Case of teen girl group charged in man’s death ‘atypical,’ expert says

An expert in children’s violence prevention says it’s atypical to see a group of teen girls involved in violence like the alleged swarming-style attack that led to the death of a homeless man in Toronto over the weekend.

Tracy Vaillancourt, a University of Ottawa professor and Canada research chair in children’s mental health and violence prevention, says she rarely sees adolescent girls engage in aggression that could lead to a murder charge.

Toronto police have said eight teenage girls ranging in age from 13 to 16 have been charged with second-degree murder in the case.

Det.-Sgt. Terry Browne said the girls met on social media and congregated Saturday night in the downtown core, where they allegedly got into two fights.

Browne said the second fight is where the girls allegedly swarmed and stabbed the 59-year-old man who later died in hospital.

Vaillancourt says the case highlights how groups can have a “deindividuation effect,” where people’s individual actions and responsibility are trumped by a group’s actions, which can lead to impulsivity and violence.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Dec. 21, 2022.

View original article here Source