Sunday, April 15, 2012

He followed his victim

Following - a very common method

Following a potential victim before a crime may be committed is a very common method or MO (Modus operandi)  used by criminals.

It is really quite logical from a perpetrator's perspective when you think about it. It helps the criminal assess the situation and "test" the potential victim. Also it gives the perpetrator the chance of picking a suitable place to strike.

Tailgating the victim

One such common method of following or stalking a potential victim is to tailgate. In this context, it is to follow on the heels of the victim as she enters a gate or door, and then slip through the same gate or door before it closes.

The following chilling footage from New York city shows a hammer-wielding perpetrator following a woman into a building on Manhattan. He attempted to rape her, but she fought back and fought him off. You can read the story here.

You should be aware of the statistics showing that many assaults happen close to the victim's home, and that the method of following the victim as she enters her home is nothing unusual at all.

In other words, you will need to use your awareness and pay attention to your surroundings as you're about to approach your apartment complex. It is always a good idea to have your keys ready and that you make sure the door locks behind you as you enter.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

College students, naivety

Profiling a potential serial rapist and killer

In this chilling article, reports about a potential serial rapist and confirmed killer who seems to target college-age women.

DNA material has linked the man who abducted and strangled Brianna Denison to three other sexually motivated attacks against young women on or near to the campus of the University of Nevada in Reno.

These attacks occurred on October 22, November 13 and December 16 2010. All victims were quite similar in appearance, according to authorities.

The naivety of college students

A former police detective and now a forensic security consultant said the suspect takes advantage of the naivety of college students.

"These students don't think about all of the horrible things that can happen," he said. "They are living in an area where things are positive, and they drop their guard. They are normally not concerned with the dark side of life."

How about you? Are you amongst those who tend to think that "crime never happen around here, this is a quite area", "it can never happen to me", or "it is probably going to be safe"?

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Trust your gut feeling!

A heart wrenching story

Recently I saw a TV interview with the Austrian kidnapping victim Natascha Kampusch. As you may recall, she was kidnapped at the age of 10, and held captive in Strasshof, Lower Austria for more than eight years before she finally managed to escape. A good part of those years, she was held in a dungeon in her captors house. The interview was a part of the promotion related to her book about her ordeal.

The part that really caught my attention was when the interviewer told the young woman to relay the day when she was abducted. She vividly relayed how she was on her way to school that fateful morning and how she saw a man (her captor) ahead of her.

The man was leaning against a car, and Kampusch remembered that the man seemed nervous, "almost as if he was waiting for somebody". She said she felt that there was something odd about the man and she wanted to cross over to the other side of the road. However, she said she brushed the feeling aside and walked right past her captor, who grabbed the girl and put her in his car.

Your intuition at work

Of course it is being wise after the event to claim that simply crossing the street would have saved Natascha Kampusch from being kidnapped that day in 1998. That is a little too close to blaming the victim in my book...

What this story does to me, is presenting a prime example of your gut feeling or intuition, and how these processes may work. Very often, victims of crimes like abduction, attempted rape, rape and robbery describe how they get this feeling about something "not being quite right", or this sense of urgency or danger.

Unfortunately, it is not uncommon at all to brush our intuition to the side. "This can't be right." "He looks so ordinary." "Nothing serious can happens in our small town." "...At this time of the day? Nah..." "Probably just my imagination." Way to often, we are being taught and raised to trust our logic and reasoning and overlook our intuitive mind and our senses. As such, we may indeed miss out on obvious danger signs.

"The Gift of Fear"

I will urge you to read the acclaimed book "The Gift of Fear" by Gavin de Becker. It's an eye opener when it comes to avoiding violence and trusting your intuition. From what I understand, the book can now also be purchased as a Kindle e-book from Amazon. Get it!

Furthermore, you will be able to read hundreds of such examples in the Woman Can reports and e-book series here.

And what ever you do, please trust your instincts! They are very seldom - if ever - wrong.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Woman who cried rape

Where's the solidarity with the real victims?

Consider for a moment the pain, humiliation, trauma and some times life-long suffering and multi-faceted setbacks and problems to just cope, any victim of sexual assault or rape may encounter.

Add to that all the myths, the self-blame and the burden of going through the processes of filing police reports, medical check-ups, trials and what not.

Given all this, it is truly beyond belief how a seemingly well-functioning adult woman can cry rape. And for what? To avoid paying for a taxi fare! I am utterly dumbfounded and speechless, really.

