Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde tells the story of a man who suffered from an internal conflict between good and bad. As he consciously represses his evil side away from public view, it overpowers him eventually. This type of dynamic is observed in intimate partner violence cases where others cannot see the abuse transpiring, but it is happening beneath the surface and impacting the victim. The abuse manifests through tactics of coercive control instead of violence and aggression.
This session’s instructor is Sara Mahoney from the Allegany County Probation Department. She’s been a Probation Officer for the last 13 years, 6 years of which spent as a specialized officer focused on domestic violence facilitating their DV offender program, and investigation and supervising DV cases.
Sara provided a deep-dive on:
- The Dark Triad: The traits and characteristics observed in each trait.
- Common behaviors manifested by abusers in line with the dark triad traits.
- The cumulative nature of domestic violence juxtaposed to the common cyclical view of abuse.
- Researches that link a person’s life history strategy to their mate retention behavior, how the dark triad traits predict psychological abuse and studies that support otherwise.
- The Stark Perspective that outlines the different tactics abusers subject their victims to.
- Jealousy as a tactic to increase victim subordination often employed with intimidation, isolation, and control to enforce coercive control.
- The different ways abusers threaten their victims.
- Surveillance through stalking and monitoring their victim’s activities.
- Emotional abuse and shaming as a way to degrade the victim into submission.
- The people and resources victims are isolated from.
- Specific behaviors and ways that the offender inserts themselves between the victim and the rest of the world.
- How isolation renders the victim hopeless and helpless from the abuse.
- Tips to uncover the offender’s efforts to isolate the victims.
- The things, services, and decisions that offender controls the victim’s access to.
- How probation and parole can integrate the concept of the dark triad, coercive control and the stark perspective during supervision through:
- A proactive approach to charging violations.
- Better awareness of the behaviors and tactics that abusers use.
- Incorporating DV specific conditions to offenders to prevent further abuse.
- Observing behaviors and body language of the victim and offender during contacts.
- Utilizing appropriate tools, assessments, tests, and programs to address underlying issues for both the offender and the victim.
- Maintain communication with the victim and the people around them to understand more about the relationship dynamic.
- A drill-down of the most common inclusions for conditions and orders of protection for DV cases.
- Other resources and tools that may be used for best practices and guidelines, and better assessments, training, and supervision.
Some of the points tackled during the Q&A are:
- How offenders pick and groom their partner and potential victims.
- How this dynamic takes place with female abusers and male victims.
- Reaching out and providing victims with resources.
- Common ways that blame-shifting occurs in these relationships.
- Educating responders on the concept of strategic provocation, primary aggressor, and self-defense.
Handouts and Resources
- The information provided was very topic related and extremely detailed. Thank you for sharing. — Angela
- The presentation provided me with a better understanding and reasons behind the behaviors of the clients that I assist. — Beth
- I am a non-DV paralegal and back up for the DV paralegal in my department – so basically everything discussed was new to me. I appreciated this webinar and value the knowledge I gained from it. — Cyndi
- Very nicely presented with interesting new perspectives on material I know well. Sara’s knowledge and calm demeanor must be a boon for victims. Probation was fortunate to have her, and I am glad she is presenting this information to so many. Thank YOU. — Jacquelin
- I appreciate the perspective from an offender management side rather than only victim services. It helps show that this is a comprehensive understanding and a comprehensive approach is necessary. — Gina
- Sara is very knowledgeable on perpetrators behaviors and does an excellent job presenting. I had never heard of the Dark Triad Traits and will be looking into this more. — Jennifer
- The resources were phenomenal in this webinar! Thank you for also providing copies of conditions of probation. This is useful to look at to get ideas about conditions we can implement. — Jodi
- The most valuable thing I took from this webinar is that I now have a better understanding of the offenders behaviors and I can relate to my victims better when they tell me what they have gone through and how they have felt when dealing and living with offenders. — Shelby