Thursday, January 17, 2013

Long-Awaited Changes to the FBI's UCR Definition of Rape

Rape is a devastating crime and one of the most personal acts of violence that anyone ever has to endure, male or female. Until this year, the definition of rape had not been updated or revised for 80 years.  The outdated definition left many victims feeling as if the violent crime committed against them was not being taken seriously.

We are happy to report that the FBI has implemented a revised definition of rape within their Uniform Crime Reporting (UCR) Program.  Starting on January 1, 2013, the definition has been expanded and will allow law enforcement agencies to report more accurate rape offense data throughout the UCR Program to ensure all applicable rape offenses and all victims of any gender or age are accounted for. 

As a result of the revised definition, the FBI expects to see an increase in reported rape offense data once the law enforcement community makes the necessary reporting changes to collect revised rape statistics.  However, this does not necessarily mean there is an increase in rapes or violent crime in general.  For example, a previously reported act of forcible sodomy will now be reported through the UCR program as rape.

Looking at the 2012 crime statistics, the City of St. Louis would have reported approximately 135 additional rapes if this law had gone into effect on January 1, 2012.  From a statistical stand point, it may appear as if we have a spike in rapes in 2013, this is simply not the case. We will now be reporting the crimes more accurately because the UCR requirements are more inclusive.  This UCR reporting revision does not change the current applicable state laws regarding the various sexual offenses.

We applaud the victim advocacy groups, such as the Women’s Law Project, who worked collaboratively with the FBI to make the changes.  This is a victory for rape survivors in our country and we support the changes wholeheartedly.  

To learn specific information about the changes to the definition you can go to www.fbi.gov.

1 comment:

  1. Well done to those who care. I am a survival of rape and let me say... It took yearsssss, for me to walk with my head up. Every man I saw was the victim. It was by God's Grace I made it through, I had no support from family, friends or support groups. I was never even given info by the STLPD about available help for me. So I carried this weight for many years alone. I am here today because God gave me strength to be here and I say to all those who stand against rape, "WELL DONE" I pray you continue to make a difference for those who need to know you are there the most. B-Blessed
    VK

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