Fethez HUB [Femitheist Divine]

New Video-Format Poll

Recently, I have been doing a lot of lengthier pieces/posts, some of which I had intended originally to use for videos (the information); I still desire to use a few of the posts for future videos, so I have created a new poll here (which I cannot currently add to the sidebar) for my readers/viewers to vote on, if they'd like, to give me an idea of which format most people would prefer for some of my "upcoming releases."

There are roughly three ways in which I could do the videos regarding these posts (and similar items). I have about ten videos planned at the moment, but the direction for some of them might change based on these results.

To vote, follow this link:


Option 1:

Simple Promotion of the Piece/Post (Shortest Video Length; "I Did a New Post, Go Check It Out!").

This first one would essentially just be me promoting the piece or post, so that everyone could go and read it (it would be linked in the description); wouldn't be a whole lot to the video other than that (although, I would attempt to make it a little more enjoyable, at least for me to edit). This choice is probably best-suited for those who would prefer to simply read the information instead of watching and/or listening to someone discussing it.

Estimated video-length would likely be around 1-3 minutes or so; quicker release.

Option 2:

Promotional Which Discusses the Highlights of the Piece/Post (Medium Video Length; A "Summary").

With this option, I'd promote the post and just summarize it (or mention briefly the main points/"highlights" of the piece; the things that I felt/feel are most important from the post); it'd be similar to the first, except more substantial in and of itself. This choice is likely superior to the first choice, and is also probably best-suited for those who would prefer to simply read the information as opposed to watching and/or listening to someone discussing it.

Estimated video-length would likely be around 2-5 minutes or so, sometimes more (potentially 5-10); quicker release.

Option 3:

Full Video Discussing, Entirely, the Piece/Post (Longest Video Length; Post Becomes "Transcript").

This third option would be a full video going over the entirety of the piece or post, and the post, even if it were published before the video was made, would basically serve as the video's transcript. This format would obviously make for the most substantial video, but it would likely not be best-suited for those who would prefer to simply read the information instead of watching and/or listening to someone discussing it.

Estimated video-length would likely be around 15-60+ minutes or so (depending on the post); slower release.
I may use any one of these three formats for future videos; sometimes I will do a video and then post the information to my blog after the video, and sometimes I will do a video on a post that I've already published.

Many of my future posts will be similar to my recent posts (longer and more in-depth), and I am going to alternate video-types henceforth as well. If a post is incredibly important to me, because I do spend a fair amount of time on some of them, then it is far more likely to be chosen for option three.

However, I simply wanted to see which option people would vote for the most to give me an idea of what people might be interested in (I can already sort of surmise which option will win, but nevertheless); feel free to vote, I appreciate it.

Thank you all for reading.

Author: Krista [FD]
(Femitheist Divine - Leader of The Fethez Legion)

On the Definitions of Rape and Sexual Assault
(Sex-Specificity and General Heterogeneity [+])


This piece is on a subject that is relatively popular at the moment; or, how rape and sexual assault, which are often considered as being distinct from one another by way of legal definition, are generally defined in the United States, in the United Kingdom and in Canada.

The reason that I decided to do a post on this topic, is that I frequently see people discussing how rape and sexual assault are defined in many places, such as the aforementioned three general areas, and they’re always talking about how “rape” is often defined as only being forced-penetration, typically by a man, and how sexual assault appears to cover everything else, like female-on-male sexual assaults, and so forth.

A few people seem to be a little bit disgruntled about this, how rape and sexual assault tend to be defined, and so I figured that it’d be an interesting subject to look into and to cover.

I have some comments on all of this, and a question, or a few questions, I should say, for everyone after I get through all of these definitions, so we’ll go ahead and begin and I’ll save all of that for the end.


There are a large number of somewhat similar and lengthy legal definitions and summaries throughout most of the middle of this post, because I wanted everything to be relatively exhaustive to an extent; and, so, this piece might be a little bit dry in some sections, but the definitions are the central focus of this post, and I simply did not want to leave much of anything out.

And, also, on a final note before I get started, for almost everything that I reference in this piece, there will be a source link or set of source-links at the bottom, and I will include links to supplementary information there as well; I wanted to create sort of a wealth of resources on this topic for everyone to check out and so I compiled and kept essentially everything that I intended to mention, and everything that I came across in general.


After doing a bit of researching, I found that there are, quite frankly, a ludicrous number of ways wherein these acts, specifically rape and sexual assault, are defined; it’s all incredibly convoluted and just, basically, an absolute mess. When one looks around at the laws and legal language for all of these different areas, it becomes apparent that we certainly do need a lot more coherency and uniformity with our legal definitions, even, and especially, across regions.

A fair number of places, seemingly, don’t even use the term “rape” in the language of their laws anymore, but instead use terms like “sexual assault,” “criminal sexual misconduct,” “sexual abuse,” or “sexual battery,” et cetera. There appears to be, for the most part, no standard definition anywhere across regions; only general trends and similar language.

From what I’ve gleaned, rape, in places that still use the word as a term in their legal language, is often reserved, by definition, for assaults carried out by males, and sexual assault, by definition, tends to cover everything else, like female-on-male offenses, and so forth. Likewise, rape is almost always primarily exclusive to acts involving penetration. This basic trend seems to be true just about everywhere; but, it is important to note that there are some places, such as the U.K., which have interpretation acts that affect the ways wherein laws are read and applied.


To begin, In the United States, there are generally no national or standard definitions for rape or sexual assault; however, there is a Federal Code under Title 18: CRIMES AND CRIMINAL PROCEDURE in the U.S. that can be used in cases involving sexual assault, or sexual abuse, where no state has jurisdiction (such as with instances concerning maritime vessels out at sea in U.S. waters, or in federal prisons, or with crimes that cross state-lines, et cetera).

And, the FBI has changed reporting requirements for Rape and Sexual Assault to be more inclusive, but it is up to reporting states and localities to translate from their local laws to the FBI reporting format; as I said before, there will be a link to all of these items at the end, so everyone can check that out of if they’d like.

As for why there are generally not standard or national definitions for rape and sexual assault in the United States, ARTICLE I SECTION 8 of the Constitution outlines the powers of the Federal government and by default leaves all other powers to the States. The Tenth Amendment, likewise, strengthens this reservation of powers to the States. Hence, most of what we think of as “The Law” varies from state-to-state.

To the U.S. federal code specifically, as I just noted, the decentralized nature of laws in the United States arises chiefly from the Tenth Amendment to the Constitution, which reads: “The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.”

While it is often said, and is true in most cases, that criminal activity is defined by each state, there are circumstances for which there is need for a federal law in instances where no state has jurisdiction; I mentioned a few of these instances above.

The two applicable sections are found under U.S. Code - Title 18: CRIMES AND CRIMINAL PROCEDURE, Part I: CRIMES, Chapter 109A: SEXUAL ABUSE. The terms “rape” and “assault” are not used specifically but the law defines two levels of sexual abuse.

Section 2241(in part): Aggravated sexual abuse (is defined as follows):

“(a) By Force or Threat. - Whoever, in the special maritime and territorial jurisdiction of the United States or in a Federal prison, or in any prison, institution, or facility in which persons are held in custody by direction of or pursuant to a contract or agreement with the head of any Federal department or agency, knowingly causes another person to engage in a sexual act - (1) by using force against that other person; or (2) by threatening or placing that other person in fear that any person will be subjected to death, serious bodily injury, or kidnapping; or attempts to do so, shall be fined under this title, imprisoned for any term of years or life, or both. (b) By Other Means. - Whoever, in the special maritime and territorial jurisdiction of the United States or in a Federal prison, or in any prison, institution, or facility in which persons are held in custody by direction of or pursuant to a contract or agreement with the head of any Federal department or agency, knowingly - (1) renders another person unconscious and thereby engages in a sexual act with that other person; or (2) administers to another person by force or threat of force, or without the knowledge or permission of that person, a drug, intoxicant, or other similar substance and thereby - (A) substantially impairs the ability of that other person to appraise or control conduct; and (B) engages in a sexual act with that other person; or attempts to do so, shall be fined under this title, imprisoned for any term of years or life, or both.”

And then, we have, Section 2242: Sexual abuse, which is defined as thus:

“Whoever, in the special maritime and territorial jurisdiction of the United States or in a Federal prison, or in any prison, institution, or facility in which persons are held in custody by direction of or pursuant to a contract or agreement with the head of any Federal department or agency, knowingly - (1) causes another person to engage in a sexual act by threatening or placing that other person in fear (other than by threatening or placing that other person in fear that any person will be subjected to death, serious bodily injury, or kidnapping); or (2) engages in a sexual act with another person if that other person is - (A) incapable of appraising the nature of the conduct; or (B) physically incapable of declining participation in, or communicating unwillingness to engage in, that sexual act; or attempts to do so, shall be fined under this title and imprisoned for any term of years or for life.”

The punishments for both levels of the aforementioned abuse may carry a sentence up to life imprisonment; it is important to note here that neither of those definitions were sex-specific, meaning that they used the terms “person” or “persons,” as opposed to “he” or “she,” and there were, likewise, no mentions of penetration or being made-to-penetrate, and there were no uses of the words “penis” and “vagina.”


Now, in regard to a few individual states and their laws, I chose two states which are typically perceived as “blue states,” New York and California, and one state which is usually thought to be a “red state,” Texas.

In Texas, from what I’ve read, rape is not defined as a separate or distinct crime, and there are no specific punishments for “rape”; instead, the terms “Sexual Assault” and “Aggravated Sexual Assault” are used in the language of their laws. I did a search for the word “rape” on the page presenting their laws, which everyone reading this can find at the bottom of this post, and received no hits.

What follows is a summary of the sexual assault laws in Texas from Findlaw.com; the summary does note that sexual assault is commonly known as rape, but the laws are specifically defined under the term “sexual assault,” and the laws in their entirety, which I will link at the bottom of this post, once again, make no mention of the word “rape” that I could find:

“Sexual assault is also commonly known as rape; sexual assault occurs when a defendant, intentionally and knowingly, commits any of a number of prohibited sexual activities listed under Texas’s Texas' sexual assault law, without the victim's consent.

For purposes of the sexual assault law, a child is a person younger than 17 years of age. The act is considered to have been without the victim's consent if physical violence was threatened or used in order to get the victim to submit or participate to the defendant's actions. Also, if the victim for any reason is physically unable to resist or appreciate the nature of the act being performed, there is a lack of consent. Consent is lacking in any situation where the defendant is in a place of power or charged with the care of the victim. This includes the defendant being a health care services provider, clergyman, public servant, or an employee of a facility where the victim resides.

