Happy New Year Lovely People!
Welcome to 2020, a new decade, a new opportunity to get it right! I hope this is the decade, the turning point, where Government, agencies and society recognise that domestic abusers and stalkers are killing women – at pandemic levels. Are you going to be part of the solution or part of the ongoing problem? No really, you need to decide.
My Two Cents
These are the most dangerous and insidious of crimes and the most dangerous of perpetrators. And no, the relationship is not abusive. The male perpetrator is. Spoiler alert – I am talking about, and focusing on, male violence and the majority are serial abusers.
So now we’ve cleared that up, what can we do about it? I believe senior leaders, officers and executives should be mandated to prioritise and invest time to work in partnership to end abuse and keep women and girls safe. Why? It’s the right thing to do and it will save lives and save money. That means having a perpetrator strategy and focusing on the perpetrator’s behaviour and closing them down.
Part of that strategy should include placing serial abusers and stalkers on a register, just like sex offenders. Conveniently, one already exists for exactly this. It’s called ViSOR – the Violent and Sexual Offender’s Register and the management framework is called MAPPA – the Multi-Agency Public Protection Arrangements. Not so radical after all – and NEWSFLASH – moving women into refuges, or telling them to change their name/phone/address or get a restraining order does not work. Just stop doing it. Pieces of paper only work for those who play by the rules – and guess what? These guys don’t. None of these tactics solve or stop the problem of male violence.
This should be the decade we say ‘Enough is Enough’ and mean it. Where we commit to invest in services and prioritise domestic abuse and stalking and focus on the male perpetrators. Male entitlement is off the hook and it’s dangerous. Afterall, I have been saying for many years, these are the most dangerous of offenders, they use power and control and use it on professionals and some of them are psychopaths.
Wake up! Smell the coffee or green tea. Make the link across offending behaviours – men are violent and abusive inside the home and violent and abusive outside the home.
The good news? There is some… these murders in slow motion, as I call them, CAN be prevented. In fact, they are the most predictable and preventable of all crimes.
And before you think it, no, men are not being killed at the same rate and this is not a resource issue alone. Believing someone does not cost money. After two decades of analysing and reviewing domestic murders this is the singular most common theme before even getting to the risk assessment – the woman reporting was not believed or taken seriously and the right questions were not asked.
Let’s commit to change this in 2020.
In order to do so we must acknowledge and name the problem – the problem of male violence, male entitlement and the gender bias when women report.
Sadly, there have already been THREE MURDERS of WOMEN and the murder of a man (a new partner) and we are not even through the first week of January.
Stacey Murray, formerly known as Stacey Cooper and mother to six, was brutally murdered and her ex, Liam Murray, has been charged #HerNameWasStaceyMurray
Helen Hancock and her new partner, Martin Griffiths, were found dead and Helen’s ex has been charged. The police have self-referred to the IOPC. #HerNameWasHelenHancock #HisNameWasMartinGriffiths
Magdalena Pacult was found dead by police after responding to call about her safety. Her partner has been charged. #HerNameWasMagdalenaPacult
More lessons to be learned *sigh* at the expense of women’s lives. Report written. Media abates. Everyone moves on. Nothing to see here…until the next time. Well, I can tell you what those lessons will be – they have been the same for two decades that I have been reviewing domestic murders and stalking related murders.
It’s the reason I campaigned to change the law on stalking and coercive control – yet many have still not been trained on the laws or to the accredited standard. College of Policing are busy moving the deck chairs on the Titanic regarding risk assessment. If only they were as industrious at training police services on coercive control and stalking, perhaps we would be in a different place. Some of you know that they have been piloting a new process for some time *four years* claiming the new DASH focuses on coercive control (side bar, half the questions in the DASH focus on CC) – and they will no doubt keep piloting it until they get the results they are seeking. There is, after all, no such thing as an unsuccessful pilot in policing (cynical yet factually accurate). More on this in the updated Spring Masterclasses this year.
Important 101s to underline regarding DASH
We need one risk model, one common language about risk across the UK – that was the aspiration when creating the SPECSS+, which evolved into the DASH. We ask questions of the victim, as they know the perpetrator the best. The DASH is about understanding the forensic narrative, the nuanced detail and context and the perpetrator behaviour. The DASH starts the conversation and gives the victim permission to tell their story. Motivation is vital to understand risk. We know coercive control correlates with serious harm and homicide and 80% of murders occur within the first six months of separation. There is a timeline and a continuum of escalation. The DASH focuses on control related behaviours rather than physical violence and, in training, I highlight the high risk cluster behaviours through the most up-to-date research and analysis. The DASH has never been about a yes/no response or adding up numbers – it’s always been about context and nuanced detail of behaviour.
These are just some of the updates. Importantly, I will explain more in my next Masterclasses scheduled for March/April 2020. And so to the dates…
Spring Masterclasses 2020
Coercive Control Masterclass Thursday 26 March
Stalking Masterclass Friday 27 March
DASH University Accredited Masterclass Thursday 9 April
This is a pre-requisite for DASH Train the Trainer.
DASH ‘Train the Trainer’ University accredited Masterclass Thursday 16 April.
In order to attend Train the Trainer we also ask that delegates already have some experience as a trainer / in public speaking.
DASH ‘Train the Trainer’ Refresher Course Monday 20th April and Thursday 30th April
This course is mandatory for ALL those that completed Train the Trainer prior to 2019. Delegates must refresh their knowledge and receive up-to-date new training material to be re-accredited and ensure you remain current in your training and in your key messages to your learners. There are a lot of updates to the training content with law changes and new guidelines being issued as well as new research and case study material.
Please be advised, course numbers are limited so please book early to avoid disappointment. All the courses are one day long and will be held in London. Bespoke Masterclasses can be organised albeit I have limited windows of time as I also work in the US. For all training enquiries please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Thank you for taking the time to read this. You can find more information on my website www.laurarichards.co.uk and www.dashriskchecklist.co.uk and you can follow me on twitter at https://twitter.com/laurarichards99
Look forward to seeing you in the classroom. Let’s commit to preventing murders in slow motion together.