Here is news sent by our City Council related to the FBI redefining rape. I am far from an expert on this topic and I will not go into different scenarios, but if I had teenage youth I would definitely sit them down and discuss the more loose definition of rape that could easily get them in jail or identified as a sexual predator for life; possibly based on an accusation without physical proof. On the other hand, I am sure it will help serve many to get justice when victimized.
January 10, 2012
Dear New Yorker,
This past Friday the FBI took an important step away from an archaic definition of rape that has long skewed the picture of sexual assault in our country.
Since 1927 the FBI has defined rape as the "carnal knowledge of a female, forcibly and against her will." This definition is narrower than the one used by many police departments around the country, including the New York Police Department. Legal and women's rights advocates have long contended that it leads to the under-counting of thousands of sexual assaults each year, including categorically excluding rapes committed against men. Such underreporting, they argue, misleads the public about the prevalence of rape in our communities. It also affects the amount of funding that rape crisis centers receive for the vital services they provide to victims and their families.
The new definition approved by the FBI's policy group will define rape 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."
We'd like to thank all of the advocates and victim advocacy groups who labored long and hard for this important policy change.
Now more than ever it's important for us to send a strong message to the predators who are committing these heinous acts that their crimes will not be tolerated.
Not only will this new, more inclusive definition give us a better understanding of the scope of these crimes nationwide, but it also ensure greater justice and healing for those whose lives have been marred by sexual violence here at home.
If you have any questions about the FBI's new definition of rape, please feel free to contact Danielle Castaldi-Micca in the City Council's Community Outreach Unit. She can be reached by telephone at (212) 788-726 or by email at dcastaldi-micca@councilnyc.
Thanks so much, and we hope to be in touch again soon with additional news and updates.
Christine C. Quinn
Chair, Women's Issues Committee