Violent attackers communicate prior to action – says journal

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Most of those who plan violent attacks in the modern world  communicate their intentions before the attacks via social media and written communication, according to a journal article published in  Violence and Gender, Vol. 3, No. 2, June 2016: 78-88.

Entitled “Assessing Threat in Written Communications, Social Media, and Creative Writing”,  the article has been written by Brian Van Brunt, EdD, of the The NCHERM Group, LLC, Malvern, Pennsylvania, under the aegis of NCHERM and the National Behavioral Intervention Team Association (NaBITA), an organization for the support and professional development of behavioral intervention team members.

Van Brunt has put the spotlight on his experience in, and research on, preventing violence before it occurs. He says that violent people either through unintentional “leakage” or intentionally through “legacy tokens”about their impending actions . These should be understood as part of their fantasy rehearsals in the aftermath of an attack.

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Additionally, searching for and attending to such messages provides an opportunity to intervene and thwart potential attacks. This article provides a framework for reviewing and understanding these messages and assessing them for potential lethality and dangerousness.

Brian Van Brunt, Ed.D.serves as The NCHERM Group’s Senior Executive Vice President for Professional Program Development and NaBITA’s Executive Director. In these roles, he trains and consults with faculty and staff, develops content, and creates tools to enhance campus safety.

In an earlier article in Violence and Gender (in 2014) , VanBrunt wrote: “In many recent incidents of premeditated mass shooting the perpetrators have been male and dressed in black, and may share other characteristics that could be used to identify potential shooters before they commit acts of mass violence. He spoke about risk factors related to the antihero, dark-knight persona adopted by these individuals.

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In the article “Costuming, Misogyny, and Objectification as Risk Factors in Targeted Violence,” Brian Van Brunt, EdD and W. Scott Lewis, The NCHERM Group, LLC (Malvern, PA), suggest reasons why persons who commit mass shootings are drawn to dark popular culture imagery, how these cultural factors may contribute to the violence, and what risk factors could be useful to law enforcement and behavioral investigation teams seeking to identify individuals who might be preparing for an attack. – PRNewswire/Violence and Gender journali

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