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 psychosexual characteristics.
- The power-assertive rapist
- The anger-retaliation rapist
- The power-reassurance rapist
- The anger-excitation rapist
Such rapist behaviour 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:
Power-assertive rapist: 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.
Anger-retaliatory rapist: 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.
Power-reassurance rapist: 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".
Anger-excitation rapist: 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.