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In Control: Dangerous Relationships and How They End in Murder

Jane Monckton-Smith (author)

Drawing from her 30-year career in investigating sexual and fatal violence, Professor Jane Monckton-Smith lays out her ground-breaking research on coercive relationships and detectable signs that lead to domestic abuse and homicide.

A woman is killed by her partner or ex-partner every four days in the UK. Domestic homicide is a pandemic so pervasive that the soaring figures cause weary resignation rather than alarm.

For thirty years, Professor Jane Monckton Smith has been fighting to change this. A former police officer and internationally renowned professor of public protection, she lectures on sexualised and fatal violence; works with families bereaved through homicide: and trains police and other professionals on how to best handle cases involving coercive control, domestic abuse, and stalking.

Killers do not snap and lose control. Her ground-breaking research led to the creation of the eight-stage homicide timeline, laying out identifiable stages in which coercive relationships can escalate to murder and revolutionising our understanding of them. There are signs, if you know how to see them.

In this book, Monckton Smith shares a glimpse into a world of toxic masculinity and coercive control, one in which the tools are shame and fear, helped along by a media and justice system who are far from shedding sexist notions of men and women's roles in society.

Drawing on disciplines including psychology, sociology and law, she talks to victims, their families, and killers, putting together pieces to the puzzle of how these relationships can end in murder, and bringing to light the reasons why - for so many of us - there is no such thing as the safety of one's own home.