O – Criminals


Believe it or not, you already know what the criminal is and what motivates him, you see it all the time in minor forms. What to most people is a minor character flaw is to criminals a major defining element of their personalities.

We often talk about extremes, but few people recognize them for what they really are. Extremes are everyday behaviour, thoughts and ideas taken and magnified out of proportion. Furthermore, the normal checks and balances that keep these elements under control are either missing, turned off or intentionally abandoned.

Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry, for man’s anger does not bring about the righteous life that God desires.

James 1:19 NIV

Each day of your life, you encounter people with attitudes, behaviour and ways of thinking that are annoying and selfish. Usually, however, most of them have some form of self control that can keep them in line with normal society.

We tend to automatically assume that this self control is in place. This is the “social contract” that allows people to function and get along together in their day-to-day activities. We don’t realize how ingrained and unconscious these rules of behaviour and ways of thinking are. They temper our selfishness and prevent it from running amok. And in our daily lives, we rely on other people to have the same moderating influences.

What few people realize is that these checks and balances are missing with many criminal or violent people. With this absence of counterbalancing influences, certain behaviour flourishes and grows. What is apparent to a small degree in a normal person can end up being enormous in the criminal.

The magnitude and extremes to which a criminal is willing to go are unbelievable to most people. It is both shocking and unnerving when we encounter someone who doesn’t follow the unstated rules about controlling one’s selfishness and public behaviour.


Robbers tend to be a little more self-controlled than muggers. While a mugger might use violence on a whim, robbers commonly are more predictable. The problem with this is that, if the victim gives them any reason, they will shoot faster than a mugger. And this can include announcing their presence by committing extreme violence (such as shooting or stabbing the security guard). Even if robbers do not kill anyone out right they need to overwhelm and take control of the situation immediately. Due to the more high risk high reward nature of their crime robbers cannot afford to chance an effective resistance to develop or an alert to be issued.

While a robber can work alone when he overwhelms a single clerk at a store, it is just as common that robbers work as part of a team. This requires a greater degree of coordinated effort and by extension increases the danger of trying to resist a robbery.

Another complicating factor with robbers is their love of risk. This is like the high of a gambling addict. There is often something within the personality of robbers that enjoys the rush of power and the thrill of knocking over a high risk/ high yield target. A successful robbery is a coup. It not only gives him the rush, but it also ups his status in the criminal world.

The good news is that robbers tend to be more ‘job oriented.’ They want what they want and if they get it, then they are done. In many ways this makes them safer to deal with — if you cooperate. As far as robbers are concerned they are offering you a choice, cooperate and give them what they want or be hurt. If you cooperate there is no reason to hurt you.


The desires and traits that can, and do, lead to rape are not isolated. They tend to permeate a person’s character and be regularly displayed in many small ways and in other areas. These attitudes, behaviours and words are consistent among rapists and those who attack others.

The reason it is impossible to predict who will and won’t sexually assault someone is because how these behaviours manifest is a matter of style and preference. One person might choose to be blatant and habitually physically attack others, while another might be more subtle but verbally attack others on a regular basis. The motives are the same, but the style is utterly different. And that is why it is hard to predict who will and won’t use sexual assault.

Here is to look out for:

Insensitivity for others/emphasis on self

Does this person put his wants above the needs, feelings or well being of others? Is getting his way more important to him than other people’s welfare? Often this can go beyond mere selfishness and border nearly on an “assumed divine right.”

Often these people will justify a particularly vicious action with a flip comment like, “Hey, that’s how the game is played.” Such a person has no understanding that he must co-exist with others. Because he simply exists he thinks the world “owes” him whatever he wants. A common tactic of such a person it to make you feel bad for not doing what he wants.

Belittling behaviour or attitudes towards others

Does this person habitually make nasty, belittling or degrading comments about others – especially under the guise of joking? Does this person think he is better than others? Does he look down on others? Is he a racist?

A person who thinks that race or social position makes him superior can also assume gender does too. When you think you are superior, an assumed right to ‘take’ what you want often follows.

Negating behaviour or comments – Hostile and/or threatening language – Choice of words,

all convey subconscious assumptions about a particular topic.

It is all too easy to dismiss this behaviour as just “blowing off steam.” But if it is a constant behaviour, it goes far beyond that. Someone who habitually uses violent or threatening language should be carefully watched for possible escalation. It’s on his mind already. It’s an uncomfortably short step from ‘thinking about’ to ‘doing’.


Does this person use overt or subtle threats to get his way? A bully uses the threat of violence more than actual violence. Most often bullies are not willing to risk conflict with someone who can hurt them (an alpha male), and will instead chose to intimidate someone he considers weaker and safer. Someone who is bullying over other matters can easily turn to bullying you regarding sex.

What we can accurately predict is something bad will arise out of these character traits, the When, Where and How are impossible to predetermine. If you see these behaviours in a person, take care. The more you see, the more care should be taken not to be alone him. Even if he doesn’t rape, these behaviours indicate serious character flaws.

Many rapists will attempt to mask, justify, make light of, or explain away their dangerous behaviours. How they will do this is will be totally unpredictable. It depends on the individual and his opinion and assessment of you. He will tailor his response to what he thinks will work best with you. So it is going to sound real convincing when it comes your way.

Do not rebuke a mocker or he will hate you; rebuke a wise man and he will love you.

Proverbs 9:8

Rapists tend to be very selfish people. While there is a chance of a rape occurring because an otherwise “nice guy” makes a bad and selfish decision, this is an exception rather than the rule. Usually people who rape others have long shown a consistent pattern of attitude and behaviour.

Another disturbing alarm sign is that bad behaviour tends to be tolerated only by people who are expecting you to tolerate theirs. If you are engaged in selfish behaviour, you will eventually find yourself surrounded only by other selfish people. This shift is gradual and most times not noticed by the individual. Once. And when that happens it is not a question of “if” bad things will happen but rather “when?”

Be careful and aware; don’t put yourself in a situation where such a person could successfully use violence. Literally, do not go off alone with such a person – especially if alcohol or drugs are involved. Incidentally, many of these behaviours are shared with those who turn into abusive husbands and boyfriends. These are the seeds of that kind of behaviour, but it won’t be until you are involved that abuse will manifest. This is another reason to avoid becoming involved with a person who displays these early signs.

Probably you can see these danger signals in people you know. Do not ignore or rationalize these behaviours, especially if you see a significant number of them. Don’t make the mistake, that because such a person hasn’t attacked you, he won’t.

A shark is a shark whether he is peacefully swimming or attacking. Just because you haven’t been attacked, doesn’t mean he can’t or won’t. You either haven’t had anything he wants or you haven’t been in a situation with him where he could successfully act.

80% and more of all rapes are committed by persons known to the victim; and the majority of rapes happen in private homes. It is friends, acquaintances and family members and people in a position of trust, like teachers, trainers and colleagues, which abuse and rape. Even more shocking is the fact that more than 60% of all rapes occur before the victim is 18 years old.


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