Through a rapist’s eyes is a meme that has been doing the rounds of Facebook for a few years now. We have included the full text of the meme below as there are a number of quite serious problems with it: notably the victim blaming of women for not following this ‘advice’.
1. This meme claims to be based on research with rapists and date rapists who are in prison. Yet, there is no link to any research nor the names of any researchers. Anyone can claim to be writing about a study but if they don’t put in a link, you can’t trust that they’ve read and understood the message. Not all studies are of equal value either – inappropriate, misleading or missed questions can substantially alter the findings.
2. The vast majority of rapes are committed by men known to the victim including: husbands, partners, fathers, brothers, employers. This advice does nothing to protect women from rapists they know and implies that stranger rape is far more common than it actually is. This myth about stranger rapes means that we do not focus on the majority of perpetrators, many of whom are related to the victim.
3. Rapists who are in prison are only a small minority. The vast majority are neither reported and those that are reported are rarely convicted as the criminal justice system fails to support victims. Rape myths and victim blaming make it difficult for women and children to access support and find police officers who will believe them.
4. This advice implies that rapists only target young women – erasing older women, children and men as victims of sexual violence.
Suggesting that these ‘rules’ will protect all victims from rape ignores the reality in which most rapes and other forms of sexual violence occur.
We’ve broken down our responses to the meme below: our responses are in bold.
THROUGH A RAPIST’S EYES” (PLS TAKE TIME TO READ THIS. it may save a life.)
Through a rapist’s eyes. A group of rapists and date rapists in prison were interviewed on what they look for in a potential victim and here are some interesting facts:
1] The first 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.
What study? Which group of prisoners were interviewed? Who interviewed them? What was the victim typology – young women? children? elderly women? Did the interviewers look at issues like race and class when assuming victim typology? Did the examine hairstyle fashions over a number of decades to come to this conclusion? Did they look at when the perpetrator was committing rape?
Telling women how they must style their hair to prevent rape is victim blaming. It erases the perpetrator’s choice to commit rape and holds women accountable for not being ‘proper women’.
2] The second thing men look for is clothing. They will look for women who’s clothing is easy to remove quickly. Many of them carry scissors around to cut clothing.
Again, telling women how to dress to avoid rape is victim blaming. It tells women they are responsible for rape and it tells rapists they are not responsible for their actions.
In 1999, an Italian appeals court overturned a rape conviction because the victim was wearing tight jeans and everyone knows that jeans require assistance of the wearer to remove. Apparently. This decision wasn’t overruled until 2008. In 2008 in Seoul and 2010 in Australian, juries acquitted rapists because the victim was wearing skinny jeans. The clothing women and children wear is irrelevant to their rape. They are raped because a rapist makes a choice to commit rape. It is not because they are wearing jeans, short skirts,yoga pants or children wearing pyjamas in their own bed.
3] They also look for women using their cell phone, searching through their purse or doing other activities while walking because they are off guard and can be easily overpowered.
This rule effectively states that women cannot go in public and live their lives because of men cannot stop themselves from committing rape. Yet, there are no rules for men to stop them going out in public in case they commit rape.
4] The number one place women are abducted from / attacked at is grocery store parking lots.
Again, where is this information taken from? Who and when was the research done?
5] Number two is office parking lots/garages.
And again, where is this information taken from? Who and when was the research done?
6] Number three is public restrooms.
And, finally, where is this information taken from? Who and when was the research done?
7] 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.
Again, the majority of rapes are committed by people known to the victim, frequently in their own homes.
8] 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.
This absolutely not true. With some rapists, fighting back leads to increased violence and potentially death.
Humans have three basic responses to crisis or trauma: flight, fight or freeze. However a victim responds at the moment of attack is the correct way to respond for them at that exact moment. Any suggestions that they should have “fought back” or “run away” implies victims are at fault.
The only person responsible is the rapist. We need to focus on the perpetrator.
9] These men said they would not pick on women who have umbrellas,or other similar objects that can be used from a distance, in their hands.
And, yet again, research links?
10] 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.
So, point 8 is you must fight back but point 10 is don’t bother fighting back?
POINTS THAT WE SHOULD REMEMBER:
1] 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: can’t believe it is so cold out here, we’re in for a bad winter. Now that you’ve seen their faces and could identify them in a line- up, you lose appeal as a target.
Considering the vast majority of rapists are known to the victim, this is rather asinine. Women don’t report rapes not because they can’t identify the rapist but because they know they will not be believed. Women know that police still no-crime rapes without bothering to investigate and the CPS refuse to prosecute because they know juries believe rape myths.
2] If someone is coming toward you, hold out your hands in front of you and yell Stop or Stay back! Most of the rapists this man talked to 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.
So, women who are raped are responsible for being raped because they are “easy” targets. This advice blames the victim for the perpetrator’s actions. This is the very essence of victim blaming.
3] If you carry pepper spray (this instructor was a huge advocate of it and carries it with him wherever he goes,) yelling I HAVE PEPPER SPRAY and holding it out will be a deterrent.
Except, pepper spray is illegal in the UK and, as we have already mentioned, in situations of crisis people have three equally valid responses to crisis moments. Not every woman will be able to shout out or feel safe carrying an illegal weapon. And, it is not their fault if they are raped. It is the fault of the rapist.
4] If someone grabs you, you can’t beat them with strength but you can do it by outsmarting 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 – HARD. One woman in a class this guy taught told him 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 really hurts.
