UPDATE: Major Victory in “Rape Is Rape” Campaign

The “Rape is Rape” campaign, demanding that all rapes be counted in the FBI’s annual Uniform Crime Report (UCR), took a huge step forward yesterday at a crucial meeting of law enforcement officials.

The Uniform Crime Report Subcommittee of the FBI’s Criminal Justice Information Services (CJIS) voted unanimously to expand its definition of rape in the UCR. The vote came after many years of lobbying by groups such as the Women’s Law Project and the recent viral “Rape is Rapecampaign, started by the Feminist Majority Foundation and Ms. in partnership with Change.org–which resulted in nearly 140,000 emails to the FBI and the Department of Justice urging the change.

The previous definition (unchanged since 1929) defined “forcible rape” as “the carnal knowledge of a female, forcibly and against her will,” excluding victims of forced anal or oral sex, rape with an object, statutory rape and male rape.

The new definition–of “rape,” no longer “forcible rape”–defines the crime as “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.” The FBI would maintain data on “forcible rape” only for research and comparison.

“The new definition would be a major change to the FBI’s UCR Report and a major victory for advocates,” said Kim Gandy, General Counsel of the FMF.

Eleanor Smeal, President of the FMF, stated, “This will ensure the crime of rape is measured in a way that it includes all rape, and it essentially becomes a crime to which more resources are allocated. It’s intolerable the amount of violence against women, and we feel this will have a significant impact.”

The new definition will now go to the International Association of Chiefs of Police and working groups for feedback before a final recommendation is presented to the CJIS Advisory Policy Board (APB) in December. Finally the APB’s recommendation will go to FBI Director Robert Mueller for final approval. Fortunately, he’s already received nearly 140,000 emails asking him to update the definition, so he should be very familiar with the issue when the APB makes its recommendation.

Thanks to all who participated in this campaign; your efforts truly made an impact. But it’s not over yet. We need to maintain pressure on law enforcement officials to make sure this change is officially adopted and put into practice by the FBI. To that end, please add your signature now if you haven’t already, and share this with your networks urging them to do the same. Together we can help make sure that all rapes will be counted.

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  1. Elyse the Kraken says:

    I have never been more proud of my government than I am right now.

    Change is real, and I’m glad I was a small part of this.

  2. I am so happy about this new definition. This is long overdue, and this is a victory that I am super happy about. But the battle is still not over though…

  3. It sounds good but how can a rape that a Police Station won’t prosecute be added? It’s not a matter of having facts because he never denied what he has done. They won’t push the issue because they dont want me to be right; because of a civil lawsuit that was filed and blown to pieces because not only didn’t the cops do their jobs; but there was a clerk that destroyed records but they cant beat certified letters to her before they were destroyed; Judge forgetting about granting me permission to reserve the defendants and add the rest that i did; which included, a parole officer, court clerk, police stations etc. I still hold onto the evidence to prove my case where he basically admits it

    • Barbara, I am very sorry you are going through this. There’s nothing to say, really. It’s incredibly cruel, unfair.

  4. I hope the FBI in Pittsburgh counts the fact that I was raped by a City Cop in Uniform. They know it and I was set up 2 months later by Gwen Elliot who died a horrible death because she helped cover it up. My blood alcohal level was nearly 4.0 and that is RAPE NO MATTER WHERE YOU GO. I have to live with the fact that I got no justice, this rapist is still out there wearing a uniform. I don’t understand it, his personal record was the subject of a federal case and yet he remains free on the streets. I am not perfect but I was raped, and you all know I was. What are you covering up for him because he’s Luke’s fair haired rapist? Fire him!

    • Pauline, I’m very sorry for this. I said this for Barbara, this is an experience that it so hard to live through, both your assault and then people’s indifference, cruelty and the unfairness of it all. And these instances are countless, and always remember it can happen to me. I wish you strength.

    • A BAC of 4.0? That means that 400% of your blood, by volume, was booze. You’d be long dead.

    • I find it difficult to be around other men for anything more than a cursory conversation. Male attitudes toward women, in general, are so regressive as to be unmentionable. I say this as a man. Nobody should experience what you have.

  5. I’m very glad that the definition is getting updated. It’s a long time coming, but it does exclude one final manner of being raped.

    It mentions nothing about being enveloped without consent.

  6. Great job, FMF and every one else!

  7. I signed petition and tried to send it, but it wouldn’t go through. Now what?

  8. Janet Lloyd says:

    I was drugged and gang raped. He is still out there and I was treated for another condition, not rape. I had amnesia and now I’m have flashbacks and nightmares. Post trauma effects.

    When filing a police report the police officer would not put his name in the report and said it would incriminate him.

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