Anyone who is interested in the topic of domestic violence should read Why Do They Kill? by David Adams. The book describes Adams’ detailed interviews of men who were convicted of killing their partners, and women who were victims of attempted murder.
The breakthrough here is that Dr. Adams’ findings are in complete agreement with those of Dr. Dutton. There is now little doubt that terroristic batterers have psychopathic personality traits.
Because David Adams’ findings are so important I want to summarize them here, then so as not to throw too much at you at once, next week I’ll relate these findings to psychopathic personality traits and explain why I would call these individuals “sociopaths”.
First, both Dutton and Adams are clear, violence and emotional abuse occur in the context of one person attempting to control another. So they are similarly motivated… The motivation is control.
According to Adams, violence happens because the perpetrator wishes to punish the victim and others in her life. That reason was given by 95% of victims.
All relationships started with a “honeymoon” where the perpetrator’s true character was not apparent.
All perpetrators who killed or attempted to kill their partners threatened to do so prior to the act. On page 200 of the book, specific threats and the context of these threats are listed for a number of victims. Adams believes that the threats facilitated perpetrators psyching themselves up for the act.
Access to firearms was a leading factor in murder and attempted murder. Adams recommends we address the issue of firearms in the hands of these men.
If you are reading this and have been involved with a sociopath who has threatened to kill you and has access to weapons you are in a very serious situation. Though most people in your situation are not killed or nearly killed, all those killed or nearly killed come with these risk factors.
Next week: How is killing connected to the other aspects of sociopathy?