This information comes from my friend Marc “Animal” MacYoung. A talented and prolific author, his work has changed the way I look at self defense. This document is handed out to everyone that attends one of my self defense seminars.
Personality Traits of Rapists, Abusers, and Criminals
While there are others, these behaviors are serious indicators of a potential rapist or abuser. This short list should acquaint you with the basics. Not all men are rapists, but a person like this has a higher probability than others. You not only find these traits among rapists and abusers, but also professional criminals. Philosophically there is little difference between such, they are all selfish. Most often it is just a matter of degrees, style and choice of victims.
1) 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? Often this can go beyond mere selfishness and border nearly on an “assumed divine right.” Often these people will justify a particularly vicious action with a flip comment like, “Hey, that’s how the game is played.” Such a person has no understanding that he must co-exist with others. 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.
2) Belittling behavior or attitudes towards others – Does this person habitually make nasty, belittling or degrading comments about others – especially under the guise of joking? Does this person think he is better than others? Does he look down on others? A nouveau riche aristocrat? Is he a racist? A person who thinks that race or social position makes him superior can also assume gender does too. When you think you are superior, an assumed right to ‘take’ what you want often follows.
3) Negating behavior or comments – Closely related to 1 and 2. Does he try to tell you what you are feeling or thinking? Or worse, tell you what you are not? Comments like “you don’t really mean that” are serious indicators of someone trying to negate you. A person who negates others is trying to take away the other person’s thoughts, feelings and needs and attempting to project his wants onto that person. The most obvious example of this is “Well even though she said ‘no’, she really meant ‘yes’”.
4) Hostile and/or threatening language – What words does a person use? Choice of words conveys subconscious assumptions about a particular topic. For example a man who generically refers to women as “bitches” does not have good assumptions about females (or much respect). It is all too easy to dismiss this behavior as just “blowing off steam.” But if it is a constant behavior, it goes far beyond that. Someone who habitually uses violent or threatening language should be carefully watched for possible escalation. It’s on his mind already. It’s an uncomfortably short step from ‘thinking about’ to ‘doing’.
5) Bullying – This behavior is especially dangerous. Does this person use overt or subtle threats to get his way? A bully uses the threat of violence more than actual violence. Most often bullies are not willing to risk conflict with someone who can hurt them (an alpha male), and will instead chose to intimidate someone he considers weaker and safer. Someone who is bullying over other matters can easily turn to bullying you regarding sex.
6) Excessive anger – How easy does this person anger? Is he a “Short Fuse”? Does he boil over at the slightest problem? This is an indication of chronic anger. A person who explodes over a minor issue is like a full pot boiling over on the stove. It’s not that the issue is all that important, but that he has so much anger already; any more causes him to explode. Often people with chronic anger look for targets to vent their anger at. This could manifest as physical fights, abuse, or rape.
7) Brooding/ revenge – Does this person hang onto his anger long after the situation is over? Will he still be stewing over something while everyone else has moved onto other things? Will he become anti-social and glare at the source of his anger from across the room? Will he insist on taking revenge for real or imagined slights? Both indicate a petty and obsessive personality. A brooder fixates on something and then works himself into frenzy over it. A person who seeks revenge “has to win” and is willing to take it to extremes. Refusing such a person’s sexual advances can turn this tendency towards you.
8 ) Obsession – This is a close cousin to number seven. It is a major factor with acquaintance rapes. This is the person who won’t leave you alone. He insists on ‘hitting on you’ long after you have told him no. He is always trying to establish forced intimacy (see bonding processes below). Such obsessions easily turn into anger when his advances are rejected. One day he shows up in a fringe area, drunk and attacks.
9) Extreme mood swings – Beware someone who can go from wildly happy to deeply wound at a moment’s notice. This sort of personality can feel justified to commit an unlimited amount of violence and damage, because you “hurt his feelings.” This is a common pattern among those with chronic anger about life.
10) Physical tantrums – How does this person get angry? Especially when denied “getting his way”. Beware of a person who regularly physically assaults his environment i.e. hitting walls, kicking things etc. It is only a short step from striking a car to attacking you.
11) Jock or gorilla mentality – This mentality promotes both acceptance and encouragement for the use of violence. It is especially common among participants of contact sports. What is most insidious about this mentality is the “jock” receives not only positive reinforcement, but out-and-out applause for being aggressive and violent. This can easily lead to a failure to differentiate between the playing field and real life. Mike Tyson’s comment is a prime example: “Nobody ever objected before.”
12) A mean drunk – Nearly all rape and abuse cases involve alcohol. Watch what surfaces when someone is intoxicated. It shows what is always lurking underneath. Do not put yourself into a situation where you would deal with such a person while he is intoxicated. Most importantly, don’t allow your facilities to be diminished by alcohol or drugs in this person’s presence.
13) Alcohol or drug abuse – To begin with drug and alcohol addiction can be traced back to selfishness and a refusal to change one’s world view. Alcohol and drugs are not the cause of bad behavior; rather they are used as an excuse! Often the attacker intentionally became intoxicated to ignore the social restrictions and inhibitions regarding violence.
(Source: Marc MacYoung www.nononsenseselfdefense.com)