The Crime Survey for England and Wales (CSEW), formerly known as the British Crime Survey (BCS), is a face-to-face victimization survey first conducted in 1982. Here is a bulletin describing what the Ministry of Justice, Home Office and the Office for National Statistics says about what sexual offences the CSEW captures:
These experiences span the full spectrum of sexual offences, ranging from the most serious offences of rape and sexual assault, to other sexual offences like indecent exposure and unwanted touching.
Unfortunately that is a lie and this blog post will explain in some detail why this is a lie and what sexual offence is left out.
In 2011, the FBI approved a new definition of rape which was effective beginning in January 2013. Here it is:
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.
There was a bit of discussion when it was published as to whether it covered rape by envelopment. It’s written pretty ambiguously and the use of the word ‘penetration’ made many think that it didn’t include rape by envelopment. I have earlier argued for assuming in discussions that it includes rape by envelopment, but I quickly became disillusioned when it became clear that other governmental agencies like the CDC and the National Research Council excluded rape by envelopment from their definitions of rape.
I am happy to tell that Ms. Mary P. Reese, from the FBI’s CJIS Division’s Crime Statistics Management Unit confirms in an email that they consider rape by envelopment to be rape under the current FBI definition of rape, and that they’ll consider my suggestion in modifying documentation for the reporting agencies to reflect that more clearly.
Here’s the story on how this came about as well as screenshots of the email communication with Ms. Reese at the FBI.
Permutationofninjas on Tumblr set a campaign in motion to e-mail RAINN on the 15th of March 2014 asking them about their use of statistics which excludes male victimization like being made to penetrate. I wrote a blog post encouraging everyone to join that campaign in sending an e-mail to RAINN.
I did so myself using Permutationofninjas template as a basis and added some information about me and how I was raped. Here is the mail I sent:
I’ve met and heard of several men who at some point have been sexually violated when they didn’t or couldn’t consent. Many of those who tells their story have done so in a bragging way: “I got laid at 8 with a 16 year old girl“, “she wanted me so badly so that when I woke up I already found her sucking my dick” and so on. Why would a boy/man who have been raped make light of his victimization in this manner? Why would they frame their victimization as someting hilariously funny? This video illustrates perfectly why:
On February 28th RAINN (Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network) published their recommendations for the White House Task Force to Protect Students from Sexual Assault, which President Obama has charged with creating a plan to reduce rape on college campuses.
RAINN is the United States’ largest anti-sexual violence organization and is generally well-respected. They run the DoD Safe Helpline on behalf of the Department of Defense. So I think we can safely assume that RAINN does have some lobbying clout on this issue.
RAINN really went against many of the more common feminist talking points/strategies against rape in their recommendation. This hasn’t gone completely unnoticed among feminists as can be seen in this post on Feministing and in some of the comments on RAINN’s Facebook post about their recommendations to the White House Task Force. But I have to say I expected a bit more discussion of this in feminist circles, all things considered. So let’s look at what RAINN wrote which I think will be viewed as problematic by some feminists.
The Scottish police department and advocacy groups have launched a new anti-rape public awareness campaign called “We Can Stop It“. They have several posters and they include the usual token male-on-male example while pointing out that sexual attacks on men have been legally classed as ‘rape’ for the very first time. As usual for such campaigns there are no female-on-male examples. Nevertheless, the language seem to be clear and gender-neutral when they state that sex without consent is rape (screen grab from the site):