COMBAT VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN
Through a Rapist's Eyes
A group of rapists in prison were interviewed on what they look for in a potential victim, and here are some interesting facts:
- The first thing men look for in a potential victim is hairstyle. They are most likely to go after a woman with a ponytail, bun,
braid, or other hairstyle that can easily be grabbed. They are also likely to go after a woman with long hair. Women with short
hair are not common targets.
- The second thing men look for is clothing. They will look for women whose clothing is easy to remove quickly. Many of
them carry scissors to cut clothing.
- They also look for a woman on her cell phone, searching through her purse, or doing other activities while walking because
she is off guard and can be easily overpowered.
- The time of day men are most likely to attack and rape a woman is in the early morning, between 5 and 8:30 a.m.
- The number one place women are attacked and abducted is grocery store parking lots. Number two is office parking
lots/garages. Number three is public restrooms.
- These men are looking to grab a woman and quickly move her to a second location where they don't have to worry
about getting caught. Don't get in his car or trunk -- your chances of survival are almost zero.
- Only 2% said they carried weapons because rape carries a 3-5 year sentence, but rape with a weapon is 15-20 years.
- If you put up any kind of a fight at all, they get discouraged because it only takes a minute or two for them to realize that
going after you isn't worth it because it will be time-consuming.
- These men said they would not pick on women who have umbrellas or other similar objects that can be used from a
distance in their hands. Keys are not a deterrent because you have to get really close to the attacker to use them as a weapon.
So the idea is to convince these guys you're not worth it.
- Several defense mechanisms he taught us are: If someone is following behind you on a street or in a garage or with you
in an elevator or stairwell, look him in the face and ask him a question, like "What time is it?" or make general small talk:
"I can't believe it is so cold out here, we're in for a bad winter." Now that you've seen his face and could identify him in a line-up,
you lose appeal as a target.
- If someone is coming toward you, hold out your hands in front of you and yell, "STOP!" or "STAY BACK!" Most of the rapists
this man talked to said they'd leave a woman alone if she yelled or showed that she would not be afraid to fight back. Again,
they are looking for an EASY target.
- If you carry pepper spray (this instructor was a huge advocate of it and carries it with him wherever he goes,) yelling
"I HAVE PEPPER SPRAY!" and holding it out will be a deterrent.
- If someone grabs you, you can't beat them with strength, but you can by outsmarting them. If you are grabbed around
the waist from behind, pinch the attacker either under the arm between the elbow and armpit or in the upper inner thigh --
HARD. One woman, in a class this man taught, told him she used the underarm pinch on a man who was trying to date
rape her and was so upset she broke through the skin and tore out muscle strands -- the guy needed stitches. Try pinching
yourself in those places as hard as you can stand it -- it hurts.
- After the initial pinch, punch or kick the man's groin -- it is extremely painful. You might think that you'll anger the man
and make him want to hurt you more, but these rapists told our instructor that they want a woman who will not cause a lot of
trouble. Start causing trouble, and he's out of there. PINCH and PUNCH.
- When the man puts his hands up to you, grab his first two fingers, bend them back as far as possible, and push down
on them as hard as possible. The instructor did it to me without using much pressure, and I ended up on my knees, and
both knuckles cracked audibly.
- Of course the things we always hear still apply: Always be aware of your surroundings, take someone with you if you can,
and if you see any odd behavior, don't dismiss it, go with your instincts. You may feel a little silly at the time, but you'd feel
much worse if the man really was trouble.