Unfortunately, predators continue to trap people in their web, even in today’s day and age where many sexual predators continue to get caught and make the news. Since this problem is so rampant and common these days, it’s best to arm yourself with the signs of predatory behaviour. You can notice it and report it immediately before things go too far or before they claim their next victim.
Once you know the signs of predatory behaviour, you will be able to spot it if you become a predator’s next target. If you believe a sexual predator is interested in you, take action against it, like changing your phone number, staying away from places they frequent, and so on. We believe it’s important to know the signs so we can stop these types of people in their tracks. Contact employment lawyers like Levitt LLP at the first sound of trouble.
Here are the seven signs of predatory behavior:
Sign #1: Manipulative Language
A sexual predator is very good at manipulation. Manipulation often includes gaslighting – manipulating someone by psychological means into questioning their own safety. How does the predator manipulate his target? He will mock anything that doesn’t meet his expectations: her family, her friends, her clothing, her apartment, the list goes on.
In the early stages when the victim will stand up for herself and challenge him, he will come back and use his manipulation to lie. He might twist facts and do anything he can to make her feel like she is the one at fault. He’ll then go on to say that he’s the one who’s hurting and being mistreated. This usually ends with the victim accepting that it was all her fault. Since the predator was successful in manipulating his victim once, he will continue doing so.
Sign #2: Attentiveness
Another common sign of predatory behaviour is attentiveness. Predators are often very attentive to the needs of their victims in the beginning. This usually manifests by the predator showing the victim a lot of attention and trying to insert themselves into their daily life by calling, emailing, sending texts, and even randomly showing up.
This behaviour will usually intensify. Be on the lookout for predators to always want to know where you are, which might seem innocent initially and just look like someone interested in you. At this stage, the predator is trying to depend on the victim, like they are the answer to their worries. This is the beginning of what is called “the grooming process”.
Sign #3: Normalization
At this stage, the victim has normalized the behaviour. She may even begin to think that this type of treatment is what she deserves. Now the stage has been set and the cycle of abuse has begun. The predator is now primed to make his first move.
Sign #4: Playing the Victim
Many predators will play the victim to further manipulate their victim and avoid taking responsibility for any of their actions. Everything will automatically be her fault. Once the victim says anything to contradict the predator, he will degrade her and “teach her a lesson”. It’s tough for the victim to know which way is up and which way is down in these types of circumstances. Eventually, they will internalize that they can’t do anything right.
Sign #5: Pushing Sexual Boundaries
A predator will never be satisfied. They will continue to push their victims to do things sexually that they may not be comfortable with. This may even get to the point where the predator convinces the victim to do something totally out of character. An example is like having the victim engage with other men or women while he watches or films it.
Before you know it, the predator is using this against her (further manipulation) and blackmailing her with it at a later date when he wants to threaten her. This evokes feelings of humiliation in the victim and leads them to feel trapped with this person.
Sign #6: Disempowerment
One of the goals of sexual predators is to destroy the victim’s confidence so he can disempower her. He does this through further manipulation, like saying that people now know that she’s “promiscuous” and that no other man would want her. Of course, the predator will have isolated her from her friends, family, and colleagues, so she has nowhere to turn (which further disempowers her).
As much as she knows this man is bad for her since she is all alone in this experience, she will stay with him. Predators are also good at instilling fear in their victims, so they don’t leave or talk to anyone about what’s going on.
Sign #7: Ridicule
Sexual predators are constantly ridiculing their victim to make them feel worthless. His comments will be about anything and everything: her sexuality, her job, her home, her friends, her family, etc. He will not care about the victim’s feelings and will only focus on himself.