This charge may be elevated to that of aggravated sexual assault if any of the following occur during the commission of the sexual assault:

The defendant has caused serious bodily injury or attempted to cause the death of the victim;
The defendant placed the victim in fear of death, serious bodily injury or kidnapping to the victim's self or to another person; 
A deadly weapon was used or exhibited during the crime;
The defendant acted with another individual in committing the crime;
The "date rape drug" also known as rohypnol or ketamine was used with the intent of making the offense easier to commit;
The victim is younger than 14 years of age;
The victim is an elderly or disabled individual.”

If one reads through the sexual assault laws of Texas, they will notice that the language is not sex-specific, and they will also see that the relevant-laws are worded in such a way that they can be applied to both forced-penetration and being made-to-penetrate.

According to Findlaw.com, the punishments for sexual assault in Texas are defined as thus; and, by the way, I reworded this a bit using the language directly from the page for the law, because Findlaw.com’s summary was phrased somewhat poorly in one part, even though it was accurate:

“A sexual assault is typically a second degree felony. This carries a sentence of two to twenty years in a state prison and/or a fine of up to $10,000. However, this crime may be elevated to a felony of the first degree if the victim was a person whom the actor was prohibited from marrying or purporting to marry or with whom the actor was prohibited from living under the appearance of being married under Section 25.01. A first degree felony in Texas is punishable by five to ninety-nine years in a state prison and/or a fine of up to $10,000.

Aggravated sexual assault is a first degree felony. The minimum prison sentence may be twenty-five years in the event that the victim is younger than 6 years of age when the crime was committed or if the victim was younger than 14 years of age and either a deadly weapon was used or exhibited, the child was seriously hurt, the defendant attempted to kill the child, or the defendant used drugs to facilitate the crime.”

So, in Texas, from what I’ve seen, there are no specific laws regarding rape, but there are sex-neutral laws regarding sexual assault and aggravated sexual assault which can be applied to both forced-penetration and being made-to-penetrate.

In New York, however, there are laws specific to rape, which are defined as thus:

“New York recognizes and punishes three degrees of rape. A person is guilty of rape in the first degree when he or she engages in sexual intercourse with another person: (a) by "forcible compulsion" - compelling the victim through the use of physical force or the threat of immediate death, physical injury or kidnapping; (b) who is incapable of consent by reason of being physically helpless; (c) who is less than 11 years old; or (d) who is less than 13 years old and the defendant is 18 years old or more. Section 130 of the New York Penal Code provides that "sexual intercourse" has its ordinary meaning and occurs upon any penetration, however slight. First-degree rape is a class B felony.

A person commits second-degree rape when he or she engages in sexual intercourse with another person: (a) who is less than 15 years old and the defendant is 18 years old or more; or (b) who is incapable of consent by reason of being mentally disabled or mentally incapacitated. A person is guilty of rape in the third degree - the lowest degree of the offense - when he or she engages in sexual intercourse with another person: (a) who is incapable of consent by reason of some factor other than being less than 17 years old; (b) who is less than 17 years old, and the defendant is 21 years old or more; or (c) without such person's consent, which is withheld for some other reason than incapacity to consent.  

A person less than 17 years old is deemed "incapable of consent" for purposes of the laws regarding criminal sex offenses. However, the statute also provides that it is a defense to a victim's lack of consent based solely on his or her incapacity to consent because he or she was less than 17 years old or mentally disabled that the defendant was married to the victim at the time.”

The specific punishments for rape in New York are as follows:

“All three degrees of rape are felony offenses and range from class B to class E felonies. These offenses carry sentences of 5 to 25 years of imprisonment for first-degree rape and a maximum of up to 4 years in prison for third-degree rape. The court may also impose a fine of up to $5,000 for a felony offense. “

As can be seen, the language of New York’s rape-law is worded in such a way that it can be applied to both female and male perpetrators.

For sexual assault, or sexual abuse, in New York, the law is defined as thus, according to Findlaw.com:

“New York criminalizes a wide range of conduct constituting "sexual abuse," which is generally defined as subjecting another person to sexual contact without the latter's consent. Section 130(3) of the New York Penal Code further defines "sexual contact" to include "any touching of the sexual or other intimate parts of a person for the purpose of gratifying sexual desire of either party," and touching of the actor by the victim, as well as the touching of the victim by the actor, whether directly or through clothing.

The baseline act of subjecting another person to sexual contact without the person's consent constitutes third-degree sexual abuse. Elevation of the offense to a more serious degree depends on the circumstances surrounding the contact, including the victim's age. Thus, a person is guilty of second-degree abuse when or she subjects another person to sexual contact and the latter is incapable of consent by reason of some other factor other than being less than 17 years old, or is less than 14 years old. A person commits first-degree sexual abuse when he or she subjects another person to sexual contact (a) by "forcible compulsion" - compelling the victim through the use of physical force or the threat of immediate death, physical injury or kidnapping; (b) when the other person is incapable of consent by reason of being physically helpless; (c) when the other person is less than 11 years old; or (d) the other person is less than 13 years old and the defendant is 21 years old or older.

Other related crimes include forcible touching and persistent sexual abuse. A person is guilty of the former when he or she "intentionally, and for no legitimate purpose, forcibly touches the sexual or other intimate parts of another person for the purpose of degrading or abusing such person; or for the purpose of gratifying the actor's sexual desire." Forcible touching is a class A misdemeanor. A person is guilty of persistent sexual abuse when he or she commits the crime of forcible touching or second- or third-degree sexual abuse and has been convicted of the aforementioned crimes or other felony-level sexual assault crimes twice or more within the preceding ten years.

New York also punishes four degrees of aggravated sexual abuse, each of which involve the insertion of a foreign object in the vagina, urethra, penis, rectum or anus of another person. "Foreign object" means any instrument or article whose insertion into the sexual parts of a person is capable of causing physical injury. All aggravated sexual abuse offenses are felonies.”

The specific punishments for sexual assault, or sexual abuse, in New York are defined as follows:

“The Penal Code classifies aggravated sexual abuse in the first degree, the most serious of the sexual-abuse related offenses, as a class B violent felony; fourth-degree aggravated sexual abuse and persistent sexual abuse are class E violent felonies. These offenses carry sentences of 5 to 25 years of imprisonment for first-degree aggravated sexual abuse and of 1.5 to 4 years in prison for fourth-degree aggravated sexual abuse and persistent sexual abuse.

The lowest degree of sexual abuse is a class B misdemeanor and thus subject to a sentence of up to 3 months in prison, a fine of up to $500, or both. The crime of forcible touching is a class A misdemeanor and therefore subject to a sentence of up to 1 year in prison, a fine of up to $1,000, or both.”

These laws, too, cover both women and men and are generally sex-neutral in their wording.

The law for rape in California, which is also sex-neutral, is summarized as thus:

“Rape laws criminalize sexual intercourse that happens without the consent of at least one of the participants. Rape falls under the broader category of sexual assault (which includes offenses such as groping and other unwanted sexual advances). If an individual has sexual intercourse with someone, the crime of rape may occur under the following scenarios described by California state laws:

The defendant used physical force, intimidation, duress, or threats to persuade the victim to engage in sexual intercourse. The victim reacted due to a fear of immediate bodily injury or injury to another person.
The victim had a developmental delay or physical disability that resulted in a lack of capacity to give consent to sexual intercourse with the defendant.
Intoxication by alcohol or drugs impaired the victim's ability to consent. The defendant knew or reasonably should have known about the victim's impairment.
The victim was unconscious, asleep, or otherwise unaware that sexual intercourse was happening.
The defendant induced the victim to engage in sexual intercourse by making a fraudulent representation.

For example, the defendant may have lied about being a public official and threatened consequences if the victim did not comply.

Under California rape laws, a prosecutor may charge a defendant with the rape of a spouse if one of the preceding scenarios occurred.

State law also defines the rape of minors when an adult engaged in sexual intercourse with a minor. 
California rape laws define a minor as an individual under the age of eighteen. The severity of the charge depends on the age of the victim and the age difference between the defendant and the victim. When sexual intercourse happens between an adult and a minor, the act itself may be enough for a prosecution; the defendant did not necessarily need to engage in any of the threatening, violent, or otherwise unlawful conduct that describes rape between adults.”

And, the punishments for rape in California are summarized as follows:

“In general, California state laws punish a conviction of rape with a sentence of imprisonment in state prison for three, six, or eight years. The potential sentence increases to a range of seven to eleven years when the rape victim is a minor who is over fourteen years of age. The potential sentence further increases to a range of nine to thirteen years when the victim is a child under the age of fourteen. Each sentence can also increase if the defendant acted in concert with another person to rape the victim.

California state laws set fines to be paid as civil penalties when an adult engages in sexual intercourse with a minor. The fines range from $2,000 to $25,000.

State law establishes an alternate punishment for rape when less than three years separate the ages of the defendant and the victim. For this crime, the prosecutor may pursue either a misdemeanor charge or a felony charge. The consequences of a conviction may be a term ranging from one year to three years in county jail. The state might also consider the defendant's prior or current criminal record and decide whether to pursue enhanced sentencing.”

For sexual assault, the laws in California are summarized as thus, according to Findlaw.com:

“Crimes generally referred to as sexual assault (see also, Sex Crimes) may be prosecuted through California's sexual battery laws. California's sexual assault laws (or sexual battery) prohibit unwanted touching of another person's intimate parts. The California Penal Code defines intimate parts as the victim's "sexual organ, anus, groin, or buttocks of any person, and the breast of a female." When sexual assault leads to nonconsensual intercourse with the victim, it is charged as rape (see California Rape Laws for more specific information).

To prove a case of sexual battery, the prosecutor must establish several elements. First, the prosecutor must show that the defendant touched the victim's intimate parts while the victim was restrained by the defendant or another person. The touching may occur through direct contact to the victim's skin or indirect contact through the victim's clothing. The prosecutor must also show that the touching was against the victim's will.
In addition, the prosecutor will need to show the defendant's intent. California state laws require that the defendant have engaged in the unwanted touching for the purpose of sexual gratification, sexual arousal, or sexual abuse. If the defendant touched the victim for a non-sexual purpose, it might be more difficult for the prosecutor to establish the required elements for a successful case.”

And, the punishments are defined as follows:

“The penalty for a conviction of sexual battery depends on whether the state charged the defendant with misdemeanor sexual battery or felony sexual battery. For a misdemeanor conviction, the defendant may receive a sentence of up to six months in county jail, a fine up to the amount of $2,000, or both. The amount of the fine can increase to $3,000 if the defendant was the victim's employer.

A conviction of felony sexual battery may result in a range of consequences. The defendant might receive a term of imprisonment in county jail for up to one year or a fine of up to $2,000. However, California state laws also permit a sentence of imprisonment in state prison for two, three, or four years, as well as a fine up to the amount of $10,000.”

