Research is increasingly establishing the link between control and serious harm or homicide. People who employ controlling tactics in their relationships to subjugate the will and choices of their partner, are significantly more likely to resist separation. It is this aspect to domestic abuse which creates the risk of serious harm or homicide to partners and to children.

Stalking and surveillance co-exist with Coercive Control and these behaviours are strong indicators of risk, stronger than the presence of violence alone. Many controlling people are not routinely violent, and many are not known to be violent at all. The biggest predictor of serious harm in an intimate partner relationship is the presence of a controlling personality.

My new research around the homicide timeline is strongly showing how important this is, and how we need to adjust our thinking of what presents risk of homicide. We have included this approach in the content of the DART app, and will soon be able to include the homicide timeline.

A shift in understanding of what predicts harm is needed urgently.

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