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Federal

Nov 7, 2017

The compelling link between domestic violence and mass murder

There's a well-demonstrated connection between domestic violence, terrorism and mass shootings -- one the government refuses to accept.

In a society apparently obsessed with preventing terrorism, where the Prime Minister lectures us that we should never “set and forget” on security, where we’ve lost some of our most basic rights in the name of enabling security agencies to stop attacks, when will we act on the clear link between domestic violence and acts, or attempts, of mass-casualty violence?

Let’s consider some key facts:

Can we expect the government to take any action? Well, in 2014, Attorney-General George Brandis said that any link between terrorism and domestic violence was “foolishly conflating two completely unrelated issues”.

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11 comments

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11 thoughts on “The compelling link between domestic violence and mass murder

  1. John Newton

    Brandis knows a thing or three about foolishness.

  2. Desmond Graham

    Actually all it shows violent people are violent.

    Surely everyone has come across some individuals who ‘lose it’ with the least provocation. That is just a part of human variation.

    1. Andrew Seeze

      Exactly. It would be a very ambitious project to try and connect domestic violence with terrorism, even absurd. More likely a Crikey feminist agenda through DV would be closer to the point. Who told you to write this crap, Bernard? Or maybe it’s just another one of those slow news days.

    2. BanksiaMarginata

      I don’t see that the obviousness of the equation ‘violent people are violent’ undermines its importance as a possible tool for identifying and dealing with those who might be future candidates to commit mass murder.
      We’re all familiar now with the idea that children who torture animals may go on to violent crimes against humans, and I believe this has been helpful, in that it now means these acts are no longer regarded as insignificant childhood mischief. The possibility now exists for such children to be given expert counselling or psychotherapy to try to prevent such escalation of their offences.
      I think it’s entirely reasonable that acts of domestic violence should similarly start to be taken a lot more seriously. If the shockingly high murder rate against women by their partners is not enough to bring this about, perhaps this link to escalated rage/violence against the wider family and then on to mass killings of strangers will be.
      It seems reasonable to me that a conviction for ANY act of domestic violence should be followed by some form of compulsory psychological therapy, in which the perpetrator can begin to learn effective strategies for managing their anger, and any other contributing personal issues can be addressed, to ensure it won’t become an endless cycle of family/partner violence, and before it can lead on to even more serious crimes.

  3. mikeb

    Interesting discussion with differing vioewpoints here:
    https://www.pbs.org/newshour/show/how-are-mass-killings-and-domestic-violence-linked

    including this “Most mass killers do not have a criminal record. Most mass murderers do not have a history of domestic violence.”

    1. phonakins

      I’m sure it’s common to not have a criminal record and still have a history of domestic violence

      1. Charlie Chaplin

        Yup. Society hasn’t changed too much, really. For all the skin deep changes, we still call it “domestic violence”, not “criminal assault”, don’t we?

      2. BanksiaMarginata

        Quite so, Phonakins. You make a very important point, that could otherwise have been easy to overlook. Thank you.

  4. Desmond Graham

    The recent shooter who shot the people praying at the service also tortured his pit bull terrier – there probably also a correlation with violence against animals and mass casualty violence.

  5. Karen

    @BK The government doesn’t give a damn about terrorism. The only thing it gives a damn about is garnering votes and power. Its tedious to see how the government keeps kicking the terrorism can to engender fear and votes for the incumbent. If the government really did given a damn about its citizenry and terrorism, it would focus on on the home-grown misfits and their easy access to firearms and weapons (in the US particularly) as it is these people who are primarily responsible for the explosions, the shootings and the truck carnage. As you have neatly pointed out, there is a correlation between DV and these ‘home-grown’ acts. Not surprisingly, when the backgrounds of these offenders are examined, there are also connections to mental illness/dysfunctional personality structures, poverty, themes of alienation, discrimination, and racism. In taking account these matters too, it isn’t hard to see how certain vulnerable people become ‘radicalised’ and end up projecting their own issues on a hook like ISIS ideology that allows them to conveniently ‘vent’ their anger. The government would be aware that it is dealing with a complex web of difficult issues against a back-drop of dwindling public resources or, at least, an appropriate allocation of those resources to deal with it. It is also aware that it lacks political will to really do anything about it. As Brandis’ inane denials demonstrate.

    1. Dan Dair

      Karen,
      I side with you…..
      I’m not surprised at all that these terrorists have any kind of anti-social behavior history.
      Actually, IMO the opposite case is much more interesting;
      Why would someone with absolutely no history of ASB, protest of any kind (including direct-action) or violence against the state or it’s apparatus, then become so radicalised that they take such actions,
      without having the ‘smarts’ to realise that it is living in a relatively free & un-oppressed nation, that allows them to see, read, talk about & think about these anti-Western actions.?

      IMO, the kind of person who has a tendency to violence, rather than to mediation, generates no surprise that they are generally relatively uneducated & are more easily persuaded that an act of violence is an ‘appropriate’ response to help remedy a given situation.?
      .
      .
      I don’t think that this article is wholly wrong, per se.
      I do believe though, that it is merely isolating one relatively common factor & then making it the defining issue.?
      ‘Desmond Graham’s’ contribution, makes a very valid point to support this suggestion I’m positing.

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