The 8 Stage Pattern

The 8 stage pattern (also known as the murder timeline) was created by a Professor at Gloucestershire University named Dr Jane Monkton-Smith. This Dr researched cases of murder where there was an element of Domestic Abuse and/or Violence present and found the below 8 stage pattern:

Stage 1


The abuser had a history of criminality and violence. This was mostly stalking/harassment or previous DVA.

Stage 2

Love Bombing

The relationship begins and the ‘love bombing’/’grooming’ period commences where there is early commitment, showering of gifts etc. The relationship soon becomes very serious

Stage 3


After the initial ‘love bombing’ period is when possible DVA behaviours start to appear. These can be subtle such as coercive control or even physical.

Stage 4

Threats to the relationship

The relationship continues and the abuser feels that they are at risk of losing control in the relationship, whether this be the person wants to break things of with the abuser so the abuser threatens to take their own life so they maintain control

Stage 5

Another beginning

Due to the abuser and their actions their partner may decide to get back into the relationship with them as the abuser may have promised ‘they will change’. For a period of time this may be true and the ‘love bombing’ stage commences again but is soon changed and back to the original behaviour which continue to get more frequent and even more serious

Stage 6

Change of Thinking

Now it gets to a stage where the partner has had enough of the abuser and they feel they can leave the relationship, this can be for a number of reasons such as they are now aware of the abuse and feel confident in getting help. The abuser does not like this and tries for control again but the partner is not responding. This causes the abuser to change their tactics so may begin stalking them, trying to meet them through manipulation etc.

Stage 7


As this method continues to not work for the abuser they take it up a notch and begin the planning stage. They may wish to threaten the person to getting back into a relationship with them so buy weapons in order to help with this

Stage 8

The End

– This is when the abuser takes the life of the other, there could be one or multiple victims in this scenario. It could also be that due to the impact this has had on the victim that they cannot take anymore and choose to take their own life.


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