With a rise in violent attacks on college campuses, shopping centers and municipal buildings, professionals are diligently trying to assess whether or not individuals display a pattern of behavior prior to an attack. According to Mario Scalora, PhD. and President of Association of Threat Assessment Professionals Great Plains Chapter, research suggests a unique pattern is evident. Beginning with a grievance and then moving quickly to ideation which includes the belief that violence is justified and necessary, the next step becomes research and planning. During this phase, the IDEA of justifiable violence solidifies into the ACTION of how to consummate the violence. As attackers prepare to initiate a plan to take action, their plan includes steps to circumvent the target’s security measures. When the collective pattern of behavior of grievance, ideation, research and planning, preparation, and breach are complete the attacker is emotionally and psychologically invested and ready to attack.
Scalora encourages management and concerned individuals to evaluate each and every possible threat of violence including domestic violence and stalking. In the past, individuals acting in an aggressive manner could be categorized as either a Howler or Hunter. It was believed only Hunters would escalate and attack. This is no longer the case. Both Howlers and Hunters can and have attacked. Today there are several statistically validated assessments that can help determine cases that warrant a protective plan, including the Stalking Risk Profile (SRP), Spousal Assault Risk Assessment Guide (SARA) and Stalking Assessment & Management (SAM). With a proactive approach and enlightened awareness society can combat this growing threat.