Issue 5, July 2001


Dear Reader

Hello and welcome to another issue of Back off coming to you from the damp and slightly wintry office of Winning Edge Strategies. The subscription list continues to grow rapidly with around 1000 new folk signing on last month and some really positive feed back from those who have been on board for a little longer.

As I mentioned in my letter to you last month, June was a big month for the Sanders clan as we awaited the arrival of our most recent family member. Well, I'm happy to report that little Billy arrived at around 5.30pm on Tuesday 19th June and both the little bloke and mum are back home and doing fine.

Just a reminder to those who have subscribed more recently remember you can go to our web site, and follow the links to 'newsletter' where you can get hold of all the archived Back Off issues and have a look through.

For those who have been asking, yes I did do an interview with ugly Phil on Nova FM a couple of weeks ago. It seems like every other person I bump into listens to him and heard the chat we had, I'll keep you posted if any other radio interviews comes up. I have recently done a couple of articles for some women's magazines on sexual crime and sex offenders and I'll let you know when those are due to appear if you're interested in have a bit of a look.

This months feature article looks into the psychology of a typical serial sex offender, although a bit of a morbid topic, I'm sure that you will find the information both interesting and motivational with regard to your own self-protection against this type of offender. If you have any questions or queries with regard to this topic please don't hesitate to drop me an email via the link in the Q & A section of the newsletter.

OK guys that's about it from me so read on and keep sending those emails through, all the best and keep smiling.

Thanks for your support.
Take care, your friend

"Grind it out. Hanging on just one second longer than your competition makes you the winner."
- Unknown

Over the past 10 years I have spent a great deal of time studying and profiling sex offenders. During this time I have learnt much about the processes and psychology of offenders and the patterns of their crimes. This research has also highlighted the fact that when you place offenders into specific categories you can identify typical traits and patterns that can enable us to select effective strategies to use against them.

In this article I will look specifically at the 'stranger rapist' and attempt to identify the most effective strategies to employ against this type of offender. Let me say at the outset that statistically it is less likely for a women to be sexually assaulted by a stranger than by an offender known to her. Having said this we cannot discount the fact that everyday women throughout Australia are confronted by this type of situation and therefore knowledge of this type of crime and offender should be provided to all women. Although no strategy can guarantee success in any form of conflict I will attempt to highlight the strategies that will give you the greatest chance of success.

Without doubt knowledge of how an offender thinks combined with the appropriate strategy to adopt in the situation are the essential ingredients in dealing effectively with a rape confrontation. Let's take a look inside the mind of a typical stranger rapist:

Take a walk on the dark side
Way back in 1991 I started to profile sex offenders to look into what strategy if any would work best against them. The more I looked the clearer the pattern became and the more I realised how important this knowledge was for women.

A classic example would be a guy I profiled in 1992, I'll call him Jerry. Jerry was a 21-year-old offender at the time of his arrest and was charged with the attacks of 12 women over a period of about 2 years. His method of operation was very typical for a stranger rapist. He would travel on foot late at night looking for homes that were insecure where women were sleeping alone. Having found an appropriate house he would gain entry, pull on a balaclava and make his way to the woman's bedroom. He would then confront the woman, threaten her with violence and generally go on to commit a sexual assault. He would usually threaten the woman that he would return if she notified the police.

The offender repeatedly carried out this pattern of attack until the time of his arrest. Following his arrest it was found that of the 12 women he attacked 10 were raped and 2 were not. When the offender was questioned as to why two of his intended victims were not actually raped by him, he responded by saying, 'Because two of them didn't do what they were supposed to do.' What they were supposed to do of course was to submit, to offer no resistance, however the two women who were not raped did resist they both fought back physically and yelled and screamed. Sadly those who were raped did exactly what the offender believed they would do- they offered little if any resistance to him.

This is in no way a criticism of the victims of this offender, but rather a factual evaluation of the different responses from those raped compared to those who were not. I believe the offender intended to rape all of the women he selected, however, the two women who responded aggressively tapped into the offenders weakness and insecurity and he ran from them both.

