This assignment focuses on explaining Mr. Khatri’s stalking and abusing behavior, in light of relevant theories and researches. The theoretical framework is followed by the intervention and treatment strategies.
Critical Evaluation on Psychological Theories to Understand Offender’s Behavior
Psychological theories are an array of explanations that help us explore human behavior in different situations. Different psychological theories present different reasons for criminal behavior in people. These theories aid in unveiling crime, criminal behaviors of people, causes and consequences of criminal acts and criminal justice.
Stalking is regarded as intentional, hostile and continuous trailing. It is defined as abusing or threatening other person’s safety. It is a person specific behavior, involving frequent visual or physical presence and verbal, written or imposed threats to frighten a person. It occurs against the will of person being followed. Hence it is referred to as frequent behaviors directed or intended to frighten a specific person (Davis, Swan & Gambone, 2012). As in this case Mr. Khatri was following Mrs. Khatri to prove that his judgment about her was right and she is cheating on him. Mrs. Khatri was uncomfortable with Mr. Khatri’s stalking but she tried her best to ignore him.
Feminist theory focuses on control and aggression in romantic relationships. According to this theory, men engage in violent and aggressive behaviors to maintain male power within the marriage. It has been proved that wife abuse is comparatively low in societies where wives have financial authority than in societies where they lack financial influence. Furthermore, family violence in societies with men having a thought pattern of not being leaders of their homes and low patience level is very less. In view of feminist theory, the dominant partner, mostly men, consider them as dominating figure in decision making, having greater competency than women and high expectations regarding men’s priority over the needs of women (Ehrensaft, Langhinrichsen-Rohling, Heyman, O’Leary & Lawrence, 1999).
This theory applies to Mr. Khatri’s case since he also wanted to control his wife. Mrs. Khatri was a working woman. She was independent and this feared Mr. Khatri that she won’t abide by his instructions as she is no more dependent on him for her need fulfillment.
Coercion refers to observing victim’s specific actions, threatening the victim and intimidating him/her to obey or else he/she would be harmed, fearing with hostile behaviors, continuous stalking of the victim so he/she may not find any way out of this trap and end up following offender’s instructions and making arrangements to cut off victim from his/her social environment to prevent any social support (Davis, Swan & Gambone, 2012). In view of coercion model, men are known to be more stalking than women. The main purpose behind men’s stalking is to acquire, maintain or retrieve personal resources as their romantic partners (Stark, 2007). Men take their partners far away from their families and strictly forbid them from talking to their family members, friends or relatives by limiting their use or electronic and social media, by restricting their economical resources and often keeping a track of where their partners are. This kind of stalking is followed by keen observation and continuous communication by stalkers (Davis, Swan & Gambone, 2012).
Feminist theory is applicable in Mr. Khatri’s case as he also stalked and kept a record of where her wife was going. He skipped his office hours just to follow Mrs. Khatri and threaten her if she does something against Mr. Khatri’s will.
Relational Goal Pursuit Theory (RGP Theory)
According to this theory, Obsessive relational pursuers link the goal of having a particular relationship to higher-order goals such as happiness and self worth (Spitzberg & Cupach, 2007). It is said that these kind of goal persuasion leads to overemphasized feelings about goal significance. If the pursuer fails to attain the goal, he gets frustrated and irritated. He puts even more effort to achieve that goal (Duntley & Buss, 2012).
Relational goal pursuit theory is alternative form of self regulation-theory. It pays attention on failed attempt of self-regulation, resulting in infelicitous perseverance and cognitive distortion regarding the behavior of offender and reaction of victim. The victim takes the repetitive, undesirable behaviors of donor as annoying, frustrating, abusing and above all, intimidating. According to this theory, the person who experiences envy, possessiveness, despair, insecure attachments and acute attraction are most probable to involve in obsessive relational intrusions. The more the person becomes obsessed with this relation, the more he will lose control over his self-regulation (Davis, Swan & Gambone, 2012). Mr. Khatri had been in relationships since the age of 18, but when he met Mrs. Khatri, he was pretty serious about her. They got married and according to Mr. Khatri, they were leading a very happy life until his wife started cheating on him. As mentioned earlier, Mr. Khatri was pretty serious about his wife, it might be possible that he felt jealous when his wife got close to other people or treat them fairly. Mr. Khatri might be a possessive husband who didn’t wanted his wife to ignore him because of others. Due to his possessiveness and fear of losing his wife, Mr. Khatri lost control over him and engaged in such behaviors.
