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Wednesday, September 01, 2010

Words from a perpetrator

Sorry I’ve been a little absent, all - just started law school on Monday and I’m trying to get my sea legs.  It’s gonna take a little while before I figure out where I am and what I’m doing with myself as a student again, but in the meantime, this particular item caught my eye.  Many thanks to Leah for sending it my direction.

Major Trigger Warning for that link: it’s a reddit from a convicted rapist, who answered anonymous questions about his perpetration.  If you have the stomach for it, the perpetrator says some pretty insightful things about why he perpetrated.  I thought this part was the most to-the-point:

Q: Why did you do it? Do you regret hurting them? (I mean, actually, not just “I regret going to jail for it”.)
A: It’s not very satisfying, but I did it because I wanted it. I wanted them, I wanted to do what I did to them. The sexual arousal was intense, but the desire to overpower them, to take control was even more so. It was an urge that built and built until I surrenered [sic] to it.

I’m still trying to figure out what I think about this in general, but it was interesting seeing a perpetrator echo what sexual violence prevention folks have been saying for a long time.  Dominance, control, power - these are the roots of rape, not sexual arousal or being horny.

Posted by Dave on 09/01 at 08:31 AM


Thanks for the link :)

What really got me about this thread was that over and over people asked him "How can I protect myself from people like you?" He always replies: "Don't be alone in odd places at odd hours."

This really got to me because, as someone who is well aware that most sexual assaults are perpetrated by someone you know (acquaintance rape, date rape, etc) - this guy is a bonafide stranger-danger rapist. I think knowing that most rapes are not stranger rapes almost lulls you into a feeling of relative safety, or that worrying about stranger rape is as productive as worrying about getting struck by lightning.

While I still believe that prevention/education efforts should reflect the reality that stranger rape is much less common than acquaintance rape, this thread reminded me that it does happen and that predators like him are real. So what does that mean? Should we change our behaviors to make sure we're not alone at odd hours? Should I be asking security guards to escort me to my car at night? How much precaution SHOULD you take in order to be "smart" but still live a life that isn't ruled by fear?
Posted by Leah  on  09/01  at  01:16 PM

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