Thus far (specifically in relation to the United States), everything that has been covered, for the most part, has been generally sex-neutral in regard to how the laws and punishments are worded and defined; that may not be the case for every state, but an article which covers every state would be excessively long, and so I am going to move on now to the laws of the United Kingdom.


First, I looked to see if the United Kingdom has any standard definitions for rape and sexual assault.

What I found was that the U.K., which is comprised essentially of England, Wales, Northern Ireland, and Scotland, does not have a standard definition for rape or sexual assault; most of the nations that make up the U.K. are subordinate to English law. However, all of the nations, excluding England and Wales, appear to be different to some degree now in terms of their rape and sexual assault laws.

Wales, from what I read, has not strayed from the original English definitions for these acts; but, Wales could write their own definitions at any time if they so desired, they just haven't.

Northern Ireland, on the other hand, seems to have moved the most extensively into definitions for these acts which would be more inclusive than those of the other regions.

And, Scotland, which I won’t really cover later in this post, appears to be somewhat in-between Northern Ireland and England with their definitions for these acts.

While the constituent states of the United Kingdom are all subordinate to English law, the individual states may amend these laws to a certain extent. In the case of Wales, that has not been done, but Northern Ireland and Scotland have made amendments to their laws. This is somewhat analogous to the relationship between the states and the federal government of the United States, except in the case of the U.S., there are generally no Rape or Sexual Assault laws at the U.S. federal level. Instead, each of the states must define these laws from scratch.

For the United Kingdom, the English law appears to serve as a foundation, and the individual states, or the nations which comprise the U.K., are relatively free to build upon that basis. However, the Supreme Court of the U.K., or the UKSC, can decide that the individual states have overstepped their boundaries in passing such extensions in a similar manner to how the U.S. Supreme Court can rule that a state law is unconstitutional. These analogies are not exact, but they do provide an approximate understanding of the relationship between the United Kingdom and its constituent states.

With that in mind, it appears that all of the United Kingdom has moved, by these various means, to a more comprehensive definition of Sexual Assault, to contain, partially, what was formerly called "rape" as well as acts which might not have been considered illegal in the past at all; the distinctions between the sexes when it comes to victims and perpetrators in regard, specifically, to sexual assault, have all but disappeared in the language of their laws, for the most part anyway.

However, most of the explicit laws still existing for rape in the U.K. appear to be worded in a way which states that they are entirely male-specific and are applicable only to forced-penetration; but, it is, also, at least worthy of mentioning that there is an interpretation act in the U.K. which may affect these things to some degree.

The pertinent section of the Interpretation Act would have no impact on laws wherein personal pronouns have already been replaced with sex-neutral words, or where the words “he” and “she” have been replaced with words like “victim” and “perpetrator” or “person,” but nevertheless, the relevant section is:

“1978 Chapter 30 Section 6:  

In any Act, unless the contrary intention appears,-- 
(a) words importing the masculine gender include the feminine ; 
(b) words importing the feminine gender include the masculine ; and,
(c) words in the singular include the plural and words in the plural include the singular."

This act, from my understanding, would have the effect of treating men and women equally as both perpetrators and victims for assault crimes, but for rape, due to the use of words like “penis” and “vagina,” the meaning cannot be made neutral. Hence, rape must be construed as a male-perpetrated offense only.

That is just from my understanding of this act; as I stated above, all of my sources will be linked at the end of this post, for anyone who is curious, so everyone who reads this post can check out all of these things for themselves.

Now, for the U.K., I am going to read all of these laws essentially in their entirety, as I want this to be as exhaustive as possible, and because the U.K. laws are a little more convoluted and confusing, so please bear with me.

In England, rape is defined as follows:

“(1)A person (A) commits an offence if—
(a)he intentionally penetrates the vagina, anus or mouth of another person (B) with his penis,
(b)B does not consent to the penetration, and
(c)A does not reasonably believe that B consents.
(2)Whether a belief is reasonable is to be determined having regard to all the circumstances, including any steps A has taken to ascertain whether B consents.
(3)Sections 75 and 76 apply to an offence under this section.
(4)A person guilty of an offence under this section is liable, on conviction on indictment, to imprisonment for life.”

The specific punishments for rape in England are defined as thus:

“Starting Points
Single offence of rape by single offender: 5 years custody - victim 16 or over 
8 years custody - victim 13 or over but under 16 
10 years custody - victim under 13
Rape accompanied by aggravating factor: 8 years custody - victim 16 or over 
10 years custody- victim aged 13 or over but under 16 
13 years custody - victim under 13
Repeated Rape of same victim by single offender or rape involving multiple victims: 
15 years custody

Aggravating factors
Abduction or detention
Offender aware that he is suffering from a sexually transmitted infection
More than one offender acting together
Abuse of trust
Offence motivated by prejudice
Sustained attack
Pregnancy or infection results
Offender ejaculated or caused victim to ejaculate
Background of intimidation or coercion
Use of drugs, alcohol or other substance to facilitate the offence

In AG's Reference Numbers 73, 75 and 03 of 2010 R versus Michael Anigbugu, Hyung-Woo Pyo, and Mark Stuart McGee [2011] EWCA 633, the Court of Appeal considered two cases of women being seriously sexually assaulted at night when asleep in their own homes; and a third of a woman similarly assaulted whilst caring for a fragile elderly man whose home was burgled. Finding that unduly lenient sentences had been imposed in relation to all three defendants, the Court provided useful guidance on sentencing. This included: where rape is committed after or in the course of a burglary in a home, even in the absence of additional features beyond the rape and burglary, the starting point will rarely be less than 12 years imprisonment. They also identified further aggravating features including the taking of photographs of the victim which they described as ''a serious aggravating feature''.

Mitigating factors
Where the victim is aged 16 or over: victim engaged in consensual sexual activity with the offender on the same occasion and immediately before the offence.
Reasonable belief (by a young offender) that the victim was aged 16 or over.”

As one might note from the text above, most of this is worded so at to seem as though it is fairly male-specific in regard to perpetrators; forced-penetration certainly appears to be a requirement, as well as a lack of consent; it also seems as though it is applicable to both female and victims.

Sexual assault, in England, is defined as follows:

“Assault by penetration
(1)A person (A) commits an offence if—
(a)he intentionally penetrates the vagina or anus of another person (B) with a part of his body or anything else,
(b)the penetration is sexual,
(c)B does not consent to the penetration, and
(d)A does not reasonably believe that B consents.
(2)Whether a belief is reasonable is to be determined having regard to all the circumstances, including any steps A has taken to ascertain whether B consents.
(3)Sections 75 and 76 apply to an offence under this section.
(4)A person guilty of an offence under this section is liable, on conviction on indictment, to imprisonment for life.

Sexual assault
(1)A person (A) commits an offence if—
(a)he intentionally touches another person (B),
(b)the touching is sexual,
(c)B does not consent to the touching, and
(d)A does not reasonably believe that B consents.
(2)Whether a belief is reasonable is to be determined having regard to all the circumstances, including any steps A has taken to ascertain whether B consents.
(3)Sections 75 and 76 apply to an offence under this section.
(4)A person guilty of an offence under this section is liable—
(a)on summary conviction, to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 6 months or a fine not exceeding the statutory maximum or both;
(b)on conviction on indictment, to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 10 years.”

As can be seen in the above, under “sexual assault,” the word “he” was used, but I believe that this is where the interpretation act comes into play, as everything that followed the word “he” was basically sex-neutral, meaning that it appears that the law can apply to both female and male perpetrators, as well as both female and male victims; there was no specific use of the word “penis” in that section in relation to perpetration.

The specific punishments for sexual assault in England are defined as thus:

“S3. Sexual assault
Date Updated: January 2012
Title: Sexual offences
Offence: Sexual assault
Legislation: Sexual Offences Act 2003 S3
Commencement Date: January 5, 2004
Mode of Trial: Either Way
Statutory Limitations & Maximum Penalty: On Indictment - 10 years imprisonment
On summary conviction - 6 months imprisonment or fine not exceeding statutory maximum

Culpability & Harm
All non-consensual offences involve the violation of the victim's sexual autonomy and will result in harm. The seriousness of the violation may depend on a number of factors, but the nature of the sexual behaviour will be the primary indicator of the degree of harm caused in the first instance.

The extreme youth or old age of a victim should be an aggravating factor. In addition, in principle, the younger the child and the greater the age gap between the offender and the victim, the higher the sentence should be. However, the youth and immaturity of the offender must also be taken into account in each case. All the non-consensual offences involve a high level of culpability on the part of the offender, since that person will have acted either deliberately without the victim's consent or without giving due consideration to whether the victim was able to or did, in fact, consent. The planning of an offence indicates a higher level of culpability than an opportunistic or impulsive offence.

Aggravating & Mitigating Factors
It should be borne in mind these lists are non-exhaustive and the factors are not linked in any particular order. Where a factor is an ingredient of an offence or is used to identify a starting point, it cannot also be an aggravating factor and care will be necessary to avoid double counting. Since sexual offences often involve some form of violence as an essential element of the offence, this is included in the starting points. However, it will be an aggravating feature if harm was inflicted over and above that necessary to commit the offence.

Millberry and others (2003) Cr App R (S) 31 In the context of rape established the principle that sentencers should adopt the same starting point for 'relationship rape' or 'acquaintance rape' as for 'stranger rape'. The Council has determined that the same principle should apply to all non-consensual sexual offences.

Aggravating factors
Offender ejaculated or caused victim to ejaculate
Background of intimidation or coercion
Use of drugs, alcohol or other substance to facilitate the offence
Threats to prevent victim reporting the incident
Abduction or detention
Offender aware that he or she is suffering from a sexually transmitted infection
Physical harm caused
Prolonged activity or contact

Mitigating factors
Where the victim is aged 16 or over
Victim engaged in consensual sexual activity with the offender on the same occasion and immediately before the offence
Where the victim is under 16
Sexual activity between two children (one of whom is the offender) was mutually agreed and experimental
Reasonable belief (by a young offender) that the victim was aged 16 or over
Youth and immaturity of the offender
Minimal or fleeting contact
Relevant Sentencing Council Guideline (if any)
1. Guidelines effective for offences sentenced on or after the 14th May 2007.
2. The starting points are for an adult offender, of previous good character who was convicted after trial.
Type/nature of activity: Contact between naked genitalia of offender and naked genitalia, face or mouth of the victim 
Starting points: 5 years custody if the victim is under 13
Sentencing ranges: 4 - 8 years custody
Starting points: 3 years custody if the victim is aged 13 or over 
Sentencing ranges: 2 - 5 years custody

Type/nature of activity: Contact between naked genitalia of offender and another part of victim's body
Contact with genitalia of victim by offender using part of his or her body other than the genitalia, or an object
Contact between either the clothed genitalia of offender and naked genitalia of victim or naked genitalia of offender and clothed genitalia of victim 

Starting points: 2 years custody if the victim is under 13
Sentencing ranges: 1 - 4 years custody
Starting points: 12 months custody if the victim is aged 13 or over 
Sentencing ranges: 26 weeks - 2 years custody

Type/nature of activity: Contact between part of offender's body (other than the genitalia) with part of the victim's body (other than the genitalia) 
Starting points: 26 weeks custody if the victim is under 13
Sentencing ranges: 4 weeks - 18 months custody
Starting points: Community order if the victim is aged 13 or over 
Sentencing ranges: An appropriate non-custodial sentence”

Notably, all of these laws are fairly lengthy and cover a variety of different circumstances, items and/or scenarios; hopefully everyone reading this gets the general idea by now.

