Rape Definitions? Many people do not realize that rape is a legal term. While most of us assume we know what rape is, definitions of “rape” actually vary by state and jurisdiction. Depending which side of the offense you are on, this can be good or bad. If you are being charged with a rape or want to charge someone with rape, contact an attorney immediately to see exactly what the guidelines are for such charges.
There are some jurisdictions that have very specific clarifications of what rape is. In such jurisdictions it may only be classified as rape if the offense is committed by a man against a woman. Penetration must also occur, and it must be with a penis. By these standards, crimes by men against men or women against women are not classified as rape.
There are other areas of the country that are on the opposite end of the spectrum. These jurisdictions may classify any penetration of any kind by either man or woman to either a man or woman as rape. It can include unwanted, forced penetration in to any orifice and the penetration does not necessarily need to include a sexual organ. This defines charges that may originally have been classified as sexual assault as rape. Strange to think that a case that wouldn’t stand a chance in the first set of jurisdictions is considered rape in the second set.
Such differing standards have made it difficult to collect accurate rape statistics. There are also possible sex offenders who are not registered since the crime the committed does not fit in to the slim standards of his or her jurisdiction. It goes without saying that there should be a nationalized standard of rape in order for the judicial department to better serve the citizens of the U.S.