Although this is simply one example of a relatively small series of sexual assaults it serves to highlight that sex offenders are less prepared to go on to rape their chosen victims if they respond assertively. This is an observation backed up by every major study into rape avoidance that has been completed over the past thirty years. I will provide examples of these studies in a later article, however let me quote from a famous study from the US that stated:

'We know that women who resist physically were more likely to avoid rape. But we also know that there was no relationship between the women's use of physical resistance and the rapist's use of additional physical force over and above the rape attempt.'

To further illustrate the fact that resistance works against the unarmed stranger rapist let's look at some of the other sex offenders I have profiled.

Joseph Thompson the infamous South Auckland rapist was convicted of 129 sexually related offences against girls and women in 1995. The majority of his victims were young girls under 16 years of age. It was clear in this case that Thompson selected schoolgirls as his chosen victim because he believed they would offer little if any resistance, sadly, he was usually right. Of the 50 girls and women attacked by Thompson 44 were raped, beaten up and threatened - six were not. It is interesting to note that the six victims not raped by Thompson all resisted him verbally and physically. In fact the one who resisted most aggressively was a little 12 year old girl who fought back so determinedly that Thompson ran away.

This pattern was also present in the case of Ronnie Shelton a sex offender found guilty of no less than 220 sex offences in Cleveland, Ohio in 1989. Shelton selected his victims in much the same manner as the first offender I mentioned in this article. The police were pursuing him for 5 years prior to his arrest at the age of 27. In an interview he gave to a criminal psychologist prior to his court case he was asked why he did not actually rape all of the women he confronted, he replied by stating - "If a women kept screaming and fought back, I took off, she was free." Proof yet again that these offenders are afraid of both confrontation and being caught.

Of course sexual offenders did not just start responding this way over the last 10 years or so, in fact you can go back as far as 1964 when one of the worlds most infamous sexual offenders, Albert De Salvo gave himself up to the police and admitted to being the Boston Strangler. De Salvo not only admitted to the rape and murder of 13 women but also stated that he had raped literally hundreds of women during his lifetime. In the same interview he said, "Of all the women I confronted the only ones who were not raped were the ones who fought back."

I mentioned earlier that the more you study sexual crime, the clearer the pattern becomes. Having studied and profiled 30-40 serial sex offenders I can say that every one of them tended to back away from the women who either ran from them or confronted them verbally or physically. Every interview I have read of this type of offender shows this pattern and confirms what all the major studies have said for the past 30 years: Unarmed stranger rapist are terrified of getting caught and generally unprepared for confrontation. If you can run- run, run to a populated area and make as much noise as you can. If running is not an option the next best thing is to verbally and physically confront the offender.

Sexual offenders select their victims believing that they will offer little if any resistance. My advice would be to run if you can, and if not, flick the switch, the 'Bitch Switch', and let the loser cop it verbally and physically. Remember as with all forms of male to female conflict, sexual offenders are exhibiting weakness, not strength, the greater your ability to identify and exploit that weakness, the greater your ability to deal effectively with the confrontation.

If you have any further questions relating to this subject please contact me via the link in the Q & A section of the newsletter. Remember also that this topic is covered in more detail in my book, 'How dangerous men think.'

Hello girls,
Following on from last month's article I would like to look into breast self-examination, (BSE). BSE is a simple task that may help you to notice any changes in your breasts. BSE is best done once a month, preferably just after a period.

To begin with look at your breasts in the mirror, initially with your arms by your side. Look for any change in the size/shape of your breasts; for skin changes e.g. thickening or dimpling and for any changes to the nipples e.g. discharge. Repeat these observations with your arms above your head and then with your hands on your hips whilst tightening your chest muscles.
The next step is to feel your breasts, some women find this easier while in the shower with your arm above your head. Others are more comfortable lying in bed with a pillow under the shoulder and arm above head.

With the flat part of your fingers move in regular circular motions around the entire breast and don't forget the area beneath the nipple. It is also important to check in the armpit and beneath the collarbone. You are feeling for lumps, thickenings, discharge or any other changes.
I often have women tell me that they have very 'lumpy' breasts and find BSE very difficult and alarming. Even if your breasts are very lumpy I believe it is important to 'get to know' your breasts by regularly examining them, then you will have the best chance of noticing any changes.

