Then, there’s the false sense of security that Garda vetting provides. Garda vetting doesn’t weed out predators, it doesn’t give any indication of who is, and isn’t a rapist. Garda vetting just tells us who has a criminal record. Do you see the problem here? You could be a serial rapist, but because you have never been found guilty in a court of law, your vetting disclosure will not reveal how dangerous you are.
Talking to the men who are happy to talk to researchers; talking to the men who got caught; talking to the men who are aware of, admit to, and have remorse for, raping women; is talking to an extreme minority of rapists. We won’t learn enough from them to understand what a rapist is like, their motivations, their manipulative ways, their lack of empathy for their victims, their lack of concern for the long-term, often life-limiting, effects that their abuse has on their victims.
If you want to know what a rapist looks like – ask their victims. We’ll tell you. In return, though, you need to listen. You must be prepared to accept uncomfortable truths; to reject your pre-conceived notions; to have the humility to accept that you have been wrong, that you have been duped.
Abusers do not stop abusing, rather they must be stopped and perpetuating the myths that men who abuse are a minority, and that men who abuse are monsters, won’t stop any of them.
Here’s a picture of one of my rapists (Cormac Talbot, 2019)