Definition of rape ‘archaic, too narrow’

The current legal definition of rape goes back to 1927. Rape is defined as forcible male penile penetration of a female, as Justin Fenton reports for the Baltimore Sun. This is a definition that excludes acts that many people also consider to be rape, such as anal penetration.

Women’s Law Project Director Carol Tracy said, “In order for the public to combat violence in our communities, we need to know where it exists and what it looks like,” as Fenton reports.

Tracy refers to the fact that rape and sex assault are said to be one of the most underreported of crimes, which is part of the “wider issue” that rape is said to be not adequately investigated when it is alleged to have happened.

“The undercounting of serious sex crimes that has been taking place for the last 80 years” – based on the current legal definition of rape – “probably means that the resources that law enforcement should have to fight sex crimes are not adequate,” Tracy said.

The FBI is heading up a meeting regarding the definition of rape, which takes place tomorrow in Baltimore City.

Source: Baltimore Sun, “FBI considers redefining rape,” by Justin Fenton, 10/01/11

The current legal definition of rape goes back to 1927. Rape is defined as forcible male penile penetration of a female, as Justin Fenton reports for the Baltimore Sun. This is a definition that excludes acts that many people also consider to be rape, such as anal penetration.

Women’s Law Project Director Carol Tracy said, “In order for the public to combat violence in our communities, we need to know where it exists and what it looks like,” as Fenton reports.

Tracy refers to the fact that rape and sex assault are said to be one of the most underreported of crimes, which is part of the “wider issue” that rape is said to be not adequately investigated when it is alleged to have happened.

“The undercounting of serious sex crimes that has been taking place for the last 80 years” – based on the current legal definition of rape – “probably means that the resources that law enforcement should have to fight sex crimes are not adequate,” Tracy said.

The FBI is heading up a meeting regarding the definition of rape, which takes place tomorrow in Baltimore City.

Source: Baltimore Sun, “FBI considers redefining rape,” by Justin Fenton, 10/01/11