Assessing Dangerousness in Men Who Abuse Women

WHY DOES HE DO THAT? Book by Lundy Bancroft.

Article by Lundy Bancroft

A danger assessment should include taking these factors particularly seriously:

  • The woman has a strong “gut” sense that the man could kill her or her children, or could carry out a serious and dangerous assault against any of them or against himself.
  • He is extremely jealous and possessive. This characteristic becomes even more worrisome when even more worrisome when he appears to be obsessive, constantly keeping her at the center of his thoughts and appearing to be unable to conceive of life without her. He has, for example, made statements such as, “If I can’t have you, nobody will.”
  • He has a history of severe or very frequent violence toward her, or toward other individuals such as past partners.
  • He follows her, monitors her whereabouts, uses high-tech means to keep tabs on her, or stalks her in other ways.
  • He knows where she lives and works, knows names and addresses of her friend or relatives, or is in very familiar with her daily routines.
  • She is taking steps to end the relationship, or has already done so.
  • He was violent to her during a pregnancy.
  • There are stepchildren involved.
  • He has threatened to kill her or to hurt her severely, has strangled her, or has threatened her with a weapon (including making verbal reference to using a weapon, even if he did not actually brandish it)
  • He has threatened to kill the children or the whole family.
  • He has access to weapons and/or he is familiar with their use.
  • He is depressed, suicidal, or shows signs of not caring what happens to him. He has, for example, threatened to kill himself if she leaves him.
  • He is unemployed.
  • He isn’t close to anyone, and no current relationships with friends or relatives are important to him.
  • He has a significant criminal history and/or he has a history of using violence or threatening violence against other people.
  • He abuses alcohol or drugs heavily, especially if his habits involve daily or nearly daily intoxication.
  • He has been violent to children.
  • He has killed or in other ways been violent to pets, or has used other terror tactics.
  • He uses pornography heavily and/or has a history or perpetrating sexual violence or degradation against his partner or others.
  • He has exhibited extreme behaviors when his current partner or past partners have made attempts to leave him.

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