U.S. Broadens Definition Of Rape Victims To Include Men - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

U.S. Broadens Definition Of Rape Victims To Include Men

(CNN) -- The Justice Department announced Friday it is revising a decades-old definition of rape to expand the kinds of offenses that constitute the crime and for the first time, include men as victims.

Now, any kind of nonconsensual penetration, no matter the gender of the attacker or victim, will constitute rape -- meaning that attacks on men will be counted.

The crime of rape will be defined 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," a Justice Department statement said.

Attorney General Eric Holder said the new definition will lead to a more comprehensive reporting of rape in the FBI's annual compilation of crime statistics.

"These long overdue updates to the definition of rape will help ensure justice for those whose lives have been devastated by sexual violence and reflect the Department of Justice's commitment to standing with rape victims," Holder said. "This new, more inclusive definition will provide us with a more accurate understanding of the scope and volume of these crimes."

An FBI advisory panel recently recommended the revision to the antiquated definition, established in 1927.

The law then defined rape as "the carnal knowledge of a female, forcibly and against her will." That meant that it was only an act of rape if a man forcibly penetrated a woman through her vagina. It excluded oral and anal penetration; rape of males; penetration of the vagina and anus with an object or body part other than the penis; rape of females by females; and non-forcible rape. click here to read more