UNDERSTANDING THE MINDSET OF A CRIMINAL
A person’s behaviour is largely defined by his thoughts. Therefore, in order to prevent further victimisation, it is important to understand the mindset of the offender.
Many people view that living an extravagant life attracts unnecessary attention. For example, wearing flashy or revealing clothes, having a public social media account and sharing everything on the internet, or even the simplest of things, such as wearing make up.
But, every 3 out of 4 women in the world have faced sexual harassment in the simplest form of eve teasing, irrespective of their appearance. Eve teasing or “cat-calling” as most people refer to it, has been around for ages. So much so, that it has become a routine of our daily lives and getting stares from strange looking creepy guys and being called out on the streets is nothing new to women.
What makes them do that?
There are a lot of factors according to experts that lead to a person behaving the way that they do.
Mostly, it’s the incidents that have occurred in a person’s life and the way in which his life has been moulded.
However, there are crimes of much severe nature than that of eve-teasing. Crimes like Rape, Murder, Sexual Assault and Sexual Harassment are crimes of another level. The offenders of such crimes usually have a motive and it shows that their intentions are not noble. The wilful commitment of these criminals to intentionally harm another person shows a defect in their psychological well being.
A study by neuroscientists at King’s College in London state that the mind of a criminal looks different than that of a regular human being. The study determines that in Psychopaths, a tract of white matter in the region that connects the amygdala, which directs our emotional responses, with the Orbitofrontal cortex, which governs our decision making capacity, was out of kilter. Which means that certain parts of their brain was hay-wire.
A criminal makes his move in accordance with his motive. Encounters with Criminals may be a planned or an unplanned one. In case of planned encounters, the criminal usually knows the victim and executes the crime in accordance with the motive that he has, in the execution.
Unplanned encounters arise on the spot. They tend to arise from a trigger that causes the criminal to take action. Many cases of rape and sexual assault are a result of such encounters which are solely based on impulse.
Sexual offenders and predators always look for a soft target. They usually make a move on women who look fragile or look like they can be managed, because of course no one likes getting punched on the face.
These sexual offenders have an ability to compartmentalise and shut off their fear of consequences. They are fully aware and can differentiate right from wrong. However they choose not to follow the right path and close all the doors to their conscience.
I was just recently watching a video report by BBC on the increasing rape crimes in Diepsloot, north Johannesburg, South Africa. The report shows a local reporter interviewing the citizens and the rapists of this town. Law and order is not properly enforced in this area and the rapists roam free on the streets with no shame or regret of having committed the crime. Through the video I understood one thing, these rapists have no reflection of conscience, empathy, or remorse for what they have done. In most of the cases of sexual assault, the perpetrator does not show any signs of empathy or remorse. Its like they create a barrier between them and their conscience. Because any person in their right conscience would not dare to commit such an act.
HOW TO PREPARE YOUR MINDSET :
How do you think a sexual offender looks like? Do you picture an unkempt man with scruffy hair and dirty nails? You’d be wrong. Often sexual offenders look smart and charming just like one of your colleagues sitting next to your cubicle.
It is not necessary that all offenders look shabby. They are often talented and no one would ever suspect such a person to be a molester. Such predators are the ones who are masters of deceit.
As mentioned above, perpetrators look for easy targets, therefore, women should maintain a tough appearance and look confident. Make eye contact, keep your head up and don’t let them think that you’re weak!
Know that silent and empty alleys are a hunting ground for offenders. therefore, never wander off in such places alone.
Below are some of the ways you can prepare yourself to prevent an attack :
- Be aware of your surroundings and don’t indulge yourself in the comfort of your phone while outside, be it in a bus, metro, or the streets.
- Trust your sixth sense. You might not be aware, but your instincts have saved you already numerous times and they work perfectly to alert you in times of doubt. So, trust your instincts and when it tells you not to do something or do it, you better listen to it.
- You can keep yourself prepared prior hand by taking self defence trainings. This can improve you physical stamina as well as give you a chance against the offender.
- Incase things go down the hall, keep your mind open for ways of escaping. Remember, the key is to get out of the situation safe and unharmed.
- Set your mind to fight back if you are faced with any attack. Equip yourself with self defence products like pepper sprays, stun guns, and personal alarms and be prepared to give the offender a tough fight.
With the increasing rate of crimes and hardly any conviction rate, the only way we can stay safe and avoid being victims of such mishap is by taking necessary precautions and carrying a self defence product that can be used in times of need. These are the best form of assistance that we have left, against those predators waiting for the right time to pounce and make their move.