"Through a Rapist’s Eyes" fact checked by crisisconnectioninc.org


In response to a frequent mass email entitled:“Through a Rapist’s Eyes”

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, bun, braid or other hairstyle that can be easily grabbed. They are also likely to go after a woman with long hair. Women with short hair are not common targets.”

True or False?

Both true and false, but more irrelevant than not. Longer hair is easier to grab; however, since 70-80% of rapists are well known to their victim and there is absolutely no known correlation between acquaintance rape and hairstyle/length the above statement is likely to give women with shorter hair a false sense of security. The first thing a rapist looks for is opportunity.

2) “The second thing men look for is clothing style. They will look for women whose clothing is easy to remove quickly. Many of them carry scissors around specifically to cut clothing off.”

True or False?

False. The most common outfit of rape victims is jeans and a t-shirt or sweatshirt. It is true that some articles of clothing are easier to remove than others, but there is no data to suggest that a potential victim is at greater risk because of how she is dressed. Remember, 70-80% of assailants are known to their victim, so tactics of stranger rapists aren’t needed.

3) “They also look for women on their cell phone, searching through their purse or doing another activity while walking because they are off guard and can be easily overpowered.”

True or False?

Both true and false. If we are only discussing stranger rape which comprises only 10-20% of all rapes, there is reliable data to support the theory that a distracted woman is a more attractive target. But, the major distraction device is the Walkman or a like appliance. The element of surprise works much more effectively if the victim is either: 1) outside alone, or, 2) alone in the safety of her own home and she cannot hear. Known assailants don’t need a distraction.

4) “Men are most likely to attack and rape in the early morning between 5-8:30 a.m.”

True or False?

False. Men are most likely to rape whenever they have the opportunity. Although, the prime hours tend to be 6 p.m.-6 a.m. or the hours of darkness: the hours of hanging-out, parties and running around.

5) “The number one place women are abducted from…attacked…are grocery store parking lots. Number two is office parking lots and parking garages. Number three is public restrooms.”

True or False?

False, False, and False. Very few rape victims are abducted from anywhere. Most victims are either raped in their own home (acquaintance or stranger) or the home of their assailant. Can parking lots and parking garages be dangerous? Yes, certainly; however, no rapist wants to create a public scene and he can never be sure what might happen in a public area. 70-80% of rapists are well known to their victim so have no need to stake out a public location.

6) “The thing is about these men is that they are looking to grab a woman and quickly move her to another location where they don’t have to worry about getting caught.”

True or False?

False. Very few rapists make any attempt to move a victim anywhere because the most common place for a victim to be attacked is in her own home by an acquaintance. If a rapist does attempt to move a victim, he is likely to be planning to do something far worse than raping her.

7) “Only 2% of rapists say they carried weapons because rape carries a much shorter sentence (B Felony) if there was no weapon than if there was (A Felony).”

True or False?

I seriously doubt if this plays any part in a rapist deciding to rape or not. Consider the following facts:

Only 30% of U.S. sexual assaults are ever reported to law enforcement.

So, of every 100 rapes committed in the U.S.:

  • 32 of those 100 are reported to law enforcement
  • 16 of those 32 results in an arrest
  • 13 of those 16 will be prosecuted
  • 7 of those 13 will be convicted
  • 5 of those 7 convicted rapists will go to prison.

Of every 20 rapes committed in the U.S., only one will currently result in the rapist spending even one day in jail, let alone prison.

70-80% of rapists are well known to their victim so have no need to carry a weapon, and sadly very little concern with repercussions.

The law does not acknowledge fists and feet as deadly weapons when used during the commission of a rape, but very few victims can withstand repeated punches, stompings, head-buttings, etc. The majority of victims report having moments of fearing for their life (often times as a result of the horrible things rapists say) and desperately trying to stop his penetration of her. Rapists don’t tell their victim that they won’t hurt/kill her if she cooperates and even if they did…so what? Rape is one of the BIG FOUR (the FBI and the U.S. Department of Justice report annual violent crime rates based on murder, rape, robbery and aggravated assault rates only) and if he is willfully committing rape , there’s little reason to trust anything about him, especially her own life. Who needs a weapon? Those rapists who carry lethal weapons are likely to have crimes in addition to rape on their minds.

