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The Parallels between Intimate Terrorism and Mass Terrorism

In our day and age when mass shootings have become sadly more and more commonplace, society seeks to determine what the driving forces are behind this new epidemic. After the Orlando shooting, the desire to understand and hopefully resolve these menaces to personal well-being and a sense of security and safety in our day-to-day activities becomes more important.

Mass Shootings Generally Involve Domestic Violence Victims and Their Abusers

A recent study performed by Everytown for Gun Safety, and republished by the New York Times, claimed that there was a significant correlation between domestic abuse and mass attacks. According to Everytown’s study, based on F.B.I. amassed data on mass shootings between 2009 to 2015, about 57 percent of these shootings included a domestic relationship (such as spouse, ex-spouse or family member) between the shooter and one of the victims. In addition, of these shooting cases investigated, 16 percent of the shooters had been charged with an offense related to domestic violence and abuse.

Though researchers and other social scientists are hinting at the connection between mass shootings and domestic violence, an answer has not yet surfaced as to the foundational reason. This is largely due to the fact that those who are involved in mass shootings are usually afflicted by several factors, and not driven by one simple reason for their conduct. However, social scientists reviewing mass attacks and domestic violence research have come to the understanding that their connection surrounds the concept of “intimate terrorism.”

Domestic Violence as a Form of Intimate Terrorism

In domestic violence, the foundation of the abuse stems from power, control, and dominance of one person over another. The desire to control the victim’s access to finances, relationships and acquaintances with others, and how they conduct themselves in public are several of the ways in which the abuser attempts to exert dominance over their victim. Violence is just one more way in which an abuser may assert their control over another. Domestic violence has its own death toll every year; in 2013, 895 women in the United States were killed by their spouses or former intimate partner (this number does not include the number of women killed as part of a mass shooting incident).

Control and Fear Form the Bases of Domestic Violence and Mass Terrorism

Intimate terrorism and mass terrorism, according to studies, stem from the same foundation: control and fear. Though the link is still tenuous, researchers have believed that a sense of grievance is felt by both the domestic abuser and the mass shooter: in both cases, someone has wronged them and a violent response is deserved and necessary. And, a domestic abuser who is consistently physically abusing their spouse or family member may find the line blurred when deciding to move from the intimate family to the public. In other words, domestic violence is the gateway to more public violence.

Other Factors and Red Flags Behind Mass Shootings and Lone-Wolf Terrorists

For others who are looking to understand mass murderers and lone-wolf terrorists, Scientific American stated that though there is no template or blueprint that makes it obvious who will be the next to crack, there are certain red flags to look out for:

  • Self-loathing can lead to outward attacks of violence. One 2012 study suggests that those who have strong, unconscious same-sex desires but who identified themselves strongly as being heterosexual, were more likely to show serious hostility toward gay men and women than those men and women who were more in touch with their sexuality.
  • Mental health is rampant in those who attack others, and in particular, launch suicide attacks.
  • A soon-to-be mass shooter is more likely than not to tell another about their grievances and the possibility of acting violently to right the wrong. In 82.4 percent of lone-wolf terrorist cases, there was someone close to the shooter who was told prior to the shooting that they were aggrieved by something another had done. In 63.9 percent of cases, the attacker told at least one person that they were going to take violent action. Finally, in 22.7 percent of cases, the terrorist issues a pre-shooting warning.

Experienced Criminal Defense Attorney in Fort Lauderdale

If you or a loved one have been arrested for domestic violence, it is important to speak with an experienced defense attorney like Kevin J. Kulik who can advocate on your behalf and provide guidance relating to the criminal proceedings. Contact Kevin J. Kulik today for a free and confidential consultation in the Fort Lauderdale area.

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