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US Expands Definition of Rape

January 12, 2012

Posted by VP of Action Josephine Martell

The Justice Department recently announced that it had changed the federal definition of “rape.” Going forward rape will include male victims and female perpetrators, as well as, situations in which victims are unable to give consent, such as a disabled person or someone under the influence of drugs or alcohol. The new definition defines it 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.”

For years, a number of organizations had been calling for changes to the old definition which was narrowly defined as “the carnal knowledge of a female, forcibly and against her will,” and only counted vaginal-penile penetration and women as victims.


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