Hoaxes & Rumors

Analysis of “Through A Rapist’s Eyes”

Analysis of “Through A Rapist’s Eyes”

“Through a Rapist’s Eyes” is a well-intended list of tips, advice, and information aimed at helping women understand rapists, and how to avoid them. Here we offer a closer examination of this essay which has circulated for years.

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The extensive set of tips, often referred to as “Through a Rapist’s Eyes” has circulated for well over a decade. It was apparently generated by a person who had attended a self defense class and wanted to pass along this “helpful” information.

We’ll start with the full text of “Through a Rapist’s Eyes” as circulated in 2013. It is believed that the original was written around 2000, and has been embellished as it has evolved over the years. We have included a few annotations where we felt the writer was off the mark.

“THROUGH A RAPIST’S EYES” (PLS TAKE TIME TO READ THIS. it may save a life.) Click Share Button to share it on your Wall.

It seems that a lot of attackers use some tactic to get away with violence. Not many people know how to take care of themselves when faced with such a situation. Everyone should read this especially each and every girl in this world.


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.

Untrue. There is no evidence that hairstyle or length alters the target of a rapist. This seems to completely ignore the fact that most rapes are by a known assailant. 

2. The second thing men look for is clothing. They will look for women whose clothing is easy to remove quickly. Many of them carry scissors around to cut clothing.

There is no evidence to support this. Pulling out a pair of scissors and cutting clothing isn’t nearly as fast as tearing it off, or ordering the victim to remove it.

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.

4. The number one place women are abducted from / attacked at is grocery store parking lots.

5. Number two is office parking lots/garages.

6. Number three is public restrooms.

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.

Items 3 through 7 above offer no sources to back up these claims. See our stats below for some actual numbers. These oversimplify the various settings in which rapes can occur. Most rapes are by known assailants.

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.

Not all rapists are the same. Some rapists are actually excited when there is a struggle.

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.

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.

Again, no sources to back up these claims.


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.

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.

This is an odd one. Rapists who are strangers typically use the element of surprise and will not telegraph an attack. Are you expected to hold out your hands and yell to every man who walks in your direction?

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.

If you have time to fumble through your purse to grab it, this might work, but most rapists who are strangers use opportunity and the element of surprise. Fumbling through your purse for pepper spray may not be a luxury afforded to all victims. 

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.

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.

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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.

You should definitely go for the groin, throat, eyes, or anywhere that may slow or disable an attacker, and do it with relentless conviction.

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, and go with your instincts. You may feel little silly at the time, but you’d feel much worse if the guy really was trouble.


I know you are smart enough to know these pointers but there will be some, where you will go “hmm I must remember that” After reading, forward it to someone you care about, never hurts to be careful in this crazy world we live in.

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.

You should use any method you can, elbow or otherwise.

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.

Modern trunks have release switches in which a person inside the trunk can open it. The likelihood of being thrown into a trunk as part of a rape is extremely low.

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.

This might depend on the isolation factor. A bustling parking lot at noon is much different than the back of an empty mall parking lot at 10pm.

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.

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.)

6. ALWAYS take the elevator instead of the stairs. (Stairwells are horrible places to be alone and the perfect crime spot).

This would also depend. Getting into a dark elevator alone with a man may not be a very good alternative to an outdoor stairwell. To generalize this conflicts with the “be aware of your surroundings” advice.

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!

There is no source provided to support this “4 in 100” statistic. Your distance from a gunman is what will determine his odds of shooting you. This article from Slate, in response to the Virginia Tech shooting a few years ago, points out that 20 feet or less are within “deadly range” and hints that 40 feet or more is a safer range to consider running.

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.

I’d like you to forward this to all the women you know. It may save a life. A candle is not dimmed by lighting another candle. I was going to send this to the ladies only, but guys, if you love your mothers, wives, sisters, daughters, etc., you may want to pass it onto them, as well.

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 a heart or compassion share this photo.


‘Helping hands are better than Praying Lips’ – give us your helping hand.


Friends So Please Share….Your one share can Help to spread this information. We share So many Stupid Things on Facebook and ignore these types of things which can save so many lives’s…

Additional Analysis

While some of the advice in “Through a Rapist’s Eyes” is sound – such as to be aware of your surroundings, not to be alone at night, or to be cautious of strangers – there are some suggestions which overstate, oversimplify, or completely overlook common rape statistics.

There is no single profile for a rapist.

Even if one tactic derails a certain type of assailant, it may actually encourage another. “Through a Rapist’s Eyes” presents information as if all rapists act the same. This is an oversimplification of a more complex scenario.

Most Rapists Aren’t Strangers

The list seems to be focus solely on rapes by strangers, which account for only about 30-35% of all rape cases. Consider that of all rapes, the relationships of the victim to the attacker are as follows:

  • Well-known: 35% (Usually a spouse or ex-spouse)
  • Casual Acquaintance: 21%
  • Relative: 11%
  • Stranger: 33%

Source: Criminal Victimization in the United States, 1994 Report

Looking at those numbers, it would seem that a comprehensive article should include ways to avoid being assaulted by someone you know, since these account for the majority of rapes.

Location vs Isolation and Opportunity

Many of the scenarios in the article indicate that location is a prime factor when rape occurs by a stranger, which is somewhat misleading. Location isn’t necessarily more important than isolation and opportunity, which are also primary factors. For those rapes that occur by a stranger, according to New Mexico Clearinghouse on Sexual Abuse and Assault Services, these occur in the following locations with the following percentages:

  • Outside, away from the victim’s home: 19.5%
  • At the victim’s home: 12.6%
  • In an apartment, park, field, or playground: 10.8%
  • Commercial Building: 9%
  • At or near a friend or relative’s home: 10.9%

Further, rapes occur most while the victim is engaged in the following activities:

  • During leisure activity away from home: 31.9%
  • During activity at home: 22.2%
  • While sleeping: 15.3%
  • During transit (work/school/errands): 15.2%
  • At work: 3.9%
  • At school: 2.1%

Their Sources

As with so many of these “warning” types of emails and stories circulated online, there is a lack of any sourcing to back up their claims or statistics. In addition to the sources linked above, we also consulted the University of Minnesota Duluth’s “List of Rape Myths: Sociology of Rape.”

Bottom Line

The University of Minnesota Duluth’s conclusion notes:

Over 50% of reported rapes occur in the home. 80% of sexual assaults reported by college age women and adult women were perpetrated by close friends or family members. There is no common profile of a rapist. Rapes are committed by people from all economic levels, all races, all occupations. A rapist can be your doctor, your boss, your clergyman, your superintendent, your partner, your lover, your friend or your date.

Further Reading:

Updated May 21, 2015
Originally published January 2013

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