FBI Plans to Change Definition of Rape to Better Capture Stats

By Allan Lengel

Are rapes recorded accurately?

Apparently not, which is why the the FBI is in the process of changing the definition of rape for the first time in 80 years, reports the Baltimore Sun.

The Sun reports that critics have insisted the definition is too narrow, resulting in fewer stats and less resources for victims and law enforcement.

The paper reports that a subcommittee of the Criminal Justice Information Service of the FBI plans to address the matter at an Oct. 18 meeting in Baltimore.

Recommendations will go to an advisory board and then to FBI Director Robert Mueller for approval, the Sun reported.

Greg Scarbro, the FBI’s unit chief for the Uniform Crime Report, said the agency has been discussing revisions since last year.

“From the highest levels of the FBI, there’s an understanding that this needs to change, Greg Scarbro, the FBI’s unit chief for the Uniform Crime Report, told the Sun. “We just need to make sure it happens in the right way,” he said.

The paper reports that rape has long been defined “as forcible male penile penetration of a female — which excludes cases involving oral and anal penetration, where the victims were drugged or under the influence of alcohol, and male victims.”




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