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’m an individual concerned about gender issues. I am also a male rape victim of a female perpetrator. While RAINN’s overall message and purpose is amazing, your methods often are both problematic and uninclusive.
Your definition of rape, which can be found at http://www.rainn.org/get-information/types-of-sexual-assault/definition-of-rape, is pretty intersectional. However, it directly contradicts one statistic regarding male victims that can be found athttp://www.rainn.org/get-information/statistics/sexual-assault-victims. The current FBI definition of rape is “The 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.” This erases victims of rape who are forced to penetrate, generally men who are forced to have sex with women. The number of victims erased this way is not insignificant; according to the last 12 months numbers from CDC NISVS, it’s almost equal to the number of women who are raped. More information on the topic can be found at http://permutationofninjas.org/post/57003274589/gender-symmetry-in-sexual-assault-an-analysis-of-the.
You should change some of the information on your site and materials to more accurately represent the facts. Additionally, some particular campaigns, such as http://www.rainn.org/get-information/sexual-assault-prevention/men-can-help, should become more inclusive. Changing the message from “men can try and stop rape” to “everyone should try and stop rape” would be a good start towards addressing sexual assault without erasing male victims or female perpetrators.
I mentioned I was a male rape victim of a female perpetrator earlier – in short a woman who I met at a party earlier that evening proceeded to have sexual intercourse with me while I was asleep – without any consent from me – in fact we had agreed that intercourse were off the table before I went to sleep.
I’d really like to see anti-rape organizations like RAINN take a clear principled stand and call what happened to me for rape and be more effective in help making sure that 1,670,000 men won’t report being made to penetrate someone else in the last year the next time CDC does their NISVS survey.
(apologies for remaining anonymous. I talk about this online and based in past experiences I don’t consider it safe to do so under full name so I protect my identity)
A week later I got a response back from RAINN which I’ll reproduce in full (I struck out the name of the person writing the e-mail) below:
Thank you very much for your feedback and suggestions (and our apologies for not replying sooner).One of our core values is our commitment to help all survivors of all forms of sexual violence, regardless of gender. This is a crime thatis perpetrated by both women and men, and it hasimpacted millions of Americans of every gender/gender identity. We strive to take a balanced approach in reference to gender when applicable on our website, in our programming, or when dealing with the media.Still, we know there is always room for improvement. So we appreciate you bringing your concerns to our attention and want to let you know that we’re taking them seriously. We are currently working on an overhaul of our entire website, and will pay special attention to the statistics, definitions and language that we use. We are also finishing up a large project that will provide much more detailed, state-by-state definitions of rape and sexual assault. We expect to add this feature to our website later this spring.Thanks again for sharing your thoughts and suggestions — and, most importantly, for your concern for survivors.RAINN—
XXXXXXX XXXXXXXOffice ManagerRAINN