A bunch of rapists and date rapists were interviewed in prison on what they look for in a victim. Here are some interesting facts:
The #1 thing men look for in a potential victim is hairstyle. They are most likely to go after a woman or girl with a ponytail, bun, braid, long hair, or other hairstyle that can be grabbed easily.
The second thing men look for is clothing. They want someone whose clothing is easy to remove quickly. The #1 outfit they look for is overalls because many carry scissors and overall straps can be easily cut.
They also look for women and girls on their cell phones, searching through their purses, or doing other activities while walking that put them off guard and make them easier to overpower.
The time of day men are most likely to attack and rape a woman is in the early morning, between 5 and 8:30 a.m. Parking lots and garages, and public restrooms are where they grab most girls. They want to quickly move a victim to a second location where they don't have to worry about getting caught. Only 2% said they carried weapons because rape carries a 3-5 year sentence, but rape with a weapon is 15-20 years.
If you put up any kind of a fight at all, they get discouraged because it doesn't take them long to realize that going after you isn't worth it because it will be too time-consuming. These men said they will not pick on women who have umbrellas, or other similar objects that can be used from a distance. Keys are not a deterrent because you have to get really close to the attacker to use them as a weapon. So, the idea is to convince these guys you're not worth it!
If someone is coming toward you, hold out your hands in front of you and yell "Stop" or "Stay." Most rapists said they'd leave a woman alone if she yelled or showed that she would not be afraid to fight back. Again, they are looking for an EASY target. Carry pepper spray and hold it out and yell "I HAVE PEPPER SPRAY!"
If you are grabbed around the waist from behind, pinch the attacker either under the arm between the elbow and armpit or in the upper inner thigh -HARD. One woman used the underarm pinch on a guy who was trying to date rape her and broke through the skin and tore out muscle strands -the guy needed stitches. Try pinching yourself in those places as hard as you can stand it; it hurts!
If they grab your wrist, pull your wrist back so your hand is in a waving position (palm facing forward) and twist it toward yourself and pull your arm away. It is hard to hold onto wrist bones that are moving in this way. The attacker will stumble toward you and you will stumble back, so you can use that moment to backhand them with your knuckles in the forehead, nose or teeth.
After the initial hit, always go for the groin. If you slap a guy's balls (sorry to be so graphic) it is extremely painful. You might think that you'll piss the guy off and make him want to hurt you more, but the thing these rapists kept saying is that they want a woman who will not cause a lot of trouble. Start causing trouble, and most often he's out of there.
When the guy puts his hands up to you, grab his first two fingers and bend them back as far as possible with as much pressure as you can.
Of course the things we always hear still apply... Always be aware of your surroundings, take someone with you if you can, and if you see any odd behavior, don't dismiss it, go with your instincts. You may feel a little silly at the time, but you'll feel much worse if the guy really IS trouble. Do all that you can to protect yourself.