Date rape. Acquaintance rape. Alcohol/drug induced rape. This issue is complex, but to be clear, rape is never OK. No one deserves to be raped, no one “asks for it,” and no one has the right to take advantage of a woman regardless of how much she has had to drink, what she is wearing, or where she is at the time. Rape is a crime.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, about 1 in 5 women have been raped in their lifetimes. The CDC report found that men made up the vast majority of perpetrators of rape (99 percent) and sexual violence (95 percent) upon women. Many women (46.7 percent) who experienced rape in their lifetimes knew at least one of their perpetrators as an acquaintance, according to the CDC.
Stephen M. Thompson, associate professor and sexual aggression services director at Central Michigan University, has been studying date rape for years. Thompson created a profile from his research to understand the predator and how he operates. According to his research, all rapists follow a pattern of behavior called “the rape sequence.” The rape sequence of the “nice guy” is generally quite consistent.
The ‘nice guy’ profile
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In talking with victims about the date/acquaintance rapist, Thompson found that the rapist was consistently referred to initially as a “nice guy.” The profile of the “nice guy” rapist commonly embodies the following characteristics:
• Macho, athletic and outwardly confident
• Attractive, well-liked by females
• Needs male grouping
• Not married, no long-term relationships
• Egocentric, self-serving, does not feel guilt
• Does not handle rejection or criticism well
• Believes aggression is his right and views women as prey
• Socially immature
Step one: Target selection
• Selects a victim in his age and socioeconomic range through incidental contact, such as a friend of a friend, colleague, or in a social setting like a party.
Step two: Approach/test
• Attempts to get the victim to trust him by being very nice and attentive
• Pushes alcohol on the woman
• Initiates some form of behavior that generally makes the woman feel uncomfortable
• Separates her from the group
Step three: Sexual violation
• In the isolated environment, the male escalates and will move to the intimidation stage of the rape sequence if he meets resistance
• She will not be able to leave unless she complies
Step four: Intimidation
• If resistance is met, he will first negotiate and if that fails, he will use force
• Creates fear
Step five: Termination
• Possibly threatens the victim with physical harm if she tells the police or anyone
• Most commonly places the blame on the woman and convinces her that she brought it on herself
If you are a victim of rape, call the CCWRC hotline at 877-234-5050. Services are professional, free and confidential.