The offender or stalker experiences the harassment, perseverance and displeasing thoughts which makes him unable to accomplish a goal. Unachieved goals results in anticipatory emotions. Obsessive offenders perceive to become sad, stressed and fearful when they fail to see their desired relationship being accomplished. They keep on experiencing such emotions until they get or lose what they were aiming for. It likely for the goal to remain unachievable when relational goal is linked to higher order goal. As an outcome of this, rumination occurs and inspires a person to be more determined for achieving his goal. Ruminating is caused by emotional flooding (Spitzberg & Cupach, 2007).
Irritability for a significant relational goal may results in aggression, irritation, hurt, envy and feelings of shame. Ruminating thoughts adversely affects a person and results in further rumination. Hence now it becomes necessary for the individual to achieve his goal or else he won’t get relief from the negative thoughts and feelings. Attainable goals are more likely to be desirable. The self-efficacy of individuals makes them determined to achieve a specific goal. Obsessive relational pursuers think they would achieve their desired goals if they work harder on it. If they find any hurdles in achievement of their goals, they become more persistent and cross all limits to successfully attain that goal. In addition to the availability of goal attainment, the obsessive relational pursuers face other rationalizations too. They idealize their partners and the rejected behaviors of their partner give them strength, motivates them to work even harder on their goal achievement. Ignorance of anxiety and distress, resulting from this effort on the victim, is often disregarded. Furthermore, to justify their actions, the pursuers consider them as a sign of love for their partners (Spitzberg & Cupach, 2007).
Treatment and Interventions for Offender’s Behavior
Keeping in view Mr. Khatri’s history of present illness, he was directed to work on relationships with inmate partners, attitudes towards women and relationships, problem solving skills and self esteem.
Empirical evidence has unveiled that people belonging to a positive and caring family possess good problem solving skills and are less violent. Furthermore, good problem solving skills positively correlated with assertiveness in adolescence and love in romantic relationships in young adulthood (Xia, Fosco, Lippold & Feinberg, 2018). Mt. Khatri had lived a very happy childhood and his parents were very supportive. Hence, he must also possess appreciable problem solving skills. Therefore more attention should be laid on finding real cause behind his doubting behavior.
People suffering from psychological disorders are more likely to engage in stalking behaviors. These psychological disorders results from harmful break down of evolved mental processes (Duntley & Buss, 2012). Feelings of jealousy when partner talks to somebody else, also strengthens stalking behavior. Results of formal assessment had shown Mr. Khatri had traits of psychopaths. Hence working on relationships with inmate partners and attitudes towards women and relationships would prove to be a good intervention technique for Mr. Khatri. He must be taught to give a personal space to others. His restrictions and harassment for Mrs. Khatri would surely have suffocated her. Mr. Khatri needs to be given empathy training.
Mr. Khatri considered himself grandiose. Hence he wanted to dominate in every field of life. he wanted to control his wife too. Studies have also proved that narcissist personalities are more likely to engage in battering of women. They involve in stalking and violent behaviors to satisfy their needs of dominating and self regarding personalities. Cognitive behavior groups’ therapy (CBGT) is suggested for such men (Walby & Towers, 2018).
Whenever Mr. Khatri saw his wife talking or meeting to someone, especially male friends, he became aggressive and hostile. He lost control over himself and harassed his wife. It is said that men are innately violent and whenever their anger is triggered, they become violent instantly. The nature and timings of such violent behaviors show intentionality and control for example Mr. Khatri was already angry that his wife is cheating on him, when he saw his wife with a male, his anger heightened, he lost control over him and become hostile (Walby & Towers, 2018). Therefore, Mr. Khatri needs to be given anger management training so he could learn to keep a hold on himself in triggering situations.
