Who Should We Be Frightened Of?

31st May 2016

Who Should We be Frightened of?

Another simple but important question. Dr Jane Monckton Smith of University of Gloucestershire told Network for Surviving Stalking (okay and a lecture theatre full of other people) her thoughts on the matter…

We took notes and photos and we’reblogging about what Dr Monckton Smith has to say… because she is worth listening to!

In Midsummer Murders on the telly, it’s fairly easy to pick out the killer… the dramatic music and shifty looks to camera are often a give away.. but all too often in real life, we make incorrect assumptions about who poses the biggest danger to us.

When Dr Monckton Smith carried out a straw poll amongst some of her students about ‘what does a paedophile look like?’  Some said they could spot a paedophile as they wore dirty overcoats and drove vans… We know from reading the newspapers, that that is obviously not true… but all too often we misjudge how dangerous someone may be to us because of our preconceived ideas about who is dangerous and who isn’t.

Do you ever consider  whether the person in the same room as you may be a threat?  Should you be more scared of them than you are?

Dr Monckton Smith urges us not to assess the threat someone poses on what they look like or what we think of them but rather on their behaviours..

She poses these questions:

Is the person’s behaviour part of a pattern?

Is this person’s behaviour controlling someone’s daily activities or choices?

Is their behaviour making someone frightened??

Ask yourself, Are you changing your daily routines because of the behaviour of this person?


If you answer yes to any of those questions – we are on the road to identifying something that is abusive and harmful…


Next time… 2 behaviours that are so dangerous the government has criminalised them..


Dr Jane Monckton Smith is a former police officer, an author and criminologist. She has also developed the DART Reference tool that helps identify Stalking and Domestic Abuse. Find out more about her work here: http://www.domesticabuseandstalking.com

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