Connect with us

News

Private troubles, public problems —experts tackle murder-suicide

Published

on

‘);
} else {
$(“.fotorama-caption”).addClass(“remove_caption”);
}
})
.fotorama();

Working -class men who made it out of violent environments are the most likely suspects of murder-suicide, according to studies by experts at the Faculty of Social Sciences at The University of the West Indies (The UWI), Mona.

Political psychologist Dr Christopher Charles and Social Anthropologist Dr Herbert Gayle were brought to a discussion panel by Masters of Social Work students at the university on Friday to share their findings on the recurring problem of murder-suicide in Jamaica.

The first and perhaps most obvious observation by both professors was that men are the main perpetrators, and women and children are the primary targets. However, they both observed commonalities among a particular group of men, who are most driven to kill their partners and then kill themselves.

“These were security guards, bus drivers, construction workers”, as well as men in the military and security forces, Dr Charles observed in his assessment of newspaper reports on murder-suicide stretching only as far as the late 1990s up to 2016.

In his findings, Dr Charles noted that the perpetrators tended to be older than their victims, with a mean age of 32 years among civilian men, and 38 years among police officers and soldiers. He also found that the majority of the perpetrators were from the working class.

“You will notice that if the perpetrator and the victim are in the same profession, the perpetrator tend to be in a higher rank or position in that job or profession. And if you look at the triggers, [these are] infidelity, the person [victim] wants to end the relationship, domestic problems, and misunderstanding,” said Dr Charles.

Meanwhile, Gayle, who also plays a leading role in Fathers Incorporated, a community-based parenting group established by Jamaican men in 1991, noted that the organisation has received at least six self-reported cases of murder-suicide ideation per year since 2006.

“We were bombarded with calls about murder-suicide at Fathers Incorporated. Most of these persons actually just walked in and who have said they have contemplated it and have got their material together to do the act.”

He said that from a sample of 81 men who went to Fathers Inc for help, all of them were economically well off.

“None of the men were poor and most were upper-middle class and middle class combined. We notice that the people who come forward for help are not the poor ones. Not one of the 81 men who came to us was poor.

“In terms of the groups that were disproportionately represented, those were uniformed men and taxi operators. Most of them had heavy economic burden.”

The indices used to determine this level of burden were “economic contribution to the family, the quality of their earnings, dependency ratio meaning how many persons in their household are employed as oppose to dependent, whether or not they have children, financial support system outside the household.

“What happened was that the bulk of the men who were contemplating murder-suicide were in the heavy group, 67-100 per cent. And some of these men are head of the family, but it comes with a kind of pressure that drives men crazy.”

Head of the Social Work Unit, Sandra Laitbeaudiere in her opening remark, noted that “murder suicide leaves us with the question of why do people murder, and specifically, why do people murder their partners, and why do they kill themselves afterwards?”

Given the facts presented by Dr Charles and Dr Gayle, the question essentially becomes, what is it about being a man that drives this propensity for violence, and in this case, murder-suicide? The answer, Dr Gayle indicated boils down to power.

“Murder-suicide is usually about power. It is about taking things in your own hands.”

He noted the glaring truths about the biological differences between the bulk of men and women both in size and temperament, perhaps to chagrin of any post-modernist who holds the view that gender is a social construct.

However, Gayle conceded that men are also socialised and reinforced into positions of power.

“There are a lot of socialisation issues that we have that are contradictions [which] beef up the expectations of men. There is also an economic relationship. Women have 62 cents to every man’s dollar. So, men have greater economic power than women.

“Men [also] have a Y chromosome, an enlarged cerebellum and a limbic system which makes [them] strong, [they] feel strong; people tell them they are strong. So neurologically by nature and nurture [males] are facilitated into this position of strength.”

Here, Gayle explained that in Jamaica, men sometimes experience dissonance when their position of power is challenged by the fact that women make most of the decisions in the household.

