WHO IS THE DATE RAPIST?
Date Rapists Are Acquaintance Rapists
Date rapists are the most talked about acquaintance rapists. An acquaintance rapist is someone the victim knows. The degree or length of the relationship may vary from just meeting the individual to knowing him for years. He may be a family member, friend, co-worker, fellow student, neighbor, or a date. Women of all ages may be vulnerable to the acquaintance rapist.
An acquaintance rapist is a predator who can look like anyone else. In the end, he is a predator like any stranger rapist. Most rapists sexually assault females they know; others rape both acquaintances and strangers. He can also be an abusive intimate partner. Overall, most rapists know their victims, adding to the complication of reporting and prosecution.
The acquaintance rapist will be described as a “he” in this section because most are teenage and adult males. However, females have sexually assaulted teenage girls and other women. Female sex offenders have also assaulted boys, and occasionally men.
All rapists are wolves, but the acquaintance rapist wears the sheep’s clothing and easily blends in with everyone else. Most acquaintance rapists have the ability to con or lure their victims into opportunistic isolation. They can skillfully deceive or pressure them in order to “set them up” to steal sex.
Serial Acquaintance and Date Rapists
The serial rapist is someone who rapes multiple women in separate unrelated incidents with an emotional cooling off period in between crimes. Most acquaintance rapists would fall into the serial rapist category. The acquaintance rapist often lacks empathy and is without a social conscience. He rarely feels guilty and insists he has done nothing wrong. In his distorted thought process, he will claim his victim agreed to have sex with him. He is selfish and has no remorse for the harm he causes victims.
Initially he is usually successful at concealing his low self-esteem, immaturity, and impulsiveness. Over time his facade will fall apart. When hunting he can be patient, and calculating planning moves like a game of cat and mouse. He manipulates situations that place him and his victim in isolation together. Then he refuses to let her leave, holds her down, threatens her with harm or other fearful consequences, and sexually assaults his victim.
He may not attack every woman he takes out or is alone with in school, work, social, and other types of environments or associations. He may obtain consensual sex more often than he achieves sexual contact through rape. He may consider women who are separated, divorced, or generally older as sexually available. The date or acquaintance rapist sees nothing wrong with “forced sex” and may see his victim again as part of work, school, social gathering, or seek to “date” or “hook up” with her again.
The acquaintance rapist may belong to any of the rapist typologies, and simultaneously share many characteristics found in an abusive partner.
Behavioral patterns have been identified through research and discussing events with women who have been or were almost victimized by acquaintance predators. Predators often have abusive personalities and are amoral with have zero boundaries. Some predators were married, had a girlfriend, and simultaneously were committing sexual assaults against women.
Who Is the Date or Acquaintance Rapist?
Date rapists do NOT always attack on the first or second dates. Most are patient and calculate plans to isolate their victims. They resort to intimidation and force when consensual sex is denied.
Do not attempt to memorize the behavior cluster below. Instead listen to your intuition.
When dating, ask yourself whether your date demonstrates a significant cluster of the following characteristics:
- Does he take “no” for an answer?
- Does he persist if you decline a date, “What’s the matter, don’t you like me?”
- Does he disregard what you are saying?
- Does he get cold, hostile, or angry when you tell him no? “What do you mean ‘no’ I spent a lot of money on you!”
- Does he seem to know a lot about you that you have not yet shared?
- Does he speak as if he knows you much better than he does?
- Does he speak or act as if he knows you intimately when not the case?
- Does he insist on knowing a lot about you, especially things you consider personal?
- Does he seem exceptionally charming and friendly attending to your needs?
- Does he want to immediately be alone with you?
- Does he try to isolate you; “Let’s take a walk,” take you to his apartment, insisting to get inside your home, or go for a drive, go to another party/bar, etc.?
- Does he surprise you with the need for a sudden change in plans? “I need to stop by my place.” or “I need to pick something up at my friends.” or conduct another errand?
- Does he insist on taking you to a personal place he has chosen?
- Does he drink heavily, or use drugs?
- Does he pressure you to drink more alcohol than you want or insist you use drugs?
- Does he drink or get high and then drive?
- Does he pick fights or bully others?
- Does he degrade and criticize others in order to make himself appear superior to compensate for potential low self-esteem?
- Does he lack fear of negative consequences for his behavior?
- Does he need his ego stroked and told how good, great, grandiose he is?
