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What Rapists Look For

According to rapists, who are currently serving time behind bars, here are some of the attributes that they look for when sizing up a potential victim. Being forwarned is being forarmed, by applying this basic knowledge, thereby gaining valuable street smarts.



The #1 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 #2 thing men look for is clothing. They will look for women who's clothing is easy to remove quickly.

The #1 outfit they look for is overalls because many of them carry scissors around to cut clothing and on overalls the straps can be easily cut.

They also look for women on their cell phone, searching through their purse or doing other activities while walking because they are 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 abducted from/attacked at is grocery store parking lots.

Number two is office parking lots/garages.

Number three is public restrooms.

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

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 will 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.

Some self-defense mechanisms are:

  • If someone is following behind you on a street or in a garage or with you in an elevator 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 lineup, 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 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, 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 they grab your wrist, pull your wrist back so your hand is in waving position (palm facing forward) and twist it toward yourself and pull your arm away. It is hard to hold onto wrist bones that are moving in that way. They stumble toward you and you stumble back, so you can use that momentum to bring the same out and backhand them with your knuckles in the forehead, nose, or teeth.

  • 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 said that 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 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 hit, always go for the groin. If you hit a guy's testicles, it is extremely painful. You might think that you'll make him angry and make him want to hurt you more, but the thing these rapists told us, is that they want a woman who will not cause a lot of trouble. Start causing trouble and he's out of there.

  • 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.

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 guy really was trouble.





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