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Through a Rapist's Eyes

A group of rapists in prison were interviewed on what they look for in a potential victim.

1) The first thing they look at is hairstyle. They are most likely to go after a woman with a ponytail, bun, braid or other long hairstyle that can be grabbed easily.  Women with short hair are not common targets.  

2) The second thing they look for is clothing that is easy to remove quickly.  Many of them carry scissors specifically to cut clothing.

3) 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 surprised easily.

4) The men are most likely to attack and rape in the early morning, between 5:00am and 8:30am.

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

6) These men are looking to grab a woman quickly then move her to another location where they don’t have to worry about getting caught.

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

8) Fight like crazy.  If you put up any kind of resistance they may get discouraged realizing that going after you will be too time-consuming.

9) These men said they would not pick on women who have umbrellas or other similar objects that can be used from a distance.  The idea is to convince these guys you’re not worth it.  Keys are not a deterrent, because you have to get really close to the attacker to use them as a weapon.

10) If someone is following behind you on a street, in a garage, 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 like “I can’t believe it is so cold out here,” or  “We’re in for a bad winter.”   Now that you’ve seen their face and can identify them, you lose appeal as a target.

11) If someone is coming toward you, hold out your hand in front of you like a stop sign and with a deep roar 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.  

12) If you carry pepper spray yell “I HAVE PEPPER SPRAY!”  Holding it out and ready may be a deterrent.  If you have a gun out and aimed, yell “DON’T MAKE ME SHOOT YOU!”

13) If someone grabs you, you might not outmuscle them, but you can outsmart 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 hard. One woman used the underarm pinch on a guy who was trying to date rape her.  She was so upset that she broke his 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.

14) After the initial hit, always GO for the HEAD and the GROIN.  You might think that you’ll anger the guy and make him want to hurt you more, but the rapists said they want a woman who will not cause a lot of trouble.  Start causing trouble and he’s out of there.  

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.

16) Of course, the things we always hear still apply.  Be aware of your surroundings.  Take someone with you if you can.  If you see any odd behavior, don’t dismiss it, but go with your instincts!


Here are some other tips: 

The elbow is the strongest point on your body.  If you are close enough, use it!  Forget the rules of engagement.  The eyes, nose, and throat are soft targets for even the largest person.  Learn some simple strikes with the head butt to the nose, upward palm thrust to the face, thumb gouge to the eyes, or flat foot strike to snap his knees.  Don’t just strike at each target, strike through it with a whirlwind of blows.  Remember, the vicious predator has no feelings, concern, or mercy for you.

If a robber asks for your wallet or purse, DO NOT HAND IT TO HIM.  Toss it away from you....chances are that he is more interested in your money than you, and he will go for the money.  RUN LIKE MAD IN THE OTHER DIRECTION!

If you are ever thrown into the trunk of a car, kick out the back tail lights and stick your arm out the hole and start waving like crazy. The driver won’t see you, but everybody else will. This has saved lives.

Women have a tendency to get into their cars after shopping, eating, or working, and just sit doing their checkbook, or making a list, etc.  DON’T DO THIS!  A predator may be watching you, and this is the perfect opportunity for him to get in on the passenger side, put a gun to your head, and tell you where to go.  AS SOON AS YOU GET INTO YOUR CAR, LOCK THE DOORS AND LEAVE.

If someone is in the car with a gun to your head, DO NOT DRIVE OFF, repeat, DO NOT DRIVE OFF!  Instead, put on your seatbelt, gun the engine. Pick up speed into anything solid to wreck the car. Your Air Bag will save you. If the person is in the back seat, they will get the worst of it. As soon as the car crashes bail out and run.  It is better than having them find your body in a remote, secondary crime scene.

Be aware, look around you, look under and into your car, at the passenger side floor, and look in the back seat.

If you are parked next to a big van, enter your car from the passenger door. Most serial killers attack their victims by pulling them into their vans while the women are attempting to get into their cars.

Look at the car parked on the driver’s side of your vehicle, and the passenger side. If a male is sitting alone in the seat nearest your car, you may want to walk back into the mall, or work, and get a guard or policeman to walk you back out.


If you see a note on the rear window as you start to back up, just drive away.  Do not leave the engine running and get out of the car to investigate.  Nothing can be as important as your safety.


Manually lock your car with your door switch.  Never use the remote, because predators can pick up the radio frequency, duplicate it, and unlock the vehicle with or without you in it.

IT IS ALWAYS BETTER TO BE SAFE THAN SORRY, better paranoid or vigilant than dead.

ALWAYS take the elevator instead of the stairs.  Stairwells are horrible places to be alone and the perfect crime spot.  This is especially true at NIGHT!


Carry a small, powerful, defensive flashlight that will cause temporary blindness in an attacker while you can run away.  Even your occasional flash of light in a dark environment will likely keep a predator from choosing you as a victim.

If the predator has a gun and you are not under his control, ALWAYS RUN!  The predator has a small chance of hitting a running target as distance increases.  And even then, it most likely WILL NOT be a vital organ.  RUN, preferably in a zigzag pattern!


If you have a permit to carry a gun legally, make sure no one can tell.   Be well trained in the use of firearms and the laws of self-defense.  A firearm can prevent an attack best while the predator is at some distance.  If you hesitate when you must use it to stop an attacker, the predator may gain the advantage.  In close quarters, wait for a distraction or good opportunity before you try to use it.   Seek competent legal advice before answering any questions. 

Women are always trying to be sympathetic.  STOP!  It may get you raped or killed.  Ted Bundy, the serial killer, was a good-looking, well-educated man, who ALWAYS played on the sympathies of unsuspecting women.  He walked with a cane, or a limp, and often asked ‘for help’ into his vehicle or with his vehicle, which is when he abducted his victims.

A woman heard a crying baby on her porch one night, and she called the police, because it was late, and she thought it was weird.  The police told her “Whatever you do, DO NOT open the door.  They think a serial killer has a baby’s cry recorded and uses it to coax women out of their homes.  Never open your door, even a crack, to anyone you don’t know or can’t identify through a peephole.


Situational awareness is the key to avoidance.  Keep your head up, a watchful eye, a purposeful stride, a free hand, and be confident.  Your demeanor tells the predator that you won’t be surprised and you won’t be an easy victim.

Practical self defense for every woman by Melissa Soalt aka Dr. Ruthless

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