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People commit other violent acts because of their beliefs. They also almost always get a strong emotional charge out of being violent. These two features are the core of why people are violent. Beliefs and emotional charge. There are many variations after that, but these are the constants.


Violent people build an image of their victims in their minds. They decide who the victims are and then act on their beliefs. Who the victims think they are and who other people believe the victims are do not matter. All that matters is who perpetrators think their victims are.


A graduate of an elite private college named Don decided the women he raped were “loose” and out looking for sex anyway so it was no big thing when he followed them home in the dark and raped them. This is the conversation I had with him when I interviewed him in a maximum security prison where he lived for 17 years.

Um, and if I take the right person, you know, it's not going to make a difference anyway. You know, because, like I said before, you know, the women I was, was raping were, you know, they'd been in that bar looking for guys anyway....You know, all my victims were, you know, they, my set up was that they'd been out in bars or loose sexually, kinds of people. So they had it coming, or they, you know, it didn't matter to them. So, so, you know, this wouldn't be a big, big thing to happen to them.

After Don's statement that rape would not be "a big, big thing" to the women, I was speechless for 20 seconds. When I finally was able to speak, I asked Don how he knew the women were loose. His answer revealed more of his thinking:

J: (10 sec) Yeah. (10 sec) Well, how did you know that they were at bars and were loose? What...[interrupted].

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