Rape Escape Options:
Rape Prevention

These rape escape options would've saved countless rape victims throughout history if they had known what you're about to learn.

Movies, TV, and novels typically portray a rapist as powerful. Actually, the majority of rapists are just the opposite. They're really mostly inadequate bullies who choose easy victims and scenarios where they have the advantage.

Fighting back might get you killed, but surrendering might get you killed, too. A victim can never be sure if a rapist intends “only” to rape her without further harming or even killing her afterward. If a rapist does become violent with a submissive victim, the escalation is usually sudden and explosive. Besides, most targeted women effectively implement rape escape strategies without being raped.

A nurse returned to her Portland OR home when an intruder, lifelong criminal Edward Dalton Haffey, attacked her with a hammer. She strangled him to death with her bare hands.

In a 20-year study from 1973 to 1992, the National Crime Victimization Survey found that women took protective measures in roughly 80 percent of rape attacks. This included anything from screaming, threatening, or attacking the criminal. This was helpful in 60 percent of the attacks, harmful in 7 percent, and made no difference in 11 percent.

In 6 percent, the attacker became more angry and aggressive, but still the victim avoided injury or greater injury. 47 percent of rape victims sustain injuries other than rape injuries. (And remember, none of these women were likely familiar with fighting options or self defense techniques.)

A Brandeis University study found that, in unarmed attacks, the women most apt to be raped or harmed are those who do not fight back, relying instead on begging or reasoning with their attackers.

Beyond The Rape Escape Statistics

A victim's intuitive decision to resist or submit must be based solely upon her perception of her circumstances and odds of survival. Surrender is not shameful – survival is the ultimate goal. Listen to your intuition whether to counter-attack. If you do decide to fight, make your first move as powerful as possible.

A man in New York City’s Central Park attacked a woman walking her dog, knocked her down and started pulling down her pants. She knocked him down with a kick to his chest and escaped.

A woman who fights back is less likely to be raped or otherwise harmed – though there are, of course, no guarantees. The first few moments of an attack are the most decisive, and the best strategy is an all-out attack on his most vulnerable targets (eyes, testicles, and throat). See Clinch-Attack in fighting options or self defense techniques. Fight only with the will to win. - see willpower.

Christopher Stanley attacked a woman jogging near Evanston IL, claimed he had a knife and threatened to kill her if she screamed. He tried to pull down her pants and punched her in the face. She screamed and he fled.

Ellen Snortland, a women's self-defense instructor and author of “Beauty Bites Beast” writes that women who put up any resistance are usually amazed at how simple it was to get the attacker to stop. She highly recommends “Her Wits About Her: Self-defense Success Stories by Women,” by Denise Caignon and Gail Grove. The inspiring success stories are of ordinary women stopping rapists.

She awoke to a man’s hand covering her mouth. She jerked her face under his hand so her teeth could reach the fleshy part of his palm. She bit as hard as she could, forcing him to withdraw his hand. She screamed and he fled.

Armed with a knife, 16-year-old Antoine Tremane Miller broke into a woman’s house in Charleston SC and punched her repeatedly while telling her to “Stop fighting and I won't hurt you.” But as she continued to fight he said, “Now you have to die!” then forced his tongue into her mouth. She bit down hard until she heard it snap. Miller fled the house screaming while his tongue was still in her mouth. Miller was arrested when seeking medical help and was charged as an adult for multiple felonies. He'll have a hard time testifying in court – and his prison food will taste especially bland.

What If He Has A Weapon?

Most rapists rely on physical force or verbal threat. Roughly seven percent of acquaintance rapists and thirty percent of stranger rapists use a weapon to intimidate the victim. An armed rapist oftentimes lays aside his weapon during a rape, at which point you may choose to attack him. If so, immobilize the weapon while attacking him or use his weapon to attack him.

A rapist or abductor will unlikely call attention to himself by firing a gun in a populated area. See Kidnapping and Kidnap Survival.

Ricky Eddie Nealy, a convicted rapist with a violent temper, dragged a woman into a field and held a knife to her throat to rape her. She grabbed his testicles and he released his grip long enough for her to escape.

Rosia Lee Ellis, a 5-foot-tall, 112-year-old (yes, 112) Detroit woman, grabbed the crotch of a home invader armed with a handgun and held on tightly even when he threw her to the floor. Neighbors heard the commotion and chased him away.

A man armed with a club attacked a Czech Republic university student on a street. She repeatedly stabbed him with her pocketknife and ran away. He died of a punctured heart.

See Set Your Boundaries at Facing Danger and Victims Options.

It’s impossible to fully anticipate the panicky chaos of a sudden threat forcing you to make split-second life-and-death decisions. Nonetheless, understanding your options now will help your intuition choose an option then.


To enhance your rape escape options and deter a predator - beforehand - carry Pepper Spray & a Personal Security Alarm (noisemaker or screamer) in plain sight. Those pages teach you to use them most effectively.

Crime-Safety-Security > Rape Escape Options Overview > Rape Prevention

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