Concerning Wales (which I mentioned briefly above):

“The Government of Wales Act of 2006 is an Act of the Parliament of the United Kingdom that reforms the National Assembly for Wales and allows further powers to be granted to it more easily. The Act creates a system of government with a separate executive drawn from and accountable to the legislature.”

At this time, there are few laws in existence that are unique to Wales. In cases wherein there are no unique laws for certain things in Wales, the legal system defaults to the existing U.K. law; in other words, and specifically in relation to the topic at hand, there are no laws pertaining to rape or sexual assault that are exclusive to Wales. They are essentially the same as England in regard to both their legal definitions for rape and sexual assault and in relation to their punishments for said acts.

Now, I am going to skip Scotland here because there is nothing all that worthy-of-note in their laws, and to save a bit of time, I am likewise not going to cover Northern Ireland’s laws in full, as there are only a few distinctions between their laws and the laws of England; however, I will note that they do have an interpretation act, which is called “The Interpretation Act (Northern Ireland) 1954,” and that act is relevant to some of their specific laws, so check out the link to that information in the references at the bottom of this post.


I will move on to the final location that I chose for this, which is Canada. And, by the way, I chose The United States, The United Kingdom and Canada because a lot of my readers reside in these locations, so I figured that picking these regions would make the information more relevant to them, and for the states, I just chose some of the larger ones.

Anyway, in Canada, there is no national or standard definition for rape that I could find, but there is one for sexual assault. What follows is a summary of the sexual assault laws in Canada, according to Sexualassault.ca:

“Canada's Criminal Code has no specific "rape" provision. Instead, it defines assault and provides for a specific punishment for "sexual assault". In defining "assault", the Code includes physical contact and threats. The provision reads:

265. (1) A person commits an assault when
(a) without the consent of another person, he applies force intentionally to that other person, directly or indirectly;
(b) he attempts or threatens, by an act or a gesture, to apply force to another person, if he has, or causes that other person to believe on reasonable grounds that he has, present ability to effect his purpose; or
(c) while openly wearing or carrying a weapon or an imitation thereof, he accosts or impedes another person or begs.
(2) This section applies to all forms of assault, including sexual assault, sexual assault with a weapon, threats to a third party or causing bodily harm and aggravated sexual assault.

Interestingly, the definition “appears” to include threats of sexual assault as a sexual assault itself. This suggests a person could be convicted of sexual assault without physically touching the victim if they make a threat of sexual assault (for instance, “I'm going to rape you”). One should check with their local Crown Attorney for information on how the Courts have interpreted this and whether such a Prosecution is possible.

Please note there are other specific sexual offences codified in the Criminal Code, such as sexual exploitation, invitation for sexual touching, child pornography, voyeurism, etc. An individual charged with sexual assault could be convicted of additional sexual crimes as well depending on the circumstances.”

This law seems to be applicable to both female and male perpetrators, from what I’ve read, as well as female and male victims, as it uses the phrase “a person” at the start of the definition, even though it does later go on to use the word “he.”

Moving on, the punishments for sexual assault in Canada are, likewise, summarized as follows according to Sexualassault.ca:

“The sentencing of the accused, if convicted, depends on the severity of circumstances and the presence and details of the accused's prior criminal history. The Crown Prosecutor decides whether to proceed summarily or by indictable. Summary conviction is a less serious route and will carry a lesser punishment than an indictable. The Code specifies the possible sentences for sexual assault as follows:

271. (1) Every one who commits a sexual assault is guilty of
(a) an indictable offence and is liable to imprisonment for a term not exceeding ten years; or
(b) an offence punishable on summary conviction and liable to imprisonment for a term not exceeding eighteen months.

These are the maximums for both a summary and indictable prosecution. Keep in mind an assailant can receive much less of a sentences than the prescribed maximums. See our sentencing table for information on real sentences given to assailant's based on particular prior records and circumstances.

Please note, in circumstances of aggravated sexual assault a stricter penalty is possible.

Aggravated Sexual Assault 
The Criminal Code also allows for increased penalties for sexual assault where the accused "wounds, maims, disfigures or endangers the life of the complainant", see:
273. (1) Every one commits an aggravated sexual assault who, in committing a sexual assault, wounds, maims, disfigures or endangers the life of the complainant.

Aggravated sexual assault
(2) Every person who commits an aggravated sexual assault is guilty of an indictable offence and liable
(a) where a firearm is used in the commission of the offence, to imprisonment for life and to a minimum punishment of imprisonment for a term of four years; and
(b) in any other case, to imprisonment for life.

Note that where a gun is used, a conviction will result in an automatic sentence of at least 4 years.”


There is surely a lot of variation across regions, in regard to both the legal definitions and the punishments for these acts; it is all convoluted and lacks relative and sensible uniformity. In a few places, the term “rape” is not even used anymore; in some places, it is, and it is seemingly specific to male-perpetrators, but in others, it appears to be sex-neutral, and most of the sexual assault laws look to be either entirely sex-neutral, or have specific sections which cover such issues.

Homogeneity in definement for these laws, and the ways wherein they are worded, are undoubtedly far more complex problems and subjects than most people present them to be (such as MRAs, who are oft-inclined to over-simplify topics essential to their narratives in their presentations); a while ago, The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in the United States expressed the need for a uniform definition for sexual violence, but didn’t really provide an exhaustive one themselves, at least as far as I can tell. They just attempted to lay out some basic foundations:

“Sexual Violence: Definitions

Sexual violence (SV) is any sexual act that is perpetrated against someone's will. SV encompasses a range of offenses, including a completed nonconsensual sex act (i.e., rape), an attempted nonconsensual sex act, abusive sexual contact (i.e., unwanted touching), and non-contact sexual abuse (e.g., threatened sexual violence, exhibitionism, verbal sexual harassment). These four types are defined in more detail below. All types involve victims who do not consent, or who are unable to consent or refuse to allow the act.

A completed sex act is defined as contact between the penis and the vulva or the penis and the anus involving penetration, however slight; contact between the mouth and penis, vulva, or anus; or penetration of the anal or genital opening of another person by a hand, finger, or other object.

An attempted (but not completed) sex act

Abusive sexual contact is defined as intentional touching, either directly or through the clothing, of the genitalia, anus, groin, breast, inner thigh, or buttocks of any person without his or her consent, or of a person who is unable to consent or refuse.

Non-contact sexual abuse does not include physical contact of a sexual nature between the perpetrator and the victim. It includes acts such as voyeurism; intentional exposure of an individual to exhibitionism; unwanted exposure to pornography; verbal or behavioral sexual harassment; threats of sexual violence to accomplish some other end; or taking nude photographs of a sexual nature of another person without his or her consent or knowledge, or of a person who is unable to consent or refuse.

Why is a Consistent Definition Important?

A consistent definition is needed to monitor the incidence of SV and examine trends over time. In addition, it helps determine the magnitude of SV and compare the problem across jurisdictions. A consistent definition also helps researchers measure risk and protective factors for victimization in a uniform manner. This ultimately informs prevention and intervention efforts.”

And, the FBI, as I mentioned earlier, is also trying to standardize reporting from the various states and localities, but that has not yet really been accomplished either; they do have a definition which is meant to be more inclusive that everyone can check out below that does cover female and male victims and offenders. However, their definition is still relatively exclusive to acts involving penetration, so that likely won’t be enough to satisfy some people.

The reason that I have provided all of this information, aside from the purposes that I’ve already mentioned, is that I wanted to make a few additional comments on all of this, and I want to ask all of my readers a couple of questions.

Anyway, I have two preferences, and I want everyone to pay close attention to this; do not stop reading after I begin to explain the first one, because the second one is important as well.


Chiefly, I would prefer consistency for the definitions of these acts, and for the punishments, across all regions. I believe that that sort of constancy is vital and should be something that all states and nations strive for in the future.

In regard, specifically, to the definitions for these acts, my first preference would be to have the laws of rape confined explicitly to only include acts of penetration--meaning--penetration with a penis or with some sort of sex-object or other type of item (as some of the previously mentioned definitions indicated and specified).

This would include sex-neutral language for both the perpetrators and the victims; in essence, rape would be a man penetrating another man, or a woman, or a woman penetrating another woman or a man. Sexual assault would cover everything else, such as being made-to-penetrate, or other sexual acts in that vein perpetrated by both women and men, including things related to vaginal, anal and/or oral sex. All of those things would be included under sexual assault for different scenarios.

Aggravating and mitigating factors and other circumstantial things would have to be defined and explained as well, of course, but rape would be specific to penetration, neutral for sex in all ways in regard to offenders and victims, and sexual assault would cover all other relevant acts.

I use this as my first preference because I believe that, when it comes to rape, a large number of people perceive it to be primarily an act involving forced-penetration, typically by a man. A lot of individuals will acknowledge that men can rape men and that men can rape women, but they have a difficult time with the notion that women can rape men, and even with the idea that women can rape other women.

But, I do not believe that any reasonable person would deny the idea that forcibly-penetrating someone with a penis or with a strap-on is rape. It might be easier to draw a general consensus if rape and sexual assault are defined in those ways.

Men who are made-to-penetrate, or who are forcefully enveloped, and women who are similarly assaulted in a way that does not involve penetration, can be listed as victims of sexual assault in statistics relatively equivalent to victims of rape, or those who were forcibly-penetrated somehow by a woman or a man.

The punishments for forced-penetration and for being made-to-penetrate, or for forced enveloping, could be set at the same general level, with circumstantial factors in relation to the severity of the situation, and so forth, also being applicable in terms of what level of punishment the crime warrants, or the crimes warrant, for each individual case.

