FBI Clarifies Definition Of Rape

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.

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Response from RAINN on the 15th of March e-mail

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:

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CDC caught in a lie

Alison Tieman (typhonblue) of AVfM has made a video using puzzle pieces to illustrate how CDC categorize made to penetrate as not rape.

About halfway through the video there is an interview where Hannah Wallen (also of AVfM I believe) is talking on the phone with a person from the CDC on their decision to categorize made to penetrate as something else than rape in their NISVS 2010 Report.

The person from CDC state that the definitions of rape and made to penetrate are in line with CDC’s uniform definitions for sexual violence. This can be heard from the 6:28 mark in the video.

That is a lie

They are not in line with CDC’s uniform definitions for sexual violence. The CDC uniform definitions of sexual violence defines rape as a completed nonconsensual sex act (i.e., rape) where sex act is defined as contact between the penis and the vulva or the penis and the anus involving penetration, however slight; contact between the mouth and penis, vulva, or anus; or penetration of the anal or genital opening of another person by a hand, finger, or other object.

Made to penetrate is not mentioned in their uniform definitions of sexual violence at all. Made to penetrate would however fall within the definition of rape used as made to penetrate would entail “contact between the penis and the vulva involving penetration”, “contact between the penis and the anus involving penetration” or “contact between the mouth and penis”.

I have already documented this back in October last year in a post titled “Did the NISVS 2010 Report really use CDC’s definition of rape?” where more details and links to CDC’s uniform definitions of sexual violence can be found.


Why Rape Is Seriously Hilarious

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:




RAINN Goes Against The Grain

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.

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One would think so, but no…

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):

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On derailment

[I have been asked by the bloggers at Feminist Critics to join them as a co-blogger. I am honoured by the request and have accepted this opportunity to reach a wider audience.  In practice this means that many, but probably not all, of my articles from now on will be published both on Feminist Critics and this blog. This is the first post published both places.]

Derailing And Hijacking Rape Discourse?

I’ve more than once experienced that bringing up the existence of male victims of rape and mentioning statistics about it when rape is discussed has led to people castigating me for derailing the discussion. One particularly egregious example was on a thread on a Feministing post titled The dangers of a gender essentialist approach to rape, where bringing up the statistics from the NISVS 2010 Report was called hijacking and derailing the thread by a commenter, and a ban was being called for. This was even more ironic considering the Feministing blogger (Jos) asserted that:

“Obviously, the feminist take on rape has much more to do with reality than the MRA take.”

The rest of this post is based on my response.

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