Intimate Partner Violence

“Despite receiving some mental health counseling, it is apparent, in retrospect that the degree of violence and anger possessed by the abuser was not realized”, according to the chief medical examiner in Maine following the 2011 domestic violence homicide in Dexter, Maine. Red flag behaviors are those that give off clues to the degree of risk posed to victims who have been abused. The abuser in this tragic case exhibited quite typical behaviors that raised the degree of risk to the victim exponentially. Some police officers verbalized a fear for the victim well before she was murdered by her husband.

Police and domestic violence experts need greater understanding of pre-incident behavior and red flags. These factors then become decision points for prosecutors who must decide conditions of release, including bail. The case described in Maine was researched by a team of current and former police officers with experience and training in domestic violence (Allanach,R., Gagan, B. Laughlin, J., Sefton, M. 2011). The findings of this research was published in a report of Psychological Autopsy of the Domestic Violence Homicide in Dexter, Maine submitted to the Domestic Violence Homicide Review Panel in Augusta, Maine in November 2011.

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