I feel that defining these acts in the ways that I just described, coherently and consistently, would make it easier to draw a general consensus on what rape is, as it may be harder otherwise to do so. Much of this disagreement on what rape is partially stems from the meaning of the word rape from antiquity; Slate.com explained this issue in an article from 2011:

“The phrase sexual assault has been in use for more than a century, and 19th-century writers seem to have used it synonymously with rape. But it didn't become a legal term until the 1960s, when a reform movement swept across the country. Under the English common law definition, which dates back to at least 1847, rape was limited to the forcible vaginal penetration of a woman against her will by a man other than her husband. Any other form of sex crime had to be prosecuted as simple assault or battery and was rarely prosecuted at all.”

And, the Oxford English Dictionary also mentions the meaning of the word rape, and specifies it in one part as the “violation or ravishing of a woman”; there are no mentions of male victims in the section concerning rape:

(*Click to enlarge the above image if necessary.)

Of course, some things have changed since then, and as we all know, language does evolve, which is why I have a second preference; one that is far simpler and also apparently far more consistent with some present trends. That preference is that we simply do away with the word “rape” in all law, and in all statistics, and use only the phrase “sexual assault.”

Sexual assault would cover everything, under this preference; it would cover forced-penetration and being made-to-penetrate, and it would include female and male perpetrators and female and male victims.

In statistics, the word “rape” would be replaced with “sexual assault,” and those who were forcibly-penetrated could be placed into one category, with further common distinctions such as sex, race and age mentioned, and so forth, and those who were made-to-penetrate or who had their genitals, anus or mouth assaulted in some other similar fashion, like forced oral-to-vaginal sex, et cetera, could be placed into another category with matching distinctions for the same common classifications. And, of course, the punishments for the crimes, based on the type of crime and the circumstantial evidence, would be equal and equally applied; all of these things would be uniformly and rigidly defined.

I believe that defining the act in the way that I described above would create a far more just, reliable and agreeable justice-system for everyone overall. We all know that a fair number of people believe that only men can rape, or that women can’t rape men, or that women can’t rape women; we all know that many people consider rape to be confined only to acts involving penetration, and we all know that a fair number of people consider rape to be primarily only applicable to males and/or male offenders.

These are only just my suggestions; I wanted to leave some room open for discussion.

So, I would like to now ask all of my readers a few things:

If you are unsatisfied with the current rape and/or sexual assault laws, the punishments and/or the ways in which they are applied, and/or the ways wherein all of these things are defined, tell me about it, tell me why, and tell me what you would prefer to see done about these issues.


As I mentioned in one of my older videos, I do believe that women can rape women, and that women can rape men, and that men can rape men, and that men can rape women; however, not everyone does, and so I base my preferences more on what I feel is most likely to succeed, and/or what I feel will generate the best outcomes for all, as opposed to what I personally believe about the issue(s).

I also believe that anti-rape campaigns and lectures can be made sex-neutral, so as to still condemn acts of sexual violence, regardless of the sex of the perpetrators and/or the victims, without alienating any victims or non-offenders, both female and male; neutral unity against offenses and offenders is what we need, and it is the only reasonable solution for these issues. It is the inevitable eventuality. Neutral unity will result in far less opposition to positive campaigns, such as anti-rape campaigns, and it will be the most conducive to producing a more inclusive social and political environment for everyone as well.

We must always remember that division and divisiveness leave victims, both female and male, to suffer.

And, that’s all for now. I may return, as I habitually state at the end of lengthy posts, to add more to this post at another time, or to correct any errors that I find, or to revise some portions; but, for the moment, this is the end.

Thank you all for reading.

Author: Krista [FD]
(Femitheist Divine - Leader of The Fethez Legion)

Summary of References (Last Accessed on March 23, 2014):

U.S. Code:
http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/GPO-CONAN-1992/pdf/GPO-CONAN-1992-10-11.pdf (Text of Tenth Amendment to the Constitution.)
http://codes.lp.findlaw.com/uscode/18/I/109A/2241 (Section 2241 of the U.S. Code.)
http://codes.lp.findlaw.com/uscode/18/I/109A/2242 (Section 2242 of the U.S. Code.)
http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text (Alternate source for the U.S. Code.)

http://www.statutes.legis.state.tx.us/ (Source to locate specific sections; Chapter 21 includes sexual offences [child abuse, etc. no mention of rape or sexual assault].)
http://www.statutes.legis.state.tx.us/docs/pe/htm/pe.22.htm (Chapter 22: Sexual Assault and Aggravated Sexual Assault; Term “Rape” not used.)

New York:


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Interpretation_Act_1978 (Summary definition of “Interpretation Act.”)
http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/1978/30/section/6/enacted (Change in definitions [interpretation] with respect to sex.)

http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/2006/32/contents (Government of Wales Act 2006 Web Page.)

Northern Ireland:
http://www.legislation.gov.uk/apni/1954/33/section/37 (Interpretation Act Section 37 alone.)
http://www.legislation.gov.uk/apni/1954/33/data.pdf (Interpretation Act Entire act as PDF.)
http://www.legislation.gov.uk/nisi/2008/1769/data.pdf (The Sexual Offences [Northern Ireland] Order 2008.)


Other References:

Supplementary Information:

Overview by The National Institute of Justice (Part of DoJ)

Another Overview of U.S./U.K./CA Differences

The FBI is attempting to standardize reporting from the various states and localities:

“Who Decided to Change the Rape Definition? 

In December 2011, former FBI Director Robert S. Mueller, III approved the revision to the FBI UCR Program definition of Rape for Summary data submissions. The revised definition is the collaborative effort of the FBI Criminal Justice Information Services (CJIS) Advisory Policy Board, which is made up of representatives from all facets of law enforcement, and staff from the FBI UCR Program with input from the Department of Justice’s Office of Violence Against Women, the International Association of Chiefs of Police, the Major County Sheriff’s Association, the Major City Chiefs, the National Sheriff’s Association, the Police Executive Research Forum, and victim advocacy groups, such as the Women's Law Project."

This new definition (for reporting) became effective January 1, 2013 and is detailed here:

“Definition: 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. 

This definition includes any gender of victim or perpetrator. Sexual penetration means the 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, or by a sex-related object. This definition also includes instances in which the victim is incapable of giving consent because of temporary or permanent mental or physical incapacity (including due to the influence of drugs or alcohol) or because of age. Physical resistance is not required on the part of the victim to demonstrate lack of consent.”

Other (2):

More Articles:

On False Rape Allegations/Accusations
(The Rates, Studies and More)

False rape allegation rates are currently a popular topic amongst those involved in online-gender-discussions; primarily, individuals engaging in these discussions argue over what the true rate of false rape allegations actually is. Some contend that the rate is something like 2%, some assert that the rate might truly be closer to 8%, and some even go so far as to argue that the rate is nearer to 41% (this one is especially fallacious). However, if one looks deeper into these numbers, a few issues with all of the known-rates become immediately apparent.

Firstly, the ways in which false rape allegation rates are calculated differs between regions, groups, organizations, and so forth; methodologies for gathering the data and analyzing it vary greatly and are sometimes inconsistent (poor practices/procedures). Likewise, not all reports of rape which are deemed “false” are determined to be so because it was discovered that the reports were actually “untrue” or “a lie.” Some reports of rape are “no-crimed” or considered “unfounded” (which are generally the more technical terms used to categorize “false rape reports” in the U.K. and in the U.S., respectively) based on the biases of the overseeing-police (prejudices; such as in instances wherein the police deemed a rape report “unfounded” or gave it a “no-crime” based on the demeanor/appearance of the accuser); and, some are “no-crimed” or deemed “unfounded” based on a lack of evidence (which does not necessarily mean that the report was untrue), or based on the time that it took the victim to report the crime, or based on the fact that the crime was reported by someone other than the victim, or even to reduce caseload and/or to improve the crime statistics for the area, and so forth. In essence, not all rape reports which are deemed false were determined to be false because they were actually found to be untrue or were discovered to be a lie, and even in some of the cases wherein the reports were deemed false because the accuser recanted or confessed that they had not told the truth, the matter is not entirely black-and-white. Nevertheless, all of these things, with their differing circumstances, are commonly classified as “false” reports (which can be misleading and misrepresentative).

A great deal of the issues with the data and false rape allegations have to do with poor policing practices/procedures (there is work being done to correct this issue now, but it is still a problem) and also to prejudice, biases, and various other social factors. Many individuals (such as MRAs) who present and discuss these statistics simply take them at face-value, as if all rape reports which fall into the category of being deemed “false” were actually found to be a lie, or were actually recanted by the accuser (and the retraction was always genuine), but these things are not the case; there are several factors which come into play that call into question essentially all of the statistics for false rape allegations currently in existence/circulation--in other words--we can’t be absolutely certain at the moment what the true number is, based on the present data and all of its context, and we also can’t ignore the many elements which amalgamate to bring to life these numbers.

In this post, I am going to address many false rape report statistics (the percentages/numerical data), I am going to discuss the issues with all of these numbers (the problems with the methodology/practices of both the police and some of the researchers who've done studies concerning these numbers), I am going to discuss the context and/or circumstantial information which factors into the creation of these numbers, I am going to discuss what these numbers and/or false rape reports mean for everyone else, and I am also going to discuss some additional, but still relevant and related, subjects as well. All of this information must be considered if one is to have a fairly comprehensive and objective understanding of all of the data currently in rotation; it is far more complex a topic than most (especially MRAs) present it to be and/or would like (apparently) to believe. And, the material provided in this post is certainly not all of the information available out there, so be sure to do your own research into these topics after reading this.
*Notes on In-Text Citation Numbers and General Formatting:

Throughout this text, all of the numbers in brackets are used to identify one of my sources. The in-text bracketed numbers correspond to the bracketed numbers at the references list at the bottom of this post. Things not in quotations will generally be my own words, but things in quotations are excerpts drawn from my various sources. I have italicized and made a lighter-grey color all of the quotes from other works, so as to differentiate them from my own words. And, also, there are some quotes within quotes that I reformatted from how they were in the original texts so as to make them more appropriately standardized for this post; my hope with this formatting-style was to make the piece as easy to read and understand as possible.

To begin, I am going to address poor policing practices and procedures, and non-reporting due to police attitudes and social influences; most of the information for this section is directly below, but there are references throughout the later text (concerning some statistics and studies) to various police departments and poor practices and policies, et cetera, so keep that in mind as you read this (essentially, there is more information for this section later in the post than what I placed in this section; I didn’t include some of that here because I didn’t want the text to be repeated).

-:Poor Policing Practices (Introduction):

After reading through much of the original research data, it became immediately apparent to me that there is very little overall-uniformity anywhere in regard to the terminology-used by different agencies, police procedures and policies, and documentation of events (this is an issue when it comes to many things policing-related). For example, one researcher by the name of Kanin whom is sometimes cited (his research will be discussed at more length later) seemed to intend to imply a high percentage of false rape allegations (hence, his work is a widely-quoted “go-to” resource for many defense attorneys); however, his findings inadvertently discredited the police organization of the town that he studied. From his discoveries, a picture emerged of officers attempting to convince victims that their accused could go free and thus might later be in a position to seek revenge. Wouldn’t anyone under such circumstances have second thoughts about pressing charges?


