An Updated Definition of Rape

 

Tracy Russo
U.S. Department of Justice
The Justice Blog
January 6th, 2012

The following post appears courtesy of Susan B. Carbon, Director of the Office on Violence Against Women.

In a victory for survivors of rape and their advocates, the Attorney General announced a newly revised definition of rape for nationwide data collection, ensuring that rape will be more accurately reported nationwide.

The change sends an important message to all victims that what happens to them matters, and to perpetrators that they will be held accountable. It was because of the voices of survivors, advocates, law enforcement personnel and many others that FBI Director Robert Mueller was able to make this important change within the FBI’s Uniform Crime Report (UCR) Summary Reporting System (SRS).

“Forcible rape” had been defined by the UCR SRS as “the carnal knowledge of a female, forcibly and against her will.” That definition, unchanged since 1927, was outdated and narrow. It only included forcible male penile penetration of a female vagina.

The new definition is: 

“The penetration, no matter how slight, of the vagina or anus with any body part or object, or oral penetration by a sex organ of another person, without the consent of the victim.”

To read more about this change on The Justice Blog, click here.

 

U.S. to Expand Its Definition of Rape in Statistics,  New York Times,  January 6, 2012

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