Thanks To Outdated Definition, FBI Still Only Counts "Forcible Rape"


House Republicans may have dropped their effort to limit the rape exception for federal funding of abortion to “forcible rape,” but at least one government agency still uses this exact term. As Mother Jones points out, this is what’s listed as a Part I offense under the FBI’s guidelines on Uniform Crime Reporting:

Forcible rape-The carnal knowledge of a female forcibly and against her will. Rapes by force and attempts or assaults to rape, regardless of the age of the victim, are included. Statutory offenses (no force used―victim under age of consent) are excluded.

According to Ms., this definition was written in 1929 and hasn’t been updated since. At that time there were no roofies and the idea of date rape didn’t exist. This means victims of date rape, statutory rape, same-sex rape, male rape, forced anal or oral sex, and rape with an object are excluded from federal crime statistics. The language can also affect what authorities consider “real rape” and lead to the misallocation of resources and funds.

The Feminist Majority Foundation has started an email campaign asking FBI Director Robert Mueller and Attorney General Eric Holder to update the FBI definition of rape. Too many people still don’t acknowledge that statutory and date rape is indeed “rape-rape.” Getting law enforcement on the right page and accurately assessing the problem is the first step to society taking all rape seriously.

Should The FBI Redefine Rape? [MotherJones]
Offense Definitions []
The FBI’s Definition of Rape: Older Than a Lot of Things [Ms.]
No More Excuses: Change The Definition of Rape [Feminist Majority Foundation]

Image via gary718/Shutterstock.

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Share Tweet Submit Pin