-:Some Examples of Poor Police Practices Brought to Light:

Investigation of the New Orleans Police Department, New Orleans, Louisiana [36]

“We found that the NOPD has engaged in patterns of misconduct that violate the Constitution and federal law, including a pattern or practice of excessive force, and of illegal stops, searches, and arrests. We found also a pattern or practice of gender discrimination in the Department's under-enforcement and under-investigation of violence against women. We further found strong indications of discriminatory policing based on racial, ethnic, and LGBT bias, as well as a failure to provide critical police services to language minority communities. On July 24, 2012, we reached a settlement resolving our investigation and asked the Court to make our settlement an order enforceable by the Court. On January 11, 2013, the Court approved the agreement.” [36]

False Reports of Sexual Assault: Findings on Police Practices, Laws, and Advocacy Options [37]

“False reports of sexual assault are extremely rare. Their incidence, already a small fraction of reported assaults, is dwarfed by the overwhelming prevalence of sexual violence, most of which is never brought to the attention of formal authorities. A growing body of empirical findings indicates that sexual assault is both frequent and significantly under-reported. Further, there is consistent evidence that both police and prosecutorial services often lack appropriate training for processing allegations of sexual assault, fail to adequately investigate such allegations, are reluctant to initiate prosecutions, and correspondingly obtain few convictions. Notably, such tendencies are consistent across most jurisdictions, including in countries lauded for their high levels of development and gender equality.

This Section of the paper presents the conceptual and statistical basis for the central premise of this paper: namely, that prosecutions for allegedly false reports of sexual assault are rarely justified and should be strongly disfavored by law enforcement officials. We argue that such prosecutions are related to the fact that rape, in general, is poorly investigated and prosecuted through industrialized nations. This Section proceeds in three parts. Part A explains that prosecuting rape complainants is not in the public interest and is likely related to false beliefs and stereotypes about rape victims. Part B explores the confusion surrounding police decisions for classifying reports as “false” and describes accepted best standards for accurate categorization. Part C reviews the statistical evidence surrounding false reports for sexual assaults and concludes that the best available studies suggest that false reports of rape are very rare – likely under three percent of all reported rapes.”

Word Can Spread in a Community That the Police Are Unresponsive or Even Abusive in Sexual Assault Cases:

Human Rights Watch US: DC Police Mishandle Sexual Assault Cases: Independent Oversight Needed to Ensure Proper Investigation - Capitol Offense Police Mishandling of Sexual Assault Cases in the District of Columbia [39]

"Victims of sexual assault in Washington, DC, are not getting the effective response they deserve and should expect from the district’s Metropolitan Police Department (MPD), Human Rights Watch said in a report released today. Sexual assault cases are too often not properly documented or investigated and victims may face callous, traumatizing treatment, despite official departmental policy to the contrary." [39]

"The 196-page report, ‘Capitol Offense: Police Mishandling of Sexual Assault Cases in the District of Columbia,’ concludes that in many sexual assault cases, the police did not file incident reports, which are required to proceed with an investigation, or misclassified serious sexual assaults as lesser or other crimes." [39]

Victim/Victimization Quotes [39]:

“By failing to classify the crime committed against me as an attempted rape or sexual assault, by ignoring my account of the story, you condemn me to a life where I mistrust the police, abandon any faith I possessed in the criminal justice system, and you have caused me more victimization than the actual perpetrator of the crime committed against me. Moreover, you fail the community you have sworn to protect….”
– Letter to MPD Chief Cathy Lanier from Eleanor G., survivor of a 2011 attempted sexual assault, October 4, 2011

“Reporting to the police was far more traumatizing than the rape itself.”
– Susan D., after reporting a sexual assault in March 2011

“[The detectives] told me that they did not want to waste their time with me… that no one was going to believe my report and that he didn’t even want to file it…. When I called to get the police report number [the detective] told me it was a ‘miscellaneous’ report…. This is not ‘miscellaneous’ THIS IS RAPE!”
– Maya T., complaint form, Office of Police Complaints, May 9, 2011

“They just didn’t listen to me, they made me feel completely ashamed of myself, they made me feel like I was lying or like I was too stupid to understand what happened to me, that I was trying to make something a big deal that wasn't that big of a deal.”
– Eleanor G., describing her interaction with the MPD in 2011

“To hear him tell me he didn’t believe me was a slap in my face. It just knocked me down, it was a punch in my stomach. It just took the air right out of me. And where do you go from there when the policeman tells you he doesn’t believe you?”
– Shelly G., Washington DC, August 21, 2012, describing her interaction with an MPD detective in October 2009

“The detective was in the room with the interpreter, and two other female officers and after 40 min, the survivor was literally hysterical…. [T]he nurses and I could hear it from outside the room … she was sobbing and yelling…. We interrupted and the detective told us, ‘We’ll be done when I say we’re done.’ Two min later, they walked out of the room…. [T]he detective told me there would be no case and told me to go see her.”
– Email from a Rape Crisis Center advocate, forwarded to the Office of Victim Services at the Mayor’s Office, April 2009

“I think that filing the report was just as traumatic as the crime, if not more.... Is it common place for the police to put blame on the sexual assault victims and then completely ignore them?”
– Complaint form, Office of Police Complaints, November 12, 2009

“Investigators serve as prosecutor, judge, and jury and stop the process before it begins.”
– Experienced community service provider to sexual assault victims, Washington, DC, February 16, 2011

“For a sexual assault survivor who has already experienced an intense violation, to have your governmental system essentially say to you, ‘This didn’t happen, or if it did happen it doesn’t really count,’ is devastating.”
– Denise Snyder, DC Rape Crisis Center, Washington City Paper, April 9, 2010

“I found out you dealt with her about 4 am Friday or Saturday morning … and she chose not to make a report. Something about a gang bang and being intoxicated…. Anyway, I think it was just an OI [Office Information]. However, she now feels differently and wishes to make a report. She says her phone isn't working but she can be reached…. Sorry, BUT IT IS WHAT IT IS!!!!!!!”
– Note from one detective to another, found in investigative file from 2009 reviewed by Human Rights Watch

“How can you not remember? How can we believe you?”
– Witness reporting a statement made by an MPD detective to a victim who reported being assaulted by a stranger after going to a bar, but could not remember the name of the bar

“You shouldn’t have been outside. This is what happens at two in the morning. What do you expect?”
– A member of the medical staff reporting a statement made by an MPD detective to an 18-year-old runaway who was assaulted at night

“Well, she could have fallen on rocks and may not have had panties on. Also what kind of girl is in a room with five guys?”
– Nurse describing the response of a detective to a patient who was found unconscious in a hotel room with five men, with severe tears to her vagina and rectum that required emergency surgery, in 2010

“You are only doing this to get immigration status, aren't you?”
– Lawyer’s account of what an MPD detective told his client when she reported being kidnapped and sexually assaulted repeatedly overnight in early 2011

What Do Federally Collected Statistics Say about Reporting Rates (?):

Societal pressures, media attention and several other factors can serve to either drive reporting rates up or down (or, more likely, can lead to both). While making it clear that many sexual assaults go unreported, the National Institute of Justice reports that media coverage also helps to increase reporting rates:

“Does the victim-offender relationship remain an important predictor of the likelihood of police notification in rape cases? An NIJ-funded study examined this question and found that police notification rates by third parties and by victims who had been raped by an acquaintance or intimate partner increased significantly between 1973 and 2000. Using data from the National Crime Survey (NCS) from 1973–1991 and the National Crime Victimization Survey (NCVS) from 1992–2000, Baumer found that overall reporting rates continued to increase during the 1990s, and that differences in rates of reporting between stranger and non-stranger rapes diminished.

These changes coincided with large-scale media and social campaigns that focused attention on ‘hidden’ rapes. Legal reforms and the growth in services available to rape victims have been influential in increasing the likelihood that women will report a rape to police.”

Not Everyone Believes That Large Numbers of Sexual Assaults Go Unreported, but for the U.S., the Federal Government States That Many Rape Victims Still Do Not Report the Crime(s) Committed against Them: 

“The most recent research, however, indicates that a majority of rape victims still do not report their attacks to police. Further study is needed to understand what impact various policies and practices have on reporting behavior and system response and to precisely identify the practices that would facilitate higher rates of notification.

The Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS) reports that the majority of rapes and sexual assaults perpetrated against women and girls in the United States between 1992 and 2000 were not reported to the police. Only 36 percent of rapes, 34 percent of attempted rapes, and 26 percent of sexual assaults were reported.”

In regard to reporting-fears:

Fear when making an accusation is not confined to fear of retribution by the accused-assailant or abuse by poorly-trained police officers; most people have heard of cases, not necessarily involving sexual assault, where people got into trouble, not so much for what they did, but for what they said to public officials, and this can influence whether or not people report crimes, even in authentic cases:

How to Avoid Going to Jail under 18 U.S.C. Section 1001 for Lying to Government Agents By Solomon L. Wisenberg [38]

"Did you know that it is a crime to tell a lie to the federal government? Even if your lie is oral and not under oath? Even if you have received no warnings of any kind? Even if you are not trying to cheat the government out of money? Even if the government is not actually misled by your falsehood? Well it is." [38]


"It may be true that most federal agents and prosecutors are decent people who would not intentionally abuse Section 1001. Moreover, it is very important from a law enforcement perspective for federal agents to be able to informally question witnesses during the initial stages of an investigation. And certainly citizens are under no obligation to speak to a law enforcement agent in the first place, although, as shown below, it is essential to learn how to decline to speak to government officers. But power corrupts, and the potential for abuse of this statute is great, especially during periods of public outcry over corporate and other white-collar crimes. When we reflect upon how many petty rules and regulations get broken and how many white lies are told during the course of an average American business day, it is apparent that Section 1001 can easily be applied and misapplied to normally upstanding folk." [38]

As grim as much of the above might sound, there is work being done to correct these issues (as I somewhat noted at the beginning of this post):

“In recent years both the police and prosecutors have put a great deal of effort into improving the way we investigate and prosecute sexual offences. The results of the changes and improvements which have been made are encouraging. Our committed and specialist staff have prioritised performance in these important and difficult cases. We have bolstered training, policies and guidance for rape and domestic violence specialists. Closer working with the police and specialist services has helped to address the types of ingrained practices which can ignore, or even add to, the victimisation of women and girls. We are not complacent, however, and in particular, events over the last 12 months show that there is still more that we must do to improve.” [9:pg. 2]

Quite obviously, however, not enough has been done as of yet in regard to police and their policies and procedures, and the existing prejudices and inconsistencies within and throughout many policing agencies have caused a number of issues with sexual assault (or rape) reporting and even with the numbers for false rape allegation statistics.

