

Last edited 3 years ago by Miro Mitov
jetpac76
jetpac76
3 years ago
Reply to  Miro Mitov

I cannot. That’s why I wrote in my initial post that “I’d be interested to know the figures…”.
You read a post and see what you want to see.

Charles Rense
Charles Rense
3 years ago

This must be some book!

But why stop at domestic homicide? Surely the author, having cracked this problem once and for all could have expanded the volume to end all homicides in general. Murder is a problem that has bedeviled mankind for all of history, now is not the time for half-measures!

Caroline Galwey
Caroline Galwey
3 years ago
Reply to  Charles Rense

Did you read the article? Not all homicides are as clearly predictable as these, and give the potential victim so many chances to escape, if help was at hand.

Joe Blow
Joe Blow
3 years ago

With respect, I do not believe she has demonsrated that these are predictable. I explain why in a bit more detyail elswhere in these comments.
This is not dismissive of the article, just pointing out a methodological problem.

Bianca Davies
Bianca Davies
3 years ago
Reply to  Joe Blow

A pattern of behaviour was established that may or may not lead to murder.

Susie Coll
Susie Coll
3 years ago
Reply to  Charles Rense

You think sneering is the appropriate response to this article? I have to wonder why this preventative approach is so anathema to you, and why you wouldn’t want to give credence to measures that might save lives. Any lives.Perhaps you believe that women are always complaining about femicide and find it tedious.

Simon Newman
Simon Newman
3 years ago
Reply to  Susie Coll

I think Julie Bindel has written a lot of bad articles (not this one) in the past, and so there is a tendency to a Pavlovian response among some readers. I know I was looking for at least a minimal acknowledgement that men get abused too (which is in there) before I could settle down & read it on its own terms.
I don’t know how relevant it is for most readers, but part of the problem is that milder domestic abuse is very common and about evenly split; so people’s own experience of abuse may all be f2m – I know mine is. Which does not change the fact that the worst including murder is mostly m2f, but it can colour subjective reactions.

Ian Perkins
Ian Perkins
3 years ago
Reply to  Charles Rense

You might as well slag off the author for not solving every single one of humanity’s problems.

Karen Lindquist
Karen Lindquist
3 years ago
Reply to  Charles Rense

Charles,
You sound a wee bit defensive. Maybe you already knew all of this information? Men who whine about male violence being exposed usually don’t have a problem with male violence.