Attorney General Eric Holder recently announced the inclusion of a new, more expansive definition of rape into the Uniform Crime Report- an important decision that will update this definition for the first time in over 80 years and ensure more accurate reporting. By counting men as victims for the first time and dropping the requirement that victims must have physically resisted their attackers, this new definition will better mirror current states’ criminal codes, reflect the nature of violent crimes in the year 2012, and will count more victims of this violent crime. This decision will not, however, change federal or state laws or alter charges or prosecutions.
JWI strongly supports the revision of this definition. In tough economic times, accurate reporting is especially necessary as we make the case to lawmakers about funding programs and services for victims of the devastating crime of rape.