If you are worried check with your family doctor and ask him/her to check your BSE technique - it could save your life.

Dr. Wendy

Femail is a great site developed for young women with lots of great articles and competitions.  This months issue has a feature article on my new Book entitled "How Dangerous Men Think and How to Stay safe for Life". The article is in the features section of the site, visit Femail by clicking on the logo to the left.

FIB - Unarmed stranger rapists become more violent and aggressive against women who fight back against them.
FACT - I can not find one recognised study that has been done over the past 30 years that has found women who fight back against unarmed offenders increase the likelihood of being hurt by the offender. All studies have found that the only thing to increase when women fight back is the likelihood of getting away!


Q. What makes a stranger rapist go out and commit sexual crimes against girls and women?

A. Contrary to what a lot of people believe stranger rapists don't commit their crimes to satisfy a sexual urge, but rather to compensate for a lifelong perception of being inadequate. In fact criminal psychologists classify sexual offenders as 'compensatory offenders'. Sex offenders select their victims with the perception that they will submit which enables them to feel powerful and in control. Sexual satisfaction is secondary to satisfying their desire to have control over a victim who makes them feel powerful.

Q. Is there any 'common trait' found amongst serial sex offenders?

A. Interestingly in a major study conducted by the Behavioural Studies Unit of the FBI it was found that the one common link with all sex offenders they profiled was that they had been abused or neglected by their parents within the first 12 months of their life. Of course not every guy who experiences childhood abuse goes on to become a sex offender, but there does appear to be a very strong link.

Last year in NSW there was a 34% increase in sexual offences reported to the police. This does not mean that the actual rate of sexual crime increased, but rather the reporting of sexual crime, which is certainly a move in the right direction.

Australia has amongst the highest rate of sexual crime,(per head of population), of any country in the western world. In fact it is recognised that the sexual crime rate is on a par with that of the US.

Throughout my seminars I talk of the importance of motivation, self-belief and persistence. A common trait found in the study of successful people is their ability to remain focused and determined in the face of adversity. The following example illustrates this extremely well. Take a look at the defeats and adversity suffered by one of America's most famous men, Abraham Lincoln, prior to being elected president:

1831 - Failed in business
1832 - Defeated for the legislature
1833 - Second failure in business
1836 - Suffered nervous breakdown
1838 - Defeated for speaker
1840 - Defeated for Elector
1843 - Defeated for congress
1848 - Defeated for congress
1855 - Defeated for senate
1856 - Defeated for vice president
1858 - Defeated for senate
1860 - Elected President of the United States!

Here are a couple more points to be aware of next time you head off with the girls for a night out:
"The two things that are present in most date rape situations are - alcohol and isolation. Be mindful of not letting alcohol take control and always avoid getting isolated with a guy away from your friends."
"Remember it's not so much the party, bar, or nightclub that is dangerous, but rather the decision you make about who you leave with and where you go with them."
"I know you would never leave a party with a guy unless you thought you could trust him, just remember that the guys who are a danger know this too and are very good at making you believe they can be trusted."

Dear Brent,

The seminar you gave recently at my school provided me with a totally different view on rape. I was always taught not to fight back because it would make it worse, but you explained to us how the rapist thinks and what scares him. You taught me that the women who fight back are usually the ones that get away, this was great advice that I believe will save many girls and women.
C. G Sydney

Dear Brent,

Just a quick note to say how great your seminar was, it has really helped me to feel safer when I'm alone. The booklet you gave us was great to read and the physical strikes were great fun to try out. The course made me feel that I would really know what to do if I was in a bad situation with a guy. Brent I really appreciated what you taught us and I think it's great that you come to our school.
D. H Sydney

'Everything in life happens for a reason. Always search out the lesson and opportunity in every situation.'

'Let people know what you stand for - and what you won't stand for.'

'Knowing is not enough, we must apply. Willing is not enough, we must do.'
- Goethe

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