Also keep in mind, as I mentioned earlier, that there is more information on this particular topic later in the post (issues with policing procedures, et cetera), so be sure to read to the end before drawing any conclusions on the matter.

-:Poor Research Practices (Related to Policing and Procedures Especially):

Essentially, one of the major issues here, which is sometimes overlooked, under-considered or even ignored, is the police and other authorities intimidating women into silence; it is a problem that must be considered in order to derive any accurate or honest conclusions from the data. Below, I am going to mention a statistic from the FBI which is oft-quoted by MRAs that is not as valid as they believe it to be and/or present it to be (because most of the data is essentially “crap”), along with another statistic that is quoted by some which depicts an extremely high percentage of false rape accusations (this one is the number derived from the Kanin study).

Many studies show that, when a woman who feels intimidated is asked why she made a “false” accusation, she makes up an excuse. Without more precise methodology (applied during investigations, not after the fact), it becomes impossible to tell what is the lie, the accusation, or the recanting of it. Kanin [1], whom I mentioned earlier, held that the use of lie detectors was evidence that his study’s conclusions were valid, but due to his flawed methodology, the opposite could actually be said.

DNA testing, which generally became available in 1985, has led to the release of many who were falsely accused of rape (see [5]); however, DNA testing can and has been used to increase conviction rates as well. Much of the discussion in all of my sources here revolves around the complainants motives. Kanin [1] gave several exact quotes from complainants as to why they made a false allegation, which included 1) Alibi: Covering up an infidelity which might have led to pregnancy. [1:pg.5]; 2) Revenge: Getting back at a person (typically a male) that rejected them. [1:pg. 6]; 3) Attention/Sympathy-Seeking: Generally, entirely fabricating a claim because they sought the attention of a specific person, or the attention of everyone. [1:pg. 7]

Again, the issue of fear of reprisal must be considered. Once convinced that a rape which the complainant is sure happened might still not result in a conviction due to the unreliability of lie detectors, the complainant must come up with an explanation as to why (he/she) came to the police in the first place. And, the truth in many cases, or “fear of reprisal,” simply won’t do.

Another problem is confusion of the data due to imprecise word-meaning; a great quote on this from [7] with its sources noted explains (I adjusted their source-numbers to match my own instead of theirs, as we used some of the same general references): 

“The issue is further complicated by the fact that departments often use unfounding to close cases for reasons other than the determination that they are false or baseless. [33] In practice therefore, ‘unfounded rape can and does mean many things, with false allegation being only one of them and sometimes the least of them.’ [1] Other factors commonly used as a basis for improperly unfounding a case include:

• The police are unable to locate the victim.
• The victim decides not to follow through with prosecution.
• The victim repeatedly changes the account of the rape.
• The victim recants.
• No assailant can be identified. [35]

In none of these situations is it assumed that the sexual assault did not occur, yet these cases are often improperly unfounded because they need to be administratively closed - and many departments inappropriately use unfounding rather than inactivating to do so. There are also a variety of other situations that impede or prevent completion of the investigation and in which cases are often improperly classified as ‘unfounded’.”

These (probably) innocently introduced errors and omissions are compounded when they are placed into some Federal database (such as the FBI’s) where different, but similar, words are used and data must be “shoe-horned” into the closest category that makes sense (to the person filling out the form).

-:From Another Source on the 8% Statistic [4]:

“A certain percentage of rape complaints are classified as "unfounded" by the police and excluded from the FBI's statistics. For example, in 1995, 8% of all forcible rape cases were closed as unfounded, as were 15% in 1996 (Greenfeld, 1997). According to the FBI, a report should only be considered unfounded when investigation revealed that the elements of the crime were not met or the report was "false" (which is not defined) (FBI, 2007).

This statistic is almost meaningless, as many of the jurisdictions from which the FBI collects data on crime use different definitions of, or criteria for, "unfounded." That is, a report of rape might be classified as unfounded (rather than as forcible rape) if the alleged victim did not try to fight off the suspect, if the alleged perpetrator did not use physical force or a weapon of some sort, if the alleged victim did not sustain any physical injuries, or if the alleged victim and the accused had a prior sexual relationship. Similarly, a report might be deemed unfounded if there is no physical evidence or too many inconsistencies between the accuser's statement and what evidence does exist. As such, although some unfounded cases of rape may be false or fabricated, not all unfounded cases are false.”

As you can see, there are a lot of factors to consider when it comes to the data and to all of the classifications, circumstances and information; and, the above is by no means the entirety of all that there is available to be researched.

The next important thing to discuss, which relates far more to some of the statistics out there, themselves, are a few studies and reports, done by various groups, organizations, individuals and so forth; for many of the statistics below, I will be quoting directly from Rumney [2] throughout most of it, but I am going to provide some of my own comments within the sections as well, and I am also going to score the studies based on what I felt that they deserve in terms of their validity (the positives and negatives of each study/report and their results). Keep in mind that part of the reasoning behind my scores for each study/statistic is that it is more difficult to generalize findings to the larger population when a small sample is used. With virtually all statistics, there are issues of sampling error; the smaller the sample, the larger the sampling error. Likewise, I considered the methodology used by each researcher and/or research group (as examined and explained by the studies and researchers themselves, and by Rumney, et al.).

And, just to make things as clear as possible, a few of the numbers below not in brackets were from Rumney’s original piece; I took some of these quotes from different sections of his text (and, he used some of the same sources that I’ve used for my overall post, so I noted those in my bracketed format); I also modified the formatting of his titles for each study/statistic so that they’d work better for my Blog.

This section will address many statistics, but three of these are the most important (as they are the most often cited), so keep an eye out for them as you read through this. Those percentages are: 2%, 8%, and 41%.

-:An Overview of Some False Rape Allegation Studies and Statistics (Poorer [2]):

Study Name: Kanin (1994)
Number: 45 out of 109
False Reporting Rate (%): 41%

E.J. Kanin, “False Rape Allegations” (1994) 23 Archives of Sexual Behavior p. 81 [1]

“Few studies have established clear and reliable criteria for establishing whether police recording practices give an accurate indication as to the number of rape reports that are genuinely false. One of the few studies to attempt to do this was by Kanin who examined 109 reports to the police over a 9-year period in a small metropolitan area in the Midwestern United States. Of these reports, Kanin found that the police had officially declared 45 (41%) to be false. Kanin claimed that the investigation always included a ‘serious offer’ by the police to polygraph the complainant and suspect(s) and noted that it was police department policy that a report could only be declared false if the complainant herself admitted that the allegation was untrue. 86

While this research has been described as a ‘careful study’, 87 Kanin also warns against generalising from his findings 88 and there are a number of reasons why its reliability might be questioned. First, is the uniqueness of the finding that every unfounded report resulted from a recantation by the complainant. 89 Kanin does not disclose how many complainants in his study were in fact, polygraphed, which might have provided an additional measure of reliability. Second, Kanin claims that the police acted professionally and ‘recantations did not follow prolonged periods of investigation and interrogation’. [1] However, while Kanin reports that the police in this study were very co-operative in sharing information such as case files, it is not at all apparent how he can be sure from paper records that complainants were not subjected to pressure to withdraw. Nor does he consider that the offer of a polygraph test might have represented an underlying view by officers that rape complaints, by their nature, were suspect—a view that might influence subsequent recording practice, as noted in other research. The third and perhaps most significant problem is that Kanin appears to assume that police officers abided by departmental policy in only labelling as false, those cases where the complainant admitted to fabrication. He does not consider that actual police practice, as other studies have shown, might have departed from guidelines.”

My Score: (+None.) (-Small sample size; evidence of police bias.)

Study Name: Stewart (1981)
Number: 16 out of 18
False Reporting Rate (%): 90%

C.H. Stewart, “A Retrospective Survey of Alleged Sexual Assault Cases” (1981) Police Surgeon 28, 32.

"In a second survey by a police surgeon, Stewart examined 18 allegations of rape and concluded that 16 were false. Of these 16, it was claimed that the complainant admitted to making a false complaint in 14 cases. Leaving aside the small sample size of this study, Stewart gives little information as to the form or circumstances of these retractions. He does, however, refer to one instance in which he claims that the case ‘was disproved on the grounds that it was totally impossible to have removed her extremely tight undergarments from her extremely large body against her will’. However, as Temkin comments: ‘Presumably the woman was able to remove the garments herself and might have done so if, for example, she was threatened’. Other research involving police surgeons suggests a false reporting rate as low as 3%, with the most experienced police surgeons giving the lowest estimates.” [32]

My Score: (+None.) (-Small sample size; evidence of police bias; fairly old data.)

Study Name: Geis (1978)
Number: n/a
False Reporting Rate (%): 3–31% (estimates given by police surgeons)

R. Geis et al., “Police Surgeons and Rape: A Questionnaire Survey” (1978)

“Police Surgeon 7, cited in Taylor, note 4 above. Geis questioned police surgeons on how many false complaints they believed they had dealt with in their careers. Estimates varied from 3% to 31%.” [17]

It is difficult to draw any real conclusions from a study which produces such a large range of possible results.

My Score: (+None.) (-Results range inconclusive; no sample size given; old data.)

Study Name: Philadelphia Police Study (1968)
Number: 74 out of 370
False Reporting Rate (%): 20%

“Police Discretion and the Judgement that a Crime Has Been Committed—Rape in Philadelphia” (1968) 117 University of Pennsylvania Law Review p. 277, 284.

“The FBI Uniform Crime Reports have shown an unfounding rate between 1966 and 1994 of 8%–20% for rape and between 2%–4% in other ‘index crimes’ such as murder or robbery. 80 The extent to which this figure can be relied upon has to be questioned. Among such a large number of agencies there is likely to be a significant variation in recording practice. For example, it was recently discovered that for nearly two decades the Philadelphia police department deliberately mislabelled rape complaints and ‘dumped cases’ by unfounding reports to reduce workload and create favourable crime statistics. One of the earliest and most detailed studies of police recording practice in the United States was a study that examined the police investigation reports for 295 reports of rape and attempted rape notified to the Philadelphia Police Department in the second half of 1966. 82 In discussions with police and other criminal justice personnel in the course of this research, the numbers of false reports were estimated at between 75% and 90%. In contrast, 20% of rape reports examined in this study were ‘unfounded’. The author examined the basis of the unfounding decision in 75 additional cases and judged them in light of the common law rules that existed at that time used to denote the veracity of rape complaints. 84 The author of this study uncritically accepted these existing common law rules and police criteria for judging a complaint as false. This might suggest that the 20% unfounding rate is too high. By contemporary standards it simply cannot be accepted that a complaint of rape be deemed false because the victim did not resist her attacker, or did not complain promptly.” [25]

It appears to me to be the case with so many of these studies that, while the study methodology may be/have been sound, or at least relatively sound, the police methods on which the results depended were/are not. An important issue raised here is the fact that, not only can and/or does police bias skew the numbers, but so do/can, too, political efforts to make a new mayor or a new police chief “look good” by comparison to his/her predecessor. Other similarly disturbing factors are the desire to reduce prison populations by reducing sentences for serious offenders, and/or all but eliminating prison times for others. This can have a psychological effect on those meting out justice (creating the need to discourage prosecution entirely).

