Public figures – celebrities in the entertainment, sports, and media world, high profile “celebrity” CEOs, and others – run the risk of fixation, stalking, and threats by individuals with various motives. In our consulting work, the question is, how can we identify those who may pose a risk of physical harm to their targets? In this feature, Reid Meloy discusses his important new research in this area.
In the 1980s, a series of shootings by disgruntled US postal workers and other
employees focused media attention on acts of violence in the workplace. Over the
past 3 decades, researchers have shed light onto the types of violence that occur in
the workplace, the characteristics of individuals who engage in workplace violence,
and the contextual factors that may escalate or mitigate the risk of violence.
In the run-up to the recent presidential election, the term “narcissistic” was bandied about aplenty. In everyday language narcissism connotes excessive self-centeredness and personal entitlement, a more or less grandiose, over-the-top view of one’s abilities, an inordinate need for admiration, and especially a big, but easily punctured “ego.”
The revised WAVR-21 V3 features one coding form appropriate for all users in their risk screening or threat assessment roles. The instrument and manual content now address campus as well as workplace contexts. The manual includes a new comprehensive Intake and Documentation Questionnaire, four extensive post-incident analyses of workplace and campus homicide cases, and much updated and new material.
Is the presence of autism a red flag for violence risk? Are individuals with autism a subgroup of violent perpetrators? Media reports of sensational mass murders have contributed to the public’s perception of a causal link between autism and violence. The perpetrators of the mass murders at Sandy Hook Elementary School in 2012, Isla Vista-Santa Barbara in 2014, and most recently at Umpqua Community College in Oregon, were all described as having features of autism.
Reid Meloy and his colleagues have recently published some significant work on the dark side of “Identification” – a possible correlate and contributor to targeted violence. Here he summarizes this work and what threat assessors should be aware of and look for.
Most universities of any size now have threat assessment teams, mandated to assess, manage, and monitor individuals and scenarios of concern. “Best practices” include multi-disciplinary members, trained in the basics of targeted violence, and linked to expert resources as necessary. In our newsletter features we usually discuss a specific risk topic, or a high profile case, but in all efforts to assure campus safety, process matters. In fact, process matters significantly.
With the recent Paris attacks, terrorism is once again in the forefront. Continuing from a previous feature, Reid Meloy discusses the meaning of language used by terrorists as well as the epithets uttered by mass murderers in other contexts.
Should employers and their threat assessment teams be concerned about the “lone wolf” terrorist? Reid Meloy has done extensive work on this subject for counter-terrorism professionals and offers a description of their motives.
Domestic violence is in the news. With the recent attention involving professional athletes, awareness is rekindled and an opportunity provided to review domestic and intimate partner violence issues relevant to the workplace.