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Life Mantra
Anu Goel
Can a rapist be reformed? 09 January, 2013
Simply defined, rape is a type of sexual assault that involves sexual intercourse, initiated by one or more persons against another person without that person's consent or knowledge - in case of intoxication or state of unconscious. Most of the time, the focus remains solely on the victim - to ensure that she is able to make a safe and speedy recovery. Little to no attention is paid to the treatment of the rapist, who can be understood to be suffering from some kind of psychological imbalance.

HOWEVER, STUDIES, experiments as well as attempts by governments to reform these perpetrators have revealed some astounding facts about rapists.

Characteristics of a rapist
The first and most dangerous fact is that most rapists do not consider their act to be wrong. They view their conviction by the court as an inconvenience, often saying ‘we had sex’ rather than ‘I raped her’ in reference to the incident. They show very little guilt with regard to their crime, often pleading innocence or claiming that the woman was ‘asking for it.’

Another important thing to be noted is that there is no ‘profile’ of a rapist that can be used to differentiate people. The backgrounds and circumstances of rapists form a pool of entirely heterogeneous people and situations. However, some broad categories in which they can be classified are:

1. Power-assertive rapist: Physically aggressive, and willing to employ force through obscene language, a weapon, slapping or punching.

2. Anger-retaliatory rapist: He feels vengeful towards women, and intends to degrade and punish them. He acts on impulse, and can get very angry, and this leads him to cause the most damage to the victim by beating and man-handling the victim.

3. Rapist seeking power-reassurance: This type of person is low on self-confidence and skills of interpersonal nature, and is not able to develop relationships with women. Of all the rapist types, he is the least violent, and does not intend to kill or hurt. The rape is usually pre-meditated and based on some fantasy entertained by him.

4. Anger-excitation rapist: He is a sadist who derives sexual gratification from inflicting pain, especially on people who he may be familiar/friends with. The rape is planned and also rehearsed in the rapist's mind before it is attempted.

Treatment and reformation of rapists
Treatment programs for imprisoned rapists have been in existence for many years. While studies have shown varying degrees of success for such initiatives, evaluating or measuring the effectiveness of the intervention programs remains a tricky task.

As of now, there is a need to create better programs for treatment. The main focus of these programs should be the protection of the community and future potential victims (females and males), and preventing re-offence. The idea behind treatment should not be to 'cure' the rapist, but instead to help him 'control' himself.

Treatment goals

Some proposed treatment goals to be achieved by the rapists can be:

1. To acknowledge the presence of a problem within himself and also take responsibility for it.
2. To develop an understanding of the antecedents of his offensive behaviour and situations in which the incidence of re-offence may arise.
3. To understand the consequences of his behaviour upon his victim, significant others in his own and his victim's family and upon society in general.
4. To modify his attitudes towards women and gender roles.
5. To understand the roles played by alcohol and/or drug use in the committing of the offence.
6. To accept that control over his behaviour will be a lifetime process.

As indicated previously, the road to reforming a rapist is a long and tedious one, but with sustained effort on part of both the patient and the administrator, reformation is possible.
(This column has research contributed by Devika Gupta)  

Editorial NOTE: This article is categorized under Opinion Section. The views expressed in this article are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of In case you have a opposing view, please click here to share the same in the comments section.
About The Author
Mrs. ANU GOEL is a Counselling Psychologist. She has practiced in Mumbai for 5 years, and is currently practicing in Delhi since the last 7 years. Goel, who can be contacted at 9313320146 and, is a member of the Counsellor's Association of India, and has been a guest speaker on several occasions.
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Madam Anu is a female. So she is not able to understand mans psycho. Does she know that every man rapes. It is biological requirement. His first victim is pillows. While on pillow he repeats a rape drama just to satisfy him mentally and to enjoy the action. Once satisfied i,e after the sperm leaves his body he cools down and starts thinking rationale. May feel shame too as he spoils the bed. This does not deter him repeating the same scene again and again every night. Seeing his activities parents understands that he is ready for marriage. Getting his wife he tries to do the same drama but this time with co-operation from the other half. Now if the other half does not co-operate and give satisfaction his mind gets disturbed. As the power builds up he tries to get it from some other source. At first choice are prostitutes. But if his culture does not permit he feels ashamed. So second recourse is raping a lady and escape. A Man knows that a lady is defenseless. After performing she is ex hosted for more than an hour an easy time to escape. There are lots of movies and books from where he gets inspiration. Madness over comes him. He goes for active happiness. We have heard even that after release from jail the criminal went to the house of victim and threatened her instead of begging apology for his misdeed. Take an example. A person becomes mad due to some accident and organ disarrangement and psychological shocks. He starts killing people. Now admit him in asylum medicate him and he shows positive result. Release him he again becomes mad seeing the same old sceneries in front of his eyes. Again as Madam Anu says they do not feel guilt of what he has done. The rape criminal starts analyzing after release where it went wrong which resulted him in jail rather than repenting for his mis deed. That is why we find second or even third rape after punishment. So instead of saving for research and argument endangering life of innocent victims it is better to kill him mercilessly. This killing needs proper publicity so that a fear psycho works on the mind of prospective criminals. Additionally social boycott of the family by society should take place. Others will see for one mis deed entire family is paying the price. This will work as a deterrent for his evil thought.
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