Exploring the Relationships Between Stalking and Homicide – New Report, Suzy Lamplugh

New research by the Homicide Research Group at the University of Gloucestershire.

At least ten people will die every week in the UK as a result of violence related to interpersonal abuse. This is likely to be an underestimation of the true figure and includes child deaths, domestic homicide, and suicides related to partner abuse. There are some consistencies in the antecedent histories of many of these deaths which include a strong association with stalking behaviours.

Key Frequencies recorded:
• Stalking behaviours were present in 94% of the cases: Obsession 94%, fixation 88%.
• Surveillance activity which included covert watching was recorded in 63% of the cases (we estimate this is likely to be much higher in reality).
• Escalation was identified in 79% of the cases.
• Control was recorded in 92% of the cases.
• In 15% of cases the relationship or association was less than 12 months. In 50% of cases (cumulative) less than 10 years, the remaining 50% up to 50 years.
• Isolation of the victim was recorded in 78% of cases.
• Acknowledged high risk action markers were present across the sample. For example: strangulation assault 24%, threats to kill 55%, suicidal threats 23% (again we estimate the presence of these markers could be much higher).
• Diverse activities like court actions were not recognised as stalking.
• Coercive control and stalking were more often simultaneously present where there has been an intimate partner relationship. This type of relationship formed 71% of our sample. (Intact relationships 51%, separated 20%).
• 85% of homicides occurred in the victim’s home.
• Threats to kill occurred in 55% of cases, and in some cases the threat was articulated to third parties as well as the victim.
Key Observations
• That stalking is a key indicator for future potential serious harm.
• That stalking should be identified through intention, not just actions.
• That fixated and obsessed stalkers should be identified early.
• That the seriousness of stalking should not be measured solely by the severity of the stalking actions.
• That more actions should be recognised as part of stalking behavior, like vexatious or baseless allegations or court action.
• That victims are helped to restrict access to their home, workplace, cyberspace or other private space.
• That every allegation of stalking is taken seriously irrespective of relationship type or age of offender/victim.
• That consideration is given to the notion that homicide where stalking is present may be reached through a ‘journey’, and not through immediate proximal provocation by the victim.
• That the public are made aware of the dangers of stalkers.
• That professionals should investigate further when third party allegations are made.
• That professionals should try to pursue all identifiable charges, including stalking or coercive control.

To read the full report please click on the link below: