FBI Changes Its Definition of Rape to Include Male Victims

Published: January 6, 2012

The FBI recently changed its long-standing policy that recognized rape as a crime affecting only women, a change that will bring more accurate counts of male rape and provide better resources to victims.

In its crime reports and tallies, the FBI will now include men among rape victims. Their new provision describes rape as any kind of forced penetration. Along with advocates for victims of sexual crimes, Vice President Joseph Biden pushed for the change. He said the new policy will reverse 80 years of not accounting for male rape victims.

The change has practical merit as well as symbolic — millions in federal aid goes to sexual abuse victims, and the new accounting for male rape will help assist those victims.

"If you can’t measure it accurately, you can’t monitor it, and you can’t direct appropriate resources to deal with the problem," Carol Tracy, executive director of the Women’s Law Project, one of many groups to push for the change, told USA Today.

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