“Fifty-six per cent of the decisions made in our houses in Jamaica are made by women, almost exclusively. In upper-middle class households, you are more likely to have the father being the decision maker or both. But in the homes of these men who have been contemplating murder-suicide, 73 per cent [of the time] it is the women making the decisions.”

Ironically however, Dr Gayle pointed out that it is in the home that women are most vulnerable to violence. He also said that inter-partner violence (IPV) also surges above the national average in the homes of the 81 men who were having murder-suicidal thoughts.

“Now, Jamaica intimate-partner violence is 25 per cent, but if you look in these homes, it is 53 per cent compared to 25 per cent. This is an area that should have less IPV than the average of the country. But clearly these men are coming from problematic homes,” he said.

Shame or the discovery of being tricked or used, incompatibility after investment, disrespect after overinvestment, ‘jackets’, loss of house or children and psychopathic possession or ‘she is leaving’, were also noted as triggers for murder-suicide ideation in these men.

“Those six were in the most urgent cases. Shame was the highest with 33 out of 81. In fact, all of these men who had these triggers had this woman as their first girlfriend and they actually used the word ‘own’ to describe their relationship with her.

“Eighty-five per cent of them said they were net givers. A lot of these relationships were not trivial because the average we are seeing is about three-five years invested. So, there is a lot of money and time invested into these relationships.”

Other triggers, Dr Gayle said, were reminders of torture by a caregiver. “This was man whose woman smacked him exactly like his mother used to smack him.

“Unfaithfulness [of the woman] after the man has taken on a position of being a faithful patriarch”, was also noted as another trigger, while in only two cases, the trigger was inter-partner violence “where the woman consistently beat the man and the men have said they are going to end it.”

Among these men, Dr Gayle also found a common element of early exposure to moderate or extreme violence.

“It is important to note high exposure to violence as victims and perpetrators causing 48 per cent of them to grow up as higher medium risk youth, despite most of them finding their way out of the inner city.

“Forty-five per cent of inner-city boys have been tortured by their caregivers. That study had 3,216 people and 45 per cent of inner-city boys are being tortured, compared to 53 of these men who are economically better off. So we see that they are coming from problem homes,” Dr Gayle said.

Now you can read the Jamaica Observer ePaper anytime, anywhere. The Jamaica Observer ePaper is available to you at home or at work, and is the same edition as the printed copy available at http://bit.ly/epaperlive

Source link

قالب وردپرس

News

Jamaican attorney is newest magistrate in British Virgin Islands

Published

on

By



























Jamaican attorney is newest magistrate in British Virgin Islands





























































Copyright © 2020 Jamaica Observer. All Rights Reserved.

Terms under which this service is provided to you.
















Source link

قالب وردپرس

Continue Reading

News

Taxi app coming for Westmoreland

Published

on

By



























Taxi app coming for Westmoreland





























































Copyright © 2020 Jamaica Observer. All Rights Reserved.

Terms under which this service is provided to you.
















Source link

قالب وردپرس

Continue Reading

News

Jamaican-American credits late ‘Butch’ Stewart for US success

Published

on

By



























Jamaican-American credits late ‘Butch’ Stewart for US success





























































Copyright © 2020 Jamaica Observer. All Rights Reserved.

Terms under which this service is provided to you.
















Source link

قالب وردپرس

Continue Reading

News

‘First come, first served’

Published

on

By



























‘First come, first served’





























































Copyright © 2020 Jamaica Observer. All Rights Reserved.

Terms under which this service is provided to you.
















Source link

قالب وردپرس

Continue Reading

News

Sav adds backup emergency shelter after McKenzie’s chiding

Published

on

By



























Sav adds backup emergency shelter after McKenzie’s chiding





























































Copyright © 2020 Jamaica Observer. All Rights Reserved.

Terms under which this service is provided to you.
















Source link

قالب وردپرس

Continue Reading

popcaan