What is a perpetrator?

A perpetrator is a person who commits a crime. Here, we’re talking about people who commit any form of sexual assault. There is no single type of perpetrator. They come from all backgrounds, genders, and sexualities. Even so, researchers have found some similarities between perpetrators.

Friends and strangers

Research shows that most perpetrators commit their crimes against people that they know - partners, ex-partners, colleagues, friends, or family. Only a minority of sexual assaults are committed against strangers.

Quiet moments

There’s no typical place where sexual assault happens – it can be in the home, on public transport, or in the workplace.

Many sexual assaults are related to alcohol or drug consumption either by the victim or the perpetrator.

Remember, sexual assault is always the perpetrator’s fault. Drinking does not cause sexual assault. Just make sure that you take basic precautions to protect yourself. Know what’s in your drinks, look out for your friends, and have a plan to get home.

Swiping right

Police have noticed that some offenders are turning to online dating to target victims. They may contact their victims online, and chat with them using messaging apps, before meeting them in person. Genuine love interests will be open and honest. Sexual assault perpetrators may be much more secretive.

Don’t fall for it. Real romantic prospects will want you to get to know them, and will want you to trust them. They will be happy to meet in public places, on neutral ground, and go out of their way to make you feel comfortable.

A little bit of caution

Let’s make no bones about it – sexual assault is always the perpetrator’s fault. Learning a little bit about how perpetrators think can help you avoid becoming a victim of sexual assault.