How does your state define “rape?”

crying_eye_by_hg_art-d7819yvYou can find out here. We could use a uniform definition of the crime — one that includes incest and statutory rape this time. The FBI changed its definition in 2012 (after using a definition from 1929 that excluded incidences that involved men, or  rape following drug use) but elected not to include incest and statutory rape. Is that for number-crunching purposes? I do not know.


6 responses to “How does your state define “rape?”

  1. If the FBI’s UCR definition of rape, (used for data collection having no penalty defined), is preferable to State laws, then why exclude statutory rape and incest if “rape is rape”?

    • That’s a little scary. That was an early draft that I somehow decided to share. My apologies. According to the current FBI definition, rape is rape unless it’s statutory rape or incest — which makes no sense to me.

      • It does seem to be inconsistent with the idea of one uniform definition. (It is for data collection purposes.) Even if those exclusions could be rationalized, the call for one uniform definition does not deal with the question of penalty, and how penalty is determined, which is what seems to be the actual issue here.

        If people in California, or elsewhere, are dissatisfied with the penalties, and procedural options, defined in their sexual violence laws, it seems to me it would be a much easier task to compel their State to change those laws and procedural options than to attempt to get all the States to agree on one uniform definition.
        All the States can’t agree on who gets to use what bathroom.
        All the States cannot agree on gun law.
        All the States cannot agree on equal rights for women….
        …access to healthcare, especially reproductive healthcare…
        …immigration and refugee resettlement…
        …who gets a cake at their wedding…
        …what discrimination means…
        …what religious freedom means…
        …tax breaks and exclusions and what entities are entitled to what privilege…
        ………….the list goes on and on.

        • I appreciate the catch and am now reviewing wha tI’ve loaded up to make sure no more drafts see the light of day.

          But seriously: Why WOULDN’T incest and statutory rape be included in the definition? What am I missing?

          • It’s a guess…but’s it’s probably due to elements concerning consent and lack of force that remove those offenses from a violent crime classification.

  2. Yes, there should be consistency across states. Here is one document that summarizes statutory rape crimes/penalties by state. (You’d need to look further for definitions, but this provides an overview:

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