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Pre- Incident Indicators to Victim Selection

Victim Objectification as a pre-incident indicator to violence involves the dehumanization and objectification of the individual both before the violent action and post-mortem. Dehumanization is defined as the process of depriving a person or group of positive human qualities, while Objectification is defined as the action of degrading someone to the status of a mere object. These two ideations combined aid in driving an individual to commit violence towards another individual. Dehumanization and Objectification both strip away a person’s humanity by the use of distortions. For example, labeling an individual as a monster or other vulgar language can be a form of dehumanization while objectification may hold an individual responsible for a specific stressor, an idea or fantasy. Both dehumanization and objectification revolve around cognitive dissonance and cognitive distortions. Dissonance being defined as the result of two polarized ideas which inflict emotional, physical, and/or psychological discomfort or pain, while cognitive distortions effect perceptions. An individual exhibiting these characteristics or indicators based on social and environmental factors depending on the ability can be predispositioned to violence. There are other factors which also determine an individual’s ability which we will continue to look at as well.

Victim Selection: Emotional Association

Victim Selection based on Subliminal or Emotional Association which are acted out through violence before the act and post-mortem. Emotional Association is when the individual associates the victim with an important event in the attacker’s life. Typically trauma based. The victim may also represent desires that may not necessarily be obtainable due to status, environment, and interpersonal relationship deficiencies. For example, an individual may begin to associate popularity and social status with a specific type of individual based on physical appearance (clothing, brands, jewelry, tattoos) emotional connection, Race, Age, and Gender. The need for this desire and lack of having this need met drives the individual to violence in order to relieve any tension or stress (dissonance). This individual still may engage in torture and is more of a disorganized opportunistic occurrence. The torture can be observed as intimate and even psychosexual rather than vindictive or for retribution. This individual is opportunistic which means they typically act out of impulse based on the environment and victims own habitual patterns. This is not to suggest the individual is related to the victim as the emotional association is not based on specific triggers of the individual rather based on overarching ideas and values the individual desires or needs to release (emotional, psychological, and physical tension).

Victim Selection: Distorted Intimacy

Distorted intimacy as a pre-incident indicator to violence is observed when an individual perverts intimacy based on their own interpersonal deficiencies, and psychosexual tensions. This individual recognizes the victim possesses their own personal life, dreams, hopes, desires, and needs. This individual also struggles with intimacy and may engage with the victim before and post-mortem. This individual may engage in torture based on intimacy complications, but also engages in using comforting language to console the victim in their terror. The individual attempts to give re-assurance and often confesses knowledge about the victim’s lifestyle (residence, work, relationships). Depending on the specific motive or triggering incident, the individual may attempt to obscure the identity of the victim.

Conformity and Obedience.

An individual who struggles with identity whether it be personally or socially may engage in violence as a way to be accepted by a specific group or entity. Conformity is defined as the moral and personality adjustments (manipulation) from external forces such as peers, work, and relationships [family and/or partner(s)], while Obedience is defined as the subjugation of the individual using social status, or other means such as threats and intimidations. This idea is most commonly observed in gang initiations where the individual who is looking for an identify or seeking approval from a specific group carries out specific tasks to prove their loyalty. Each tasks baring more consequences the last. There is another way an individual may be conformed to obedience through subjugation, instilling fear and submission through violence. An example of this would be another gang initiation where the individual must fight members of the gang until they win, or they are unable to continue fighting. The ladder is most common as it de-individualizes the individual through pain compliance and fear with violence.

Conformity and Obedience as a pre-incident indicator to violence is solely subject to the source. The source being the person initiating the command or request of violence. For example, a gang leader calling for the murder of a specific individual(s) for territory. A more common example that many of us can relate to is our willingness to be obedient and conform to our family/partner(s)/friendships. In this case I use the word, “obedience” to be defined as aligning our mannerisms and habits to gain acceptance and favor with our family, partner(s)/friendships. Conformity and Obedience can also be observed when an induvial is receiving something they in fact desire. This item or idea is often presented as a manipulation to entice the individual to commit an act of violence.

Be Kind, Stay Deadly

Eclipse Protection Inc.

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