View Full Version : Awful Subject But Useful Information For Women

10-13-2004, 07:02 PM
Metropolitan Police Issued This Newsletter October 2003

Through a Rapist’s Eyes

A group of rapists and date rapists in prison were interviewed on what they look for in a potential victim and here are some interesting facts:

1 The first thing men look for in a potential victim is hairstyle. They are most likely to go after a woman with a ponytail or other hairstyle that can be easily be grabbed. They are also likely to go after a woman with long hair. Woman with short hair are not common targets.

2 The second thing men look for is clothing. They will look for woman whose clothing is easy to remove quickly. Many of them carry scissors around to cut clothing.

3 They also look for women on their mobile phone, searching through their purse or doing other activities while walking, because they are off guard and can be easily overpowered.

4 The time of day men are most likely to attack and rape a woman is in the early morning, between 05.00 and 08.30 am.

5 The thing about these men is that they are looking to grab a woman quickly move her to a second location where they don’t have to worry about getting caught.

6 Only 2% said they carried weapons because rape carries a 3 – 5 year sentence, but rape with a weapon is 15 – 20 years.

7 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 realise that going after you isn’t worth it because it will be time-consuming.

8 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.

9 Several defence mechanisms he taught us are: if someone is following behind you on a street or in a garage or with you in a lift or stairwell, look them in the face and ask them 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 you’ve seen their face and could identify them in a line-up, you lose appeal as a target.

10 If someone is coming toward you, hold out your hands in front of you and yell “STOP” or “STAY BACK”. Most of the rapists 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.

Cathie Jones
10-13-2004, 09:35 PM
Thank you, Pat. This is an awful subject, but any advice that can prevent rape or other violence is a good thing!!

Phoenix Rising
10-13-2004, 10:46 PM
Also, never, EVER yell "rape" or "help" in trying to call help. This actually can turn people away. Try yelling Fire instead. I can't remember the rationale behind this, but I think it was something like yelling rape or help can turn people away from heling you(something about fear I think) but by yelling fire you quickly get someone's attention because people tend to watch fires.

10-13-2004, 11:37 PM
This is good reading. Thanks for posting it.

I can vouch for number 10. Many years ago when I was on my way to night school one winter's evening, I was aware of a man behind me. When he got wayy too close I turned to him suddenly and stuck my face in his and yelled "GET THE **** AWAY YOU ***** JERK!!" He got such a shock he bolted down the road never to be seen again. I was shaking like a maniac and raced all the way to school. Needless to say I never heard a word the tuitor said that night. lol

Kate Mc
10-14-2004, 03:16 AM
Thanks for this, Pat. Good advice here.


10-14-2004, 10:28 AM
Here are a couple additional tips... I was attacked twice while at university by would-be rapists, and fortunately escaped, but then I made a study of why I had been a target twice (American research, at least 30 years old):

Don't look down (indicates low self-esteem, easy to control). Look ahead, and walk aggressively, rather than meandering along 'stopping to smell the roses.' (Save sniffing flowers for safe environments.)

Don't be burdened with lots of baggage -- I was carrying a pile of books from the library the first time.

Practice screaming. No kidding -- the first night I was attacked, a number of other women had been actually raped, and the campus kops -- obvious incompetents since 2 other incidents had been reported in roughly the same location already! -- said the other women had been too embarrassed to scream, and screaming probably saved me. Find a safe (sound-proof) place to SCREAM, and make sure you can do it. (The scream sound sets up an instinctive reaction, can freeze and drive away a bad person, motivates mommy to change the diaper, etc.)

Be unpredictable. I lived safely for over 20 years in Manhattan, not always in the best neighborhoods... Whenever I felt a little insecure, I just rehearsed a "crazy lady" routine in my head: I'd be ready to be crazy lady the moment anything went wrong. No one messes with them because they're too unpredictable -- might bite, might do anything at all, regardless of the supposed risk to themselves!

More useful information:
If you're fearful of an attack, don't look for help to a lone person if there's another option. A couple is far more likely to help; it seems a value system is salient between them which, among other things, expects them to help you. With a lone person, sometimes s/he will think your attacker knows you and maybe this should be kept between the 2 of you -- it's private business.

Don't hope for help from a group, either. About 90% of humans act in accordance with what they think others expect of them -- and most will look around to see what everybody else is doing in order to figure out what that is! What DOES help is to ask a specific person (stranger) to take a specific action, as in asking someone (point, if necessary) to call an emergency number. Then the group (even strangers in public place) shifts towards helpfulness. (Don't get mad at them when they aren't helping, just become "teacher" -- another useful role to rehearse occasionally, like "crazy lady.") :D