Warning: This post contains detailed information about sexual assault that some readers may find disturbing. Rates of abuse are higher among those living with disabilities. In an effort to raise awareness about this very serious issue, Jessie has written a special series on sexual abuse that will be published over the coming months.
This blog will be focused on sexual predators. It will discuss the mindset, motivation, and different types of sexual predators.
As previously mentioned there is no way to invite the crime of rape upon yourself. Being targeted by a sexual predator has nothing to do with how you dress or act. The crime of rape is more often than not preplanned even if the victim is a victim of nothing more than opportunity.
The Mind of a Predator
The mind of a sexual predator is not a normal one. Brain scans have shown that the brain of a sexual predator reacts differently to that of a normal person. What would be considered unacceptable to a normal person is acceptable to a predator. Areas of the brain that signify pleasure, joy, and happiness become more active when exposed to images of violence such as the torture of people or animals, photos from a violent crime scene, or photos of people who resemble victims of their crimes. These sights cause the release of chemicals in the brain that signal happiness in much the same way as a person with a drug addiction responds to being high.
While serial rapists tend to have a specific type of victim it is not something you can prevent or control. It may be a specific look that attracts their insidious attention. This could be a certain hair color or body type that resembles a woman or man who once scorned them. Rape is not a sexual crime to a predator. It is about power, control, and inciting fear and terror in their victim. These feelings are what causes their sexual arousal and are what gets them off. Many sexual predators are unable to achieve physical arousal or climax without that stimulation.
There are several types of sexual abusers, but they are all driven by a feeling of power and control. Sexual predators are often insecure and feel emasculated by women and society. This is only a brief overview of some types.
Rapist of Opportunity
There are serial rapists who are compelled to keep committing their crimes almost as an addiction. This is not an addiction to sex, but to power and control. Serial rapists come in two varieties and one of these is the rapist of opportunity. This type of rapist is often more prolific in their number of victims because they do not necessarily have a specific type of victim. They only need to see an opportunity such as a person alone in a bar who is visually incapacitated. These rapes are often disorganized and as with any crime of opportunity they are more likely to make mistakes. This allows the police to more easily identify them. These are people who are more likely to be what is known as a date rapist and to use drugs on their victims to commit crimes.
The second type of serial rapist has victim fixation and will often stalk their victims for a period of weeks to months to learn the habits and routines of their victims. These rapes are meticulously planned often occurring in the home of the victim. This is by far the most dangerous personality of rapist because violence, torture, and even murder are involved far too often. There is often a very specific personal psychological drive behind this type of a rape that they were never able to accept or rationalize.
There are cases of rape where both parties are so intoxicated that neither party is capable of giving consent or can be held responsible, but these cases are extremely rare. That level of impairment generally involves a loss of the ability to become sexually aroused. These rapists are generally not repeat offenders as no intent was involved, but intoxication is not a defense which excuses legal liability.
Not all pedophiles are rapists or child molesters. Pedophiles are adults who are only sexually attracted to children and some believe they are loving them. There are nationwide groups dedicated to this theory. Some on the other hand know exactly what they are. If they act upon those urges they are child molesters.
This is the reason that we have statutory rape laws in effect. These laws state that if a child has consensual sexual contact with anyone more than 3 years older than themselves it is automatically rape. The age of consent varies from 16-18 and this law applies to sexually active minors who have reached the age of consent as well. This is to protect them from being taken advantage of by significantly older parties at the discretion of the parents and prosecution for the state. Rape is a Class A federal felony when a participant is 12 or younger. The are no circumstances in which a child under 13 can consent to sex with any party regardless of age.
Victims Who Become Predators
Victims who become predators also fall into two categories. Child victims who molest other children may not realize they are doing anything wrong. Children under 12 are sentenced as minors and given counseling and education in most cases depending on their victims age and the severity of their crime. Other child victims go on to become adult offenders. They may or may not be given special sentencing guidelines in these cases depending upon a psychiatric evaluation.
Other Types of Sexual Offenders
This brings us to the rarest type of sexual offender. I do not want to say rapists because rape involves intent and knowledge of one’s actions. There are certain mental illnesses and medical conditions which genuinely leave a party unable to control themselves. It unfortunately does not change the impact on the victim, but these conditions are a legal defense under the law. The people who fall into this category belong in prison no more than epileptic who has a seizure. An example would be a brain tumor located in specific areas of the brain controlling impulse behaviors and decision making abilities such as the frontal lobe.
My father fell into two of these categories. He was a victim as both a toddler requiring surgery following a vicious assault from his uncle and also as a young gay adult male assaulted while drunk by his sister-in-law. He was also one of the few real cases of someone who suffered from multiple personalities. My father was not a predator. He had no knowledge of his offenses which occurred in one night of his entire life. He spent 20 years in prison as self punishment when he belonged in a hospital for treatment. I will be forever grateful for the opportunity to have spent the last year of his life with him. My father loved me, but he was a man with a severe mental illness. I will never forget my time with him as my sweet uncle as a young child spending summers with him while visiting my grandparents. I am happy to have known him as an adult aware of his illness and seeking treatment. He was a supportive loving father and grandfather. Seeing his grandchildren playing in his yard was the happiest moment of his life and we both cried. I will not forget that one night as I know he did not forget his own. That one night of my life can never erase the happy memories we created as a family. I have nothing but love for my father as a person and sorrow for time he spent punishing himself instead of being treated and supported by his family. In the end my father knew love, his own legacy he left behind, and he found happiness. Our time was not nearly long enough together, but it is enough for now. I will see him again one day if I make it to Heaven.
My brother was a child victim turned predator with no remorse for his crimes. He raped me for 8 years with no punishment. He molested his two children for which he served two years in prison. He’s a sociopath and a danger to everyone. He is currently in prison on unrelated charges and I thank God every day for that fact. He is incapable of feeling guilt. My head tells me that he too was a victim of our mother, but my heart says I hope he burns in hell for the pleasure he took from destroying me as a child and his own children. Thankfully those children had mothers who loved them and got them help early. They are now young happy healthy adults in college moving towards lives of success and finding happiness.