The Duty to Warn
WESTBOROUGH, MA September 14, 2015 — When is it important to protect the safety of families? “Police are quick to say that the perpetrator had no prior criminal history perhaps in an effort to circumvent the obvious outrage evoked by the system of bail in Maine that releases violent abusers over and over again” (Sefton, 2013). There are points when pre-incident indicators scream for containment of violators. Relationship behavior should be considered – especially when relationship violence is apparent in case after case. Violent relationship behavior should be tracked like the sex offender registry – when a man has stay away orders from two or three female partners at one time it becomes a societal “duty to warn” potential victims. People need to pay attention to risk factors and recurring abuse. By having an intimate partner registry police are able to better assess the proclivity for violence among those arrested for DV.
The 2011 Maine case referenced above is reminiscent of the 2011 domestic violence homicide in Dexter, ME in too many ways. Lake had twice been released on bail before murdering his family. The medical autopsy concluded that “in spite of psychological counseling (the state) failed to appreciate the degree of anger and violence in the perpetrator in the Dexter homicide” (Sefton, 2013).
Michael Sefton, Ph.D.
Sefton, M. (2013) Blog post: https://msefton.wordpress.com/2013/07/04/no-criminal-history-reveals-little-about-intent-to-harm-in-cases-of-dv/. Taken Sept 14, 2105