Here, we have the suggestion that women who are raped simply weren’t smart enough to stop the rape. Because this isn’t cruel or victim blaming at all. It also completely ignores basic human responses to trauma or crisis (and this failure to understand basic human psychology demonstrates how dangerous this meme actually is)
5] After the initial hit, always go for the groin. I know from a particularly unfortunate experience that if you slap a guy’s parts it is extremely painful. You might think that you’ll anger the guy and make him want to hurt you more, but the thing these rapists told our instructor is that they want a woman who will not cause him a lot of trouble. Start causing trouble, and he’s out of there.
And, again, without stating where this research comes from on or who the “instructor” (and this term doesn’t fill us with confidence), we can’t actually ascertain if the research has any validity. Certainly, it is wrong to suggest that no rapist will become angry and want to hurt you more if you fight back. Even ignoring the issue of victim blaming, suggesting that a rapist will leave a woman alone if she fights back is extremely dangerous.
6] 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. The instructor did it to me without using much pressure, and I ended up on my knees and both knuckles cracked audibly.
This assumes the woman or child has the physical capabilities of doing so; women with disabilities, children and elderly women may not be able to do so. Even women with years of training, some will always freeze during a period of crisis and there is nothing wrong with this reaction. It is normal and suggesting otherwise is incredibly harmful.
7] 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 little silly at the time, but you’d feel much worse if the guy really was trouble.
And, having told women to ignore their instincts, we now return to the ‘trust your instincts’ suggestion. Women absolutely should trust their instincts. They should also be told that the only person responsible for rape is the rapist. The “advice” above is victim blaming and utterly erases the perpetrator’s responsibility.
FINALLY, PLEASE REMEMBER THESE AS WELL ….
A list of suggestions which all blame women for being raped and all assume that rape victims are young women – and not children or elderly women or women living with disabilities.
1. Tip from Tae Kwon Do: The elbow is the strongest point on your body. If you are close enough to use it, do it.
2. Learned this from a tourist guide to New Orleans : if a robber asks for your wallet and/or purse, DO NOT HAND IT TO HIM. Toss it away from you…. chances are that he is more interested in your wallet and/or purse than you and he will go for the wallet/purse. RUN LIKE MAD IN THE OTHER DIRECTION!
3. 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.
4. Women have a tendency to get into their cars after shopping,eating, working, etc., and just sit (doing their checkbook, or making a list, etc. DON’T DO THIS! The predator will 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 CLOSE the DOORS , LEAVE.
WOMEN: CHANGE YOUR WHOLE LIFE BECAUSE WE CAN’T POSSIBLY HOLD RAPISTS RESPONSIBLE FOR THEIR BEHAVIOUR
5. A few notes about getting into your car in a parking lot, or parking garage:
a. Be aware: look around your car as someone may be hiding at the passenger side , peek into your car, inside the passenger side floor, and in the back seat. ( DO THIS TOO BEFORE RIDING A TAXI CAB) .
b. 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.
The evidence for this is?
c. 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/policeman to walk you back out. IT IS ALWAYS BETTER TO BE SAFE THAN SORRY. (And better paranoid than dead.)
And, if you don’t do this, it’s your fault you were raped.
6. ALWAYS take the elevator instead of the stairs. (Stairwells are horrible places to be alone and the perfect crime spot).
Assuming you live and work in a building with elevators – if not, clearly it’s your fault for not living in a better place or work on the ground floor.
7. If the predator has a gun and you are not under his control, ALWAYS RUN! The predator will only hit you (a running target) 4 in 100 times; And even then, it most likely WILL NOT be a vital organ. RUN!
And the research for this is?
8. As women, we are always trying to be sympathetic: STOP IT! 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 next victim.
This is socialisation. Women are socialised to be caring and nurturing. It isn’t as easy as ignoring years of socialisation. It also ignores the perpetrator’s choice to harm a woman.
Send this to any woman you know that may need to be reminded that the world we live in has a lot of crazies in it and it’s better safe than sorry.
If u have compassion reblog this post.
‘Helping hands are better than Praying Lips’ – give us your helping hand.
REBLOG THIS AND LET EVERY GIRL KNOW
ATLEAST PEOPLES WILL KNOW WATS GOIN IN THIS WORLD.
So please reblog this….Your one reblog can Help to spread this information.
I hope you all will Reblog. Lets See how many of you really care for this.
THIS COULD ACTUALLY SAVE A LIFE.
There’s nothing quite like some emotional blackmail to make people send around dangerous and unfounded advice.
We rather like this quote from feminist writer and activist @sianushka
Even if a woman never left her house and lived on her own and did everything this viral tells her to do, it won’t reduce the incidents of rape – simply because this advice won’t stop a rapist attacking someone else. So long as the advice, the guidance, and the hectoring, patronising, patriarchal tone focuses on women’s behaviour then it will never stop rape because it will never be directed at the cause of rape. And that cause is rapists, not women.
The only person responsible for rape is the rapist. They are the ones who choose, consciously choose, to commit a violent crime. And one way to stop some men making that choice is to end rape culture, which is propped up by this viral.
These types of unsubstantiated instructions are about controlling women’s lives. No one makes these lists for men to ensure they don’t go out and commit rape (except Rape Crisis Scotland who got told off for being mean to men by doing it). If your “advice” to end rape focuses on the victim and not the perpetrator, you are contributing to rape culture.