A false accuser jailed

Given the above circumstances, I find it absolutely correct that the British woman who falsely accused a taxi driver for rape has been given a 12 months jail sentence.

In fact i would like to extend a thank you and applaud the proper authorities for taking a stand, basically saying that this will not be accepted.

The victims will need compassion, support and understanding, each and every step of the way. That goes for you and I as individuals, as well as us as a society. The last thing these survivors need is a slap in the face and more poisonous food for all the doubters and haters out there.

We all make mistakes

Look, we can all make mistakes, and I have no problem understanding how a youngster - given the right circumstances - can falsely accuse someone of assault or attempted abduction. As such, there will probably always be a very small number of false accusations of sexual assault and rape.

Let us however get rid of such rubbish as this British woman was capable of. This is a crime, something which the court now has agreed to.

In the words of a police detective: "She had numerous opportunities to tell the truth but refused and continued with the allegation which nearly cost an innocent man his livelihood. This type of false allegation undermines the true victims of such crime and this should serve as a warning that we will prosecute people who make malicious claims."

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Taking a bite out of crime

When being "bad" is as good as it gets

While reading through some of the cases from the 'Women Can' reports, it appeared to me how often a victim successfully fought back through biting her attacker. You really ought to check it out for yourself.

And without a doubt, using your teeth can be a formidable weapon, something a self-defense course or self-defense instructor may forget to include. Nothing wrong at all with traditional self-defense methods like punches, kicks, ground-defenses and such. Just don't forget that clawing, biting and piercing screams may be just as effective!

The last thing you want is to exclude these "less aesthetic" (for lack of a better phrase) fighting/self-defense methods. It is indeed times when you might need to fight dirty in order to survive or avoid major harm. In a real-life assault scenario every rule in the book goes out the window, and you simply have to do what ever you do to get out of the situation - from going along with the assailant and surrendering, to feigning, lying, stalling or manipulating; and all the way to using massive counter-violence.

Below, you will find a select few of the cases from the 'Women Can' e-books, instances where the victim fought back "tooth and nails". These examples are some of the more severe ones. There are also hundreds of similar cases where the self-defense action of biting the attacker were not quite as extreme.

'Teethching' him a lesson

- In Oslo, Norway, a 21-year-old woman was assaulted by three men. Two assailants allegedly held the woman, while the third man began to rape the woman orally. The young woman bit down on her attacker's penis with all her might, escape the ordeal.

- An 18-year-old in Salisbury, North Carolina escaped an attacker by biting off part of his genitals, according to police. The woman was walking along a street when a man jumped her and dragged her into nearby woods. Police say the man forced her to perform a sex act.

- A man attempted to kidnap a young girl in Orchard Mesa, Colorado. Police said a man lured the young girl to his car by offering her a free kitten. She escape when she fought off her attacker by biting him in the nose.

- A 23-year-old man from the village Mfungwe in Mungwi (Zambia) had his tongue bitten off by a woman he attempted to rape. The incident reportedly happened when the man tried to kiss the woman whilst trying to rape her.

- Upon arriving at a hospital in Zhengzhou, Henan (China), a 30-year-old man was arrested by police. The man had come in for treatment of his badly bitten tongue, an injury said to be inflicted by a woman he had attempted to rape.

- In South Africa, a man definitely got more than he bargained for when he had his tongue bitten off during an attempted rape in a village in Limpopo, early on Saturday morning. The incident happened early Saturday morning when the perpetrator broke into a house and found the victim asleep.

- A 21-year-old man was reportedly arrested in a queue at a medical clinic in Sekhukhune, South Africa just before he was going to have his tongue attended to. A police spokesman said the man had allegedly attempted to rape a woman. The intended victim had then asked the man to kiss her first before they had sex.
When the suspect was relaxed, she bit his tongue and lower lip and kicked him in the groin, causing him to flee, police said.

- A robber gained entry to a house in Westonaria, South Africa, where he woke up a 50- year-old woman. When the woman confronted the robber, a fierce struggle ensued. When the intruder attempted to rape the woman, she bit off his ear. The man escaped, leaving his ripped-off ear behind.

- In Taiwan, a 35-year-old man, whose tongue was bitten off by a women he attempted to rape in Chiayi City, was handed a lengthy prison sentence.

- In San Antonio, Texas, a 30-year-old man was arrested, based on a piece of evidence the victim kept - a chunk of his lower right earlobe. Police said the assailant sexually assaulted a woman on a San Antonio West Side street when the victim bit his ear and kept a piece in her mouth.

- A 24-year-old woman was reported to have bitten off the tongue of a man who raped her in Mpumalanga, South Africa.

