Crime expert Linda Fairstein reveals the sinister ways that rapists select and attack their victims, and what you need to know to protect yourself
From the man who haunted midtown Manhattan’s high-rise office buildings, to the stalker in the wooded suburbs near Nashville, serial rapists often have one chilling trait in common: They operate in “comfort zones.” Sometimes they find their own comfort zones, such as the stairwell of a familiar office building. Other times they may pinpoint their victims’ comfort zones, such as the bedroom of an unlocked house. In both cases, experienced sexual predators exploit their potential victims’ most unguarded moments. In How Serial Rapists Target Their Victims, Linda Fairstein breaks down the patterns of these violent criminals and describes the day-to-day ways that women can best safeguard against them. Originally published in Cosmopolitan, this essay is now available in digital format for the first time and features a new introduction by the author.