- Does he make fun of you or put you down as coercion so as to get you to do what he wants?
- Does he continue to talk about things that he knows make you uncomfortable or make you feel bad?
- Does he act bossy or make decisions about what to do and where to go with you?
- Does he criticize you for not wanting to get drunk, high, or have sex with him?
- Does he make you feel bad, guilty, or uptight?
- Does he show signs of deep underlying anger toward women?
- Does he generally talk negatively about women?
- Does he view women as adversaries?
- Does he test your boundaries and then continue to physically push beyond your designated touch or comfort boundaries?
- Does he sit or stand too close to you and enjoy your discomfort?
- Does he feel sex is his right? “You’re leading me on.” “You want it by the way you dress.”
- Does he show irresponsibility or lack any concern for protecting you or from unwanted pregnancy such as refusing to wear a condom or unconcerned you missed taking birth control pills.
- Does he deny his behavior was rape?
- Does he coincidentally appear in places where you are?
- Does he demand your constant attention?
Overall, do you feel uncomfortable when with him? If so, avoid isolation, it is time to create distance and safety from him.
Date Rapists and Abusive Intimate Partners
Your date or boyfriend may later engage in intimate partner violence if has a cluster of the following behaviors:
- He calls you continuously, often wanting to know where you are at and what you are doing.
- He criticizes what you do, what you wear, and your friends or family.
- He doesn’t listen or care about what you are saying or what you want to do.
- He engages in inappropriate intimate conversation or comments (with regard to time, place, and stage of your relationship) and makes crude sexual jokes.
- He makes disrespectful comments about women and/or their bodies.
- He interrupts you excessively, seeming not to care about what you are saying or feeling.
- He acts jealous when you talk to other people, including your female friends.
- He treats you as his property or gets jealously angry easily.
- He domineeringly invades your personal space, or touches you when you tell him not to.
- He controls you physically. He holds or grabs you too tightly, tugs you around by the hand, or ignores your pleas and resistance when you pull away.
- He blocks your path when you want to leave.
- He starts arguments and when you are upset or hurt he becomes amorous.
- He feels let down and angry when he finds out you are not the person he imagined, often related to sexual purity or prior sexual experiences.
- He insists or tries to force you to perform sexual activities you do not wish to do or pressure you for sex, “I won’t date you anymore.”
- He becomes easily angry or violent.
- He tells you how you should think or feel.
- He uses implied or overt threats of violence, or he physically displays anger and violence with the intent to intimidate you.
- He abuses his position of authority or trust with others and/or you.
- He degrades your gender with jokes or shows interest in other women in an effort to upset you or degrade you outright or subtly.
- He uses emotional blackmail. “If you won’t give it (sex) to me, I’ll get it from someone else.”
Other Date Rape and Acquaintance Rape Considerations
Know that you have the right to set sexual limits. But having the confidence to set sexual limits and being able to protect your right is what really counts. When confronted with a predator, an acquaintance or not, no one will be there to assist you in setting your boundaries. Understanding these traits as indicators of acquaintance are the first line of self-defense and then measures can be taken to get distance from the individual.
Take heed to former girlfriends or ex-wives of a male you are currently dating that warn you of his potential violence. There is probably truth to their statements and are NOT approaching you in an act of jealousy. Become curious, and ask the next question: “WHY?” Consider her answer, because she may save you significant future pain the sooner you determine and decide to leave an abusive partner.
Overall, acquaintance rapists usually do not worry about police involvement and describe having consensual sex with the victim. It is still important to report the rape. The more reports made against a specific date/acquaintance rapist, the easier it becomes to prosecute and put them in prison. While rape between strangers is condemned by society as a violent, criminal act, incidents of date rape are often minimized, conditions will not change unless the crime is reported to police.
Acquaintance rapists benefit from low victim reporting and disregard evidence evasion. They may brag about having sex with the victim or start rumors about her sexual promiscuity to mold the perception of others onto his side.
The Model Mugging Basic course covers the dynamics of sex crimes and the sexual predator typologies that assist students in understanding the motivations and other tactics predators use to intimidate their victims into complying with their desires and expectations. Combined with the physical skills, this information improves personal safety and the confidence of graduates to recognize and avoid dangerous individuals in the first place.
Recognizing the behavioral traits of the date rapist and acquaintance rapist is an important part of avoiding crimes in relationships. Future crime prevention pages will cover how to avoid date rape.
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