- In the UK, an attempted rapist described by officials as fat, around 5ft 7" tall and in his mid 50, attacked a 20-year-old woman in a Rickmansworth alley. The culprit would likely be nursing a "significant thumb injury", officials said. When the attacker forced his thumb into the would-be victim's mouth - attempting to stifle her cries for help, the young woman bit the finger as hard as she could – a counter attack which drew blood.

- A 32-year-old registered sex offender from West Covina, California had his tongue bitten off by a woman he attempted to rape Friday morning in Murrieta. The suspect was arrested when he sought treatment at an emergency room, police said.

- An Italian would-be rapist, aged 28, had his penis severed after it was bitten off by his intended victim in Roccabianca, northern Italy.

- A woman was attacked on Prince's Island in Calgary, Canada. The victim bit off a portion of the man's finger, which was left behind as he fled the scene. The woman had been partially undressed before she fought back, kicking, punching and biting the tip of his finger off.

- A 25-year-old woman from Belfast (Northern Ireland) fought off a 34-year-old man who raped her in north London, UK, by biting through her attacker's tongue as he tried to kiss her, a court has heard. The victim fought back when the man forced himself on her outside her house and tried to put his tongue in her mouth.

- A man attempted to rape a woman who bit off a part of his tongue in the Masoyi area of South Africa. The attacker had forced the victim to undress her and made her lie down. When he tried to kiss her using his tongue, she bit down hard.

Friday, February 4, 2011

You're not a rape victim...

...You're a rape accuser

At least that may soon be the case if a Georgia (US) Republican state Representative Bobby Franklin gets his ways.

This nut case seems to indicate you're automatically a victim of robbery, theft, assault, arson, burglary, fraud and what not. Just don't come dragging with domestic violence, stalking and rape. Because, God forbid, if you were to be hit with something like this, you are no longer a victim according to Rep. Franklin. No mam, you're an accuser!

It appears that Rep. Franklin has introduced a bill to change the criminal code in Georgia so that in criminal law and in court, victims of domestic violence, rape and stalking should only be referred to as "accusers" until the defendant has been convicted.

Wow.. I'm speechless. You can read more at this post from the Democratic Legislative Campaign Committee.

Why under-reported?

The crazy thing is that some still wonder why these crimes still are hugely under-reported. With people like this guy around (I can assure you he's not alone) and the way the victims still are being blamed and dragged through the dirt - is it any wonder at all?

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

The hallmarks of a sexual predator

It' never as "random" as we might be led to believe

The term "random violence" is often being used by media and police alike - also in reference to sexual assaults on women.

As we have discussed previously, this hardly is a precise description at all, given the simple fact that most of these assaults have patterns to them. These patterns may not always be seen or understood by us, the intended victims.

A criminal will, in all but the very rare exceptions, use the same pattern (or M.O. - modus oparandi/method of operating) again and again. This fact may be the best self-defense tip ever presented...

Know your enemy

What would you do if you had a strong sense of trouble brewing on the horizon? You would try to prevent that situation from happening, right? At least I know I would :-) Like the saying goes: Prevention is always the best cure!

So, by arming ourselves with knowledge about how these creeps and sexual predators go about doing what they do, we can increase the likelihood of becoming a victim.

The pattern of "hallmarks"

Recently, ran an article about one such sexual predator, being on trial accused of attacking four women between 1986 and 2007. Jury members in the trial reportedly heard of a pattern of "hallmarks" which ran through the offences.

In her closing statement, the case prosecutor told the court significant similarities lay in the evidence given by each of the four alleged victims. She said there is "a pattern from beginning to end" relating to the circumstances of the attacks, the defendant's behaviour while committing the offences and the detail and nature of the allegations.

Now, I'm not in any way suggesting that these victims could easily have avoided the assaults. First of all that would be very similar to blaming the victim. Secondly, I don't know enough about the patterns of this individual.

What I am saying is that the perpetrators often have clearly identifiable pattern - a way they go about committing their crimes. Furthermore, there are not an infinite numbers of patterns...

Learning how to identify the assault patterns

Luckily there is a way to learn more about this - without training self-defense or martial arts for years (whic happens to be a good idea, by the way :), or indeed breaking the bank or taking up too much of your time.

The free reports/newsletter found at 'Women Can' will help you identify these patterns in a no-frills, easy to understand and implement, way.

Together with the e-book series - also found at the same page - you should be fast on you way to understand more about how the criminals operate and what you can do to avoid being a victim of a sexual crime.