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Behavioural Progression – Pathways to Sexual Violence

Instrumental or targeted violence, especially sexual violence, follows a pathway leading from fantasy to commission of the crime.  Knowing the pathway or behavioural progression of a particular offender allows intervention prior to another victimization.

This 1-2-hr. presentation is included in the 1-day presentation “In the Mind of the Predator”

Sexual behaviour is repetitive because of the self-reinforcing nature of arousal.  Fantasies derived early in life tend to remain and sexual interests do not shift easily.  Thorndyke’s rule (1911) of “the best predictor of present behaviour is past behaviour” is especially true for sexual behaviour.  Not only can this be the basis of predicting and recognizing M.O., Signature, or Target Selection but this can illuminate past triggers, facilitators, and destabilizers that line the pathway in behavioural progression to a sexual re-offense.

In essence, a behavioral progression involves identifying risk relevant factors, identifying patterns in the offender's behavior and provides a succinct way of understanding and perceiving the offender’s thoughts, emotions and behaviors prior to sexual offending. The ultimate goal is to intercept the pattern when it is observed in the future and prevent another sexual crime.

The judicial system working together can reduce sexual victimization.  The Breach of a Condition can be presented to the Judge by Crown Counsel as an interruption of a crime cycle if the partners in Criminal Justice understand behavioural progression.

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