It is said that stalking may be a results of relationship which is in danger. As a consequence of this jealous, the jealous partner works to strengthen his concern and become more close to his or her partner. The relation of a partner with other people may create an alarming situation for the jealous partner about losing his connection with his or her partner. It may fear the person that his relation with inmate would weaken or even break. Empirical evidence has also unveiled a positive correlation among jealousy and domestic violence (Roberts, 2005). Mr. Khatri feared his wife would leave him. Mrs. Khatri experienced domestic violence and harassment just because of Mr. Khatri’s fears. He didn’t want to let go of her that is why he kept stalking her even after she got separated from him, so he could prove his fears were rational and his claim about his wife cheating on her was true.
Mr. Khatri claimed that his wife is cheating on him, whereas Mrs. Khatri refused this claim. It means Mr. Khatri was delusional about his wife’s behavior and actions. This delusion made him abusing and violent towards his wife. The delusions of envy and jealousy results dissolution of the relationship and leads to stalking (MacKenzie & James, 2011). Just as in case of Mr. Khatri, who reported her wife to be unfaithful with him and turned his loving married relationship into an abusive one. Mr. Khatri’s delusional disorder needs to be treated with effective interventions.
Men stalk more than women do. Hence it is recommended to teach victims, the strategies by which they can avoid stalkers to threaten and harm them. Since assaults and harassments do a great damage to women, either physically, emotionally or psychologically, women must be taught anti-stalking defense strategies and error management biases. In this way women could avoid stalkers who feel dominated and motivated after battering them (Duntley & Buss, 2012).
- Davis, K.E., Swan, S.C. and Gambone, L.J. (2012) Why doesn’t he just leave me alone? Persistent pursuit: A critical review of theories and evidence. Sex Roles [online] 66(5-6), pp.328-339. Available from [19 September, 2010]
- Duntley, J.D. and Buss, D.M. (2012) The evolution of stalking. Sex roles [online] 66(5-6), pp.311-327. Available from < https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007%2Fs11199-010-9832-0> [3 August, 2010]
- Ehrensaft, MK, Langhinrichsen-Rohling, J, Heyman, R, O’Leary, KD & Lawrence, E 1999, ‘Feeling controlled in marriage: A phenomenon specific to physically aggressive couples?’, Journal of Family Psychology [online] 13(1), 20-32. Available from
- MacKenzie, R.D. and James, D.V. (2011) Management and treatment of stalkers: Problems, options, and solutions. Behavioral sciences & the law [online] 29(2), pp.220-239. Available from < https://psycnet.apa.org/doi/10.1002/bsl.980> [23 February 2011]
- Roberts, K.A. (2005) Women’s experience of violence during stalking by former romantic partners: Factors predictive of stalking violence. Violence Against Women [online] 11(1), pp.89-114. Available from [1 January 2005]
- Spitzberg, B.H. and Cupach, W.R. (2007) The state of the art of stalking: Taking stock of the emerging literature. Aggression and violent Behavior [online] 12(1), pp.64-86. Available from [7 July 2006]
- Stark, E. (2007). Coercive control: How men entrap women in personal life. Interpersonal violence. New York: Oxford University Press
- Walby, S. and Towers, J. (2018) Untangling the concept of coercive control: Theorizing domestic violent crime. Criminology & Criminal Justice [online] 18(1), pp.7-28. Available from < https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/10.1177/1748895817743541> [7 January 2018]
- Xia, M, Fosco, GM, Lippold, MA & Feinberg, ME 2018, ‘A Developmental Perspective on Young Adult Romantic Relationships: Examining Family and Individual Factors in Adolescence’, Journal of youth and adolescence [online] 47(7), 1499-1516. Available from < https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007%2Fs10964-018-0815-8> [13 Feb 2018]