Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Rape is Rape - no more excuses!

From Feminist Majority:

Earlier this year, House Republicans tried to redefine rape exclusively as forcible rape. Thanks to feminist activists like you, Rep. Chris Smith backed down and left "forcible" out of his bill.

But that didn't solve the whole problem, and we need your help. The FBI's Uniform Crime Report (UCR) – the go-to national record on violent crimes – uses a narrow definition of "forcible rape" written more than 80 years ago. In the UCR, a rape only counts if a woman's vagina is penetrated by a penis by force and against her will.

That definition needs to change. The Feminist Majority Foundation and Ms. magazine are launching a campaign to demand that the FBI update and broaden its definition of rape.

Sign a letter to the Director of the FBI and the Attorney General urging them to define rape as rape, period.

Unbelievably, the outdated UCR definition of "forcible rape" excludes
• excludes those raped with an object, finger or fist;
• excludes those raped anally or orally; and
• excludes all men who are raped.

And many police forces leave out drug- and alcohol-facilitated rape, rape of incapacitated or unconscious women and rape of those with physical or mental disabilities who cannot forcefully resist. That means a huge number of rapes "don't count."

Without accurate reports, we cannot know the magnitude of the problem. Without correct statistics, we will never have adequate funding for law enforcement to deal with rape.

Please join us, by sending a letter to the FBI and the Department of Justice, to demand an expanded and modernized UCR definition of rape.

After you sign the letter, visit for other simple actions you can take to help. It's time for change.

For women's lives,

Ellie Smeal

Eleanor Smeal

P.S. To find out more about the UCR definition and its impact on rape survivors, pick up the new issue of Ms. now on newsstands, or visit

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