Honor, Violence, and Threat Assessment: A Brief Note

Stephen White, Ph.D.Summer, 2020 “If honor enables us to ‘make the best of our own lives’, the continual experience of dishonor makes it impossible to live well.” Amy Shuffleton1 Does the concept of honor have utility for threat assessors? I have found the views of some contemporary philosophers and sociologists to be complementary to a psychological perspective on violent motives, …

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The “Incels” and the Ideology of Extreme Misogynistic Violence

Philip Saragoza, MDWinter, 2020   In this feature WTS Senior Associate Phil Saragoza describes the growing problem of men who identify as “involuntary celibates” and the implications for threat assessors. On April 23, 2018, 25-year-old Alek Minassian intentionally drove a van over sidewalks in broad daylight in downtown Toronto, killing 10 people and injuring many more. Hours later he sat …

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Explaining the Threat Assessment Process to the Campus Community

Stephen White, Ph.D.Summer, 2019 With the recent and horrific mass murders this summer, the message in this feature is as relevant as ever. Campus and workplace threat assessment teams are going to see an increase in reporting of concerns about violence. Explanations of how response protocols actually work will benefit an organization’s program. How can campus threat assessment teams better …

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“How Do We Manage the Fear?”

Threat assessment team members in organizational settings increasingly raise this question. Mature programs promote a “see something, say something” culture. We want people to report situations of concern and they do, increasingly so. Denial of potential risk (“Oh, that’s just Charlie being Charlie.”) is less often the problem in this day and age. We all are vigilant to identify and actively manage the serious cases, but in these settings the vast majority of reported scenarios involve individuals who, in the ultimate opinion of the team (or their assessment experts), are judged to not pose a risk of harm…

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Regional Multi-Agency Networks Reduce School Shootings

Stephen White, Ph.D. Winter 2018 Newsletter The Parkland, Florida school shooting has generated a new wave of outrage, controversy, and hopefully some encouraging movement. If you find this feature informative, please share it with your own school districts and law enforcement agencies where you live. As a threat assessment professional, I find the media and public focus in the aftermath …

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Is Workplace or Campus Violence Reactive Anger or Deliberate Planning?: Revisiting a Recurrent Question

Threat assessment and management, the guiding method for the development of the WAVR-21 (Workplace Assessment of Violence Risk), focuses upon targeted violence. It is violent behavior that is planned in advance, and directed against a specific target, usually following a pathway. We read about such violence every day through the commercial media, but the history of this mode of violence is quite interesting, and has direct relevance for corporate and educational settings.

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What Motivates Public Figure Attackers?

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.

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A Short Treatise on Narcissism: From Normal to Risk for 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.”

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