For the past two months, Cosmo has been working to fight rape on college campuses. But college campuses aren't the only places a woman may be victimized by a rapist. In the past year in the Dallas area, four former sorority sisters have been raped-all in their own homes-and police believe the same man may be behind each of the attacks.
By Zoë Ruderman
According to one report, the suspect seemed to have information about the victims. Local police are encouraging current and former members of the sorority not to advertise their affiliation with the group. They're also educating those women on how to protect themselves, according to an article on the crimes.
While many rapists are one-time offenders and may attack a woman with little or no premeditation, serial rapists are a very different breed. As we've reported before, they're typically intelligent, normal-seeming men, who often have a wife or girlfriend and a demeanor that lets them blend into their communities. They're known for their methodical preparation, their practiced ability to home in on vulnerable strangers, and the compulsive, recurrent nature of their attacks.
And the best way to protect yourself from a serial rapist is to know hidden danger zones. Because serial rapists are meticulous planners, they often attack in locations where you might typically think you're safe, like in the case of the former sorority members. Click here to find out the surprising places where you might be at risk and what you can do to make sure you're not an easy target. In the article we also share expert tips that can lower your risk of being attacked.
Related: What To Do When You're in Danger
What You Need To Know:
Serial rapists' comfort zones can also be the one place a victim feels most secure: her own home. They'll track the activity in the house or apartment, memorizing a woman's comings and goings, so they know when she's alone and what time she goes to bed. They often do this by watching from the street when her lights go on and off and even being so bold as to peep into windows. In fact, law-enforcement experts know that there is a strong link between burglars - many of whom started their criminal activities as Peeping Toms - and serial rapists who assault women in their own home.
To protect against home-invasion rapists, something as simple as locking your doors and windows, including your garage door, even when you are in your home can make a big difference. It sounds obvious, but predators scout in advance for women who leave doors unlocked while running errands and watch to see if you enter your home without a key. Speaking of windows, make sure all of yours are securely covered by curtains or shades at night. Exposed windows broadcast whether you are alone and when you go to sleep.
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