My Score: (+None.) (-Small sample size; evidence of police bias; old data.)

Study Name: Chambers and Millar (1983)
Number: 44 out of 196
False Reporting Rate (%): 22.4%

G. Chambers and A. Millar, Investigating Sexual Assault (Edinburgh 1983), 38–42.

“A further source of information that may be of help in this analysis is from interviews with police officers and rape complainants themselves. In their 1983 Scottish study of police treatment of rape, Chambers and Millar found that some decisions to no-crime were dubious, for example, where there was insufficient evidence or the complaint was withdrawn. They also found that ‘Interviews conducted with police officers indicated that some officers had fixed assumptions about how women who had been sexually assaulted ‘ought’ to behave, which, when absent, cast doubt on the complainant’s veracity’.” [26]

As was the case with the “Philadelphia Police Study (1968) [25],” the research uncovered evidence of bad police practices.

My Score: (+None.) (-Small sample size; evidence of police bias.)

Study Name: HMCPSI/HMIC (2002)
Number: 164 out of 1,379
False Reporting Rate (%): 11.8%

Her Majesty’s Crown Prosecution Service Inspectorate/Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary, A Report on the Joint Inspection into the Investigation and Prosecution of Cases involving Allegations of Rape (2002), para. 6.18.

“The recent joint HMCPSI/HMIC report on the investigation and prosecution of rape, for example, noted that there is a ‘scarcity of research’ by police into the rate of false allegations and police recording practice.” [23]

My Score: (Undecided; difficult to determine if police bias was corrected for in the results as it was only mentioned.)

Study Name: Clark and Lewis (1977)
Number: 12 out of 116
False Reporting Rate (%): 10.3%

L. Clark and D. Lewis, Rape: The Price of Coercive Sexuality (Toronto 1977), p. 38. 

“In their Canadian study, Clark and Lewis reviewed reports of rape involving victims over the age of 14 years made to the Metropolitan Toronto Police Department in 1970. In reviewing the relevant police files, Clark and Lewis examined the basis upon which reports of rape were classified as founded or unfounded. They agreed with the police decision in the 42 cases that were founded. They also identified a category of 62 cases that the police classed as unfounded, but where this decision appeared to be unrelated as to whether a rape had actually occurred. Clark and Lewis discovered that reports were unfounded where the complainant was viewed as an unsuitable witness, where there was a lack of solid corroborative evidence, and where the complainant wished to withdraw her allegation. They concluded:

‘In general, it appeared that this classification had been based either on police perceptions of the victim’s character, or on an evaluation of how successfully her case could be prosecuted ... Factual evidence that there had been no rape—which was the only justifiable basis for such a classification—was absent in every case.’

Clark and Lewis calculated that the true unfounding rate was 12 reports out of 116, amounting to 10.3%. These were cases where Clark and Lewis were of the view that there was evidence that a rape had not been committed. Of these 12 cases, it was noted that five were either reported by someone other than the complainant, and in two cases women reported under pressure from others. The reporting of false allegations by people other than the complainant is an observation reported in other research.”

My Score: (+None.) (-Small sample; police bias; old data.)

Study Name: New York Rape Squad (1974)
Number: n/a
False Reporting Rate (%): 2%

"Remarks of Lawrence H. Cooke, Appellate Division Justice, Before the Association of the Bar of the City of New York", 16 January 1974 (mimeo) p. 6, cited in S. Brownmiller, Against Our Will: Men, Women and Rape (Harmondsworth 1975), 366, 444–445. [14]

“You can see what Susan Brownmiller was up against when she wrote her path-breaking feminist tract, Against Our Will: Men, Women and Rape, in 1975.

In her book, Brownmiller said that only 2 percent of rape allegations are false, citing findings by the female police in a New York City rape squad. The problem is that while this statistic has been widely repeated, with dutiful mentions of New York-based ‘research,’ no one has ever tracked down its source. This we learned from a comprehensive review of the literature on false rape charges published in the Cambridge Law Journal in 2006. The author, Philip Rumney, finds a couple of small studies that back up the 2 percent claim but isn't confident of their methodology.”
[6]; (see also: [14])

It is important to note here, because this is one of the significant statistics that I referenced earlier, that Brownmiller wrote her book in 1975 before widespread awareness of victim psychology had found its way into local police organizations, before media campaigns had encouraged more women to report, and before DNA testing gave woman assurance that a positive identification of their assailant was even possible. Her book was not primarily a research effort; it delved into the history of forced sex, religious traditions, and it called for a heightened awareness of the crime of sexual assault (or rape, if you prefer). She may well have picked a number convenient for the case that she was trying to make, but the number used isn't wildly off from the 8% number based on national FBI data (a range of 2-8% is not really all that outlandish statistically; most statistics have a general range that are a few numbers apart). Nevertheless, I wouldn't consider the number itself, her chosen "2%," to be a reliable figure.

My Score: (+None.) (-Uncertain sources; no sample size given; old data.)

Study Name: Gregory and Lees (1996)
Number: 49 out of 109
False Reporting Rate (%): 45%

J. Gregory and S. Lees, ‘‘Attrition and Rape in Sexual Assault Cases’’ (1996) 36 British Journal of Criminology 1, 4–5.

“Other research that has examined police recording practice also suggests misuse of the no-crime criteria. Gregory and Lees found that 50% of the no-crimed cases were designated as such on the basis of the ‘complainant’s failure to substantiate the allegation’ and noted the ‘diversity of situations covered by this category’. Indeed, they found that the no-crime label was being used in highly inappropriate circumstances such as when a complainant was unable to give evidence in court because of a heart condition or where the ‘victim obtained an injunction against the suspect and subsequently withdrew [her] allegation’.” [30]

My Score: (+None.) (-Small sample; police bias.)

Study Name: Jordan (2004)
Number: 68 out of 164 // False Reporting Rate (%): 41% ("false" claims)
Number: 62 out of 164 // False Reporting Rate (%): 38% (viewed by police as "possibly true/possibly false")

J. Jordan, ‘‘Beyond Belief? Police, Rape and Women’s Credibility’’ (2004) 4 Criminal Justice. 29.

“The most up-to-date study of police recording practice in rape cases outside of England is an analysis of the New Zealand police by Jan Jordan. Crucially, this research examines how police officers determined a complaint to be false. 97 Jordan examined 164 reports of rape and sexual assault, which included analysis of police files which allowed her to examine the basis upon which officers recorded reports of rape. 98 Jordan found that 38% of cases were deemed by police to be ‘possibly true’ or ‘possibly false’, 33% were deemed as false and 8% were cases where the complainant said the allegation was false. Only 21% of cases, based on the file analysis, were viewed as genuine. Thus 41% of cases were deemed false and a further 33% could not be positively categorised as either true or false. In her analysis of the reasons for why so many cases were deemed false, Jordan found a number of factors were prominent. Delays in reporting were linked to ‘credibility concerns’, with ‘86% of complainants who had delayed reporting being viewed suspiciously’.

Other characteristics which were found in cases that were deemed false, included situations where the complainant was ‘intellectually impaired’ or ‘psychologically disturbed’, where there was concealment of information or lying, previous sexual victimisation, intoxication, complaint withdrawal or where officers perceived the complainant as ‘sluttish’ or ‘promiscuous’. Like earlier studies that have analysed police recording practice, Jordan concludes: While false complaints do occur, approximately three-quarters of the incidents concluded by the police to be false appeared to have been judged to some extent at least on the basis of stereotypes regarding the complainant’s behavior, attitude, demeanour or possible motive. Suspicious file comments were made by the detectives regarding a woman who laughed while being interviewed, others who were seen as ‘attention seeking,’ and some who were said to be ‘crying rape’ for revenge or guilt motives.

In her recent study of the New Zealand’s police, Jordan found that: ‘Maleness per se did not appear to determine the quality of an officer’s response to sexual assault victims ... while some women found it traumatic being interviewed by a man, others felt this was not so nearly as important as the officer’s attitude’. This is not to say that female officers are unimportant. The need for female officers is of clear importance, partly on the basis of victim-choice, but also because most rape complainants are female. However, whether it is male officers per se or male and female officers who do not have the attributes described by O’Reilly, who are more likely to dismiss rape complaints as false or treat victims unsympathetically, cannot be answered by reference to Brownmiller.

In her recent research, Jan Jordan acknowledged the limitations of her study, which was based on case file analysis. In discussing police scepticism of rape complainants, she stated: ‘It is virtually impossible to tell from the file evidence available whether or not such scepticism is well founded in reality or simply emanates from a police occupational trait of general suspiciousness’.”

My Score: (+None.) (-Small sample; extreme police bias.)

Study Name: Maclean (1979)
Number: 16 out of 34
False Reporting Rate (%): 47%

N.M. Maclean, ‘‘Rape and False Accusations of Rape’’ (1979) Police Surgeon 29, 30, 38.

“In addition to the studies of police recording practice, another source of statistics on the extent of false reporting is from research conducted by police surgeons. Maclean, for example, undertook a study of 34 rape complainants he examined between 1969 and 1974. He concluded that nearly half of these reports were either false or probably false, with three being probably genuine and 15 genuine. In this study, the major problem was the means by which Maclean determined reports to be false. It is evident that those cases where there was a delay in reporting were much more likely to be labelled as false, 35 as were cases where the victim did not appear ‘dishevelled’, where they did not appear upset or were not seriously injured. Maclean identified these as key factors in distinguishing the genuine and false accusations, though some of the cases he classed as false or probably false did include such factors as injury, prompt reporting, distress and agitation. Generally speaking it is difficult to find compelling evidence to support Maclean’s conclusion regarding the rate of false allegations because his evidence is often vague and open to contrary interpretations.” [31]

My Score: (+None.) (-Small sample; old data; police bias.)

-:My Summary for the Poorer Studies/Results:

What many studies lack in large sample sizes, they make up for in consistency. Given a single city police department