Good News: FBI Finally Updates its Definition of Rape

01/09/2012 12:28 PM |

Thanks, FBI Director Mueller.

  • Thanks, FBI Director Mueller.

Hooray! The FBI has finally gotten around to updating its nearly 80-year-old definition of what constitutes rape:

Since 1929, the FBI has defined rape as the carnal knowledge of a female, forcibly and against her will. The revised definition covers any gender of victim or attacker and includes instances in which the victim is incapable of giving consent because of the influence of drugs or alcohol or because of age. Physical resistance is not required. The Justice Department said the new definition mirrors the majority of state rape statutes now on the books.

That’s right! Until right now, adult men COULD NOT be “officially” raped. So this change is a big, big deal, for a lot of reasons:

In the FBI’s official statement, CJIS Assistant Director David Cuthbertson says that the update ensures that “the number of victims of this heinous crime will be more accurately reflected in national crime statistics.”

The expansion has been long awaited because policymakers and lawmakers use crime statistics to allocate resources for prevention and victim assistance.

And not only that, it will make it easier to provide rape survivors with the resources and services they need. More money for services, more people eligible to receive services. So, yay. Sort of. Except for astronomically high number of people being raped in this country. I guess you’ve got to take good news where you can find it?