By Sifu Lawrence Hochobeb BEHAVIOUR that can and does lead to rape is not isolated. It tends to infuse within a person's character and can be regularly displayed in many small ways. These attitudes, behaviours and words are consistent among rapists and those who attack others. The reason why it is impossible to predict who will and will not sexually assault someone is because of how these traits manifest. One person might choose to be blatant and habitually physically attack others, while another might be subtler but verbally attack others on a regular basis. The motives are the same, but the style is entirely different. If you see any of the following traits in a person, take care. The more you see, the more care should be taken not to be alone with him. Even if he doesn't rape, these traits indicate serious personality faults. Insensitivity for others/emphasis on self - Does this person put his wants above the needs, feelings or well being of others? Is getting his way more important to him than other people's welfare? Because he simply exists he thinks the world "owes" him whatever he wants. A common tactic of such a person it to make you feel bad for not doing what he wants. Belittling behaviour or attitudes towards others - Does this person regularly make nasty, belittling or degrading comments about others, especially under the disguise of joking? Does this person think he is better than others? Does he look down on others? When you think you are superior, an assumed right to "take" what you want often follows. Opposing behaviour or comments - Does he try to tell you what you are feeling, thinking or tell you what you are not? A person who negates others is trying to project his wants onto that person. The most obvious example of this is "Even though she said 'no', she really meant 'yes'". Hostile and/or threatening language - What words does a person use? For example, a man who commonly refers to women as "bitches" does not have a good opinion about females. Someone who regularly uses threatening language should be carefully watched for possible escalation. Bullying - Does this person use obvious or subtle threats to get his way? Someone who is bullying over other matters can easily turn to bullying you regarding sex. Excessive anger - How easily does this person get angry? Does he explode at the slightest problem? Often people with excessive anger look for targets to direct and vent their anger at. This could lead to physical fights or rape. Brooding/revenge - Does this person hang onto his anger long after the situation is over? Will he insist on taking revenge for a real or imagined issue? Both indicate an obsessive personality. Refusing such a person's sexual advances can turn this tendency towards you. Obsession - It is a major factor with acquaintance or date rapes. This is the person who won't leave you alone. He insists and keeps on insisting to "hit on you" long after you said no. He is always trying to establish forced intimacy. Such obsessions easily turn into anger when his sexual advances are rejected. Extreme mood swings - Beware of someone who can go from extremely happy to intensely depressed/sad in an instant. This sort of personality can feel justified to commit acts of violence and damage because you "hurt his feelings". Physical tantrums - Beware of a person who regularly physically assaults his surroundings, i.e. hitting walls, kicking and throwing things, etc. He is only a short step away from attacking you. Intoxication - Watch what surfaces when someone is intoxicated. It shows what has always been lurking beneath. Do not put yourself into a situation where you would deal with such an intoxicated person. Alcohol or drug abuse - Alcohol and drugs are not the cause of criminal behaviour; rather they are used as an excuse! Often the attacker intentionally becomes intoxicated in order to ignore social restrictions and embarrassment regarding the use of violence. While there are many others, these traits are serious indicators of a potential rapist. Many rapists will attempt to disguise, justify or explain away the dangerous behaviours that we have mentioned. How they will do this is totally unpredictable as it depends on the individual and his opinion and assessment of you. Be aware that he will modify his response to what he thinks will work best with you. It is going to sound really convincing when it comes your way. These danger signals are real and care should be taken when dealing with someone who exhibits them. Do not put yourself in a situation where such a person could successfully use violence. Simply, do not go out or be alone with such a person - especially if alcohol or drugs are involved. A shark is a shark whether it is swimming peacefully or attacking. Just because you haven't been attacked, doesn't mean he can't or would not. You either haven't had anything he wants or you have not been in a situation with him where he could successfully act. Be vigilant!
New Era Reporter
2008-07-23 00:00:00 10 years ago