8) “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.”

True or False?

False. Unless you have received professional training in how to properly fight back (self-defense), I would not recommend that you start something you may not live to regret. Very few rapists intend to inflict additional bodily harm; they intend to rape and then leave or tell you to, or even worse, tell you he’ll call as if you were on a date. If “fighting back” was all that was required to end a rape, rape would have ceased centuries ago. To fight back may be the worst advice a potential rape victim could ever receive. If the rapist is a stranger, a rape victim is well advised to make a decision on what to do or not based on what is happening at that moment: a decision that only she is in a position to make and that will hopefully enable her to avoid additional injury or even death. If the rapist is known to the victim, she is in a one-down position to begin with. The assailant is someone she either: 1) had no reason to fear in the first place; or, 2) even worse, someone she trusted. Either way, the element of shock, disbelief and horror tend to debilitate a victim during the first few critical seconds. Remember the rapist knows exactly what he intends to do, his victim does not.

9) “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.”

True or False?

False. Everyone knows that you are more likely to be shot with your “home protection gun” than you are to be able to defend yourself with it. But, an umbrella will protect you from a rapist? I doubt it. What possible benefit would any weapon “that can be used from a distance” do in a potential rape situation? Does anyone believe that a rapist yells to a victim, from a distance, that he’s coming and what he intends to do so she can get that umbrella ready? Rapists don’t wear big signs that identify them as rapists and it will be a very sorry day indeed when all women are forced to look at all men as potential rapists and oh yeah, have that umbrella ready at all times.

10) “Several defense mechanisms he taught us are: If someone is following behind you on a street or in a garage or with you on an elevator or stairwell, look them in the face and ask them a question, like what time it is, 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.”

True or False?

True to a point. There’s the potential for deterrence when a potential victim becomes a real person to the potential rapist although here again, all rapists seek to control the situation and environment and there’s no way they can do that in a public place like a street or elevator. 70-80% of rapists are known to the victim and have chosen to disregard her personhood even after having known her as a person in the past so looking at or speaking to him is not likely to make much difference.

11) “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.”

True or False?

False. How would you know that someone was coming toward you specifically with the intention to rape you until it was too late? We all walk by men on a regular basis, why would anyone expect a potential victim to be able to pick out the rapist in the crowd and start yelling before he gets to her? This simply makes no sense.

12) “If you carry pepper spray (this instructor was a huge advocate of it and carries it with him wherever he goes) yell, “I HAVE PEPPER SPRAY!” and holding it out will be a deterrent.”

True or False?

False, see answer for #9. Plus, how many grown men are raped each year? The pepper spray is likely not to be his protection so much as the fact he is a grown man and highly unlikely to be another man’s target to begin with.

13) “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 very, very hard. One woman in a class this guy taught told him she used the underarm pinch on a guy who was trying to date rape her and was so upset she broke through the skin and tore our muscle strands—the guy needed stitches.”

True or False?

True, maybe. You can learn how to properly and accurately defend yourself in a professional self-defense class and possibly stop the rapist; the key words here are accurately and properly though. And, if you are going to defend yourself, do not hold back! Your reactions must be automatic…you will not have time to think about it. This method of deterrence has the best chance of protecting you (if you have been professionally trained) because the rapist has to be close to you to employ, and he will be on you before you realize what he has in mind and he won’t announce his attention from a distance so you can think about your choices and prepare.

14) “After the initial hit, always go for the groin. I know from a particularly unfortunate experience that if you slap a guy’s parts it is extremely painful. You might think that you’ll anger the guy and make him want to hurt you more, but the thing these rapists told our instructor is that they want a woman who will not cause a lot of trouble. Start causing trouble and he’s out of there.

True or False?

True about going for the groin as long as you do it seriously… very seriously. Regardless of whether you slap, punch, knee, twist, jerk, kick or bite either the scrotum sacs or penis if you do so with everything you’ve got in you and then scream and run like you’re on fire, you may be able to get away, otherwise you will definitely anger him. If you question whether you are capable of biting his penis off, yanking and twisting or kicking so hard it jars your teeth, then don’t start something you may not live to regret.

15) “When the guy puts his hands up to you, grab his first two fingers and bend them back as far as possible with as much pressure pushing down on them as possible. The instructor did it to me without using much pressure, and I ended up on my knees and both knuckles cracked audibly.”

True or False?

See answer for #14

16) “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.”

True or False?

You, you, you, you should/ would/ could.
You must/can/ will/ won’t.
Why did you?
Why didn’t you?
I would have, but you didn’t.
What were you thinking?
Why are you surprised?
What did you expect?
You should have known better.
Why did you go there?
Why did you talk to him?
What were you wearing?
Did you lead him on?
Well, you must have done something.

There must be a perpetrator before there can be a victim. The victim never comes first, even in rape. The perpetrator is the active agent, not his victim.

Why is the victim of rape, unlike any other crime victim, always in part, or totally, held responsible for a man’s criminal choice? Why don’t we ever ask him why he did it and refuse to accept any self-serving, victim-blaming excuses from him? Why are we so quick to give alleged sex crime perpetrators the benefit of our collective doubt, but never the alleged perpetrators of other crimes?

“Rape is the only crime in which the victim becomes the accused.”     Freda Adler

What is it about this world that allows so many males to torment, harass, abuse and rape women and children? What is it about our own “civilized” society that allows so many of us to continue to blame the victims of men’s cruelty for the choices our sons continue to make every single hour of every single day?

Self-defense is all well and good but misses the larger point: the only sure way to prevent rape is to deal openly, honestly and decisively with the source of rape…our sons.

Rules of Consequences

1. Consequences which give rewards increase a behavior. 
2. Consequences which give punishments decrease a behavior. 
3. Consequences which give neither rewards nor punishments extinguish a behavior.

Our sons continue to rape because they can and they can because we allow it.

Our sons can because we refuse to place the blame for their crimes squarely on their shoulders, the people who chose to brutalize others: our sons.

Our sons can because we refuse to teach them to be respectful of all human beings.

Our sons can because we continue to elect prosecutors and judges who hold sex crime victims to a standard of proof that they would never dream of demanding of any other crime victim.

Our sons can because we persist in shrugging and sighing that boys will be boys.

Our sons can because we’re so afraid of looking in the mirror that we would rather allow the raping of our daughters to continue than to do something about our own sons.


when it happens to your
mother daughter
sister girlfriend wife
buddy cousin
niece aunt grandmother
will you still say she was…

asking for it?

An experiment in asking politely for accessibility.




The argument that if (marginalized group of people) would just (!) ASK (nicely, in just the right way using exactly the perfect tone and obeying all the unwritten secret rules) for (their human rights), they would be given immediately them by the innocent benevolent rulers who just didn’t know what they needed is so common that it should be in Derailing for Dummies

Here’s what happened when one lawyer with low vision and superhuman patience decided to test that theory.


This little mini-experiment is fabulous and details exactly how little awareness there is of accessibility in day-to-day life. This is the social model of disability, y’all. And I can’t stop thinking about how massively fucked up it is that society demands for people with disabilities to either 1) just be so good at not having access to things or 2) use time and energy and resources they don’t have demanding things that should be basic. This is indecent.



(Source: obsessionfull, via numol)

"When we are taught that safety lies always with sameness, then difference, of any kind, will appear as a threat. When we choose to love we choose to move against fear - against alienation and separation. The choice to love is a choice to connect - to find ourselves in the other."

bell hooks, All About Love: New VIsions. (via costumepartypolitics)

(Source: manicpixiedreambakla, via aliveforalittlewhile)