PROFILE OF A RAPIST
Using methods not unlike those employed by FBI profilers to
predict the behavior of serial killers, police and forensic psychologists have
identified four profiles of rapists defined by motive, style of attack and
The power-assertive rapist
The anger-retaliation rapist
The power-reassurance rapist
The anger-excitation rapist
Such rapist behavior profiles provide information that may be helpful in
determining how best to respond to a specific kind of attacker.
These are the characteristics of each of the four rapist profiles:
Athletic, has a "macho" image of himself. More often than not, this is the
type who commits date rapes. He typically meets his victim in a bar or
nightclub. Instead of targeting a specific victim, he looks for an opportunity
to get a woman alone with him, perhaps with an offer of a ride home or an
invitation back to his place. Or he may con his victim into trusting him or
letting him into her home, perhaps by posing as a policeman or repairman.
Approximately 44 percent of rapes are committed by power-assertive rapists. He
is physically aggressive, and will use the amount of force needed to control you
-- degrading or obscene language, [brandishing] a weapon, slapping or punching
-- but he does not intend to kill you.
Generally, begging and crying doesn't work with this guy. If you're going to
resist, you've got to be serious. You've got to scream and fight him as hard as
you can to get away.
He feels animosity towards women and wants to punish and degrade them. Often
he is a substance abuser. He is impulsive and has an explosive temper. He looks
for an opportunity to commit the rape rather than for a specific victim. He
attacks spontaneously and brutalizes the woman into submission. Thirty percent
of rapists fall into the anger-retaliation category. He will grab you from
behind and drag you into the bushes. He will often beat you to
near-unconsciousness before committing the rape. Any level of resistance may
well enrage him and cause him to beat the hell out of you until he gets what he
wants. He's not looking to kill you, but the beating could be fatal. You do not
want to challenge or enrage this type of rapist. You could try to escape. If you
cannot get away or incapacitate the assailant, it's best to submit and try to
limit the level of violence of the assault to the extent that you can.
He lacks the self-confidence and interpersonal skills to develop
relationships with women. He is passive and nonathletic. He lives or works near
his victim, and "preselects" her by peeping or stalking. He typically breaks
into her home in the early hours of the morning and awakens her. He uses minimal
force and will threaten her with a weapon, but usually does not have one. He
fantasizes that he is his victim's lover so he may ask her to disrobe or to wear
a negligee and he will kiss her and engage in foreplay. The power-reassurance
type accounts for 21 percent of rapists. He is the least violent type of rapist,
and does not intend to hurt or kill you, Among the different types of rapists,
he is most likely to be dissuaded if you scream, cry, plead or fight." In
general it is more probable that you can discourage a rapist who uses this
[power reassurance] approach. But you could instead be dealing with a power
assertive rapist who is starting off with a softer approach. Try nonviolent
tactics, crying, pleading, praying aloud while you're sizing up the assailant.
If it works you may be able to escape the situation. But if he responds by
becoming verbally abusive or degrading, he is likely a power assertive rapist
and you will have to evaluate whether you are capable of fighting him off.
"Women need to rely on their instincts. When confronted with a rapist they
will try various techniques. In this situation, take full advantage of your
instincts in trying to figure out which type of rapist you are dealing with."
A sadist, who derives sexual gratification from inflicting pain. He is
typically charming and intelligent. The crime is premeditated and rehearsed
methodically in his mind before it is attempted. His victims may or may not be
strangers. He will tie, gag and blindfold them and torture them over a period of
days, even recording his crimes in a diary, taking photographs or videotaping
them. Just five percent of rapists fit this description.
Of the four types he is the most criminally sophisticated and it's difficult
to catch him. He's got absolute control over you so there's no question of any
type of resistance or of escaping. Oftentimes he kills his victims, either to
get rid of a witness or to gratify a psychosexual need." This is probably the
most dangerous situation a woman can be in. If you're tied up, you're going to
have to match wits with this guy and trick him or talk him into untying you so
you have at least some chance of escape.
Most rapists are not murderers. It is less likely that a woman - even one who
has taken a women's self-defense course -- can overcome the intensity of the
violence that an anger rapist will inflict. But power rapists commit nearly
two-thirds of all rapes, and you have a fighting chance to fend them off. If you
assess the situation and feel confident of your ability to fight or talk your
way out of [being raped], go ahead and do it.
There are women who have yelled or fought back, whether they've taken
self-defense classes or not, and have not gotten raped. To tell a woman 'don't
do anything, be the passive female' is absolute (nonsense)."
Given that the goal of all women who are in imminent danger of being raped is
to avoid it, they should rely on their instincts rather than assume that they
have to submit. But whatever her instincts tell her to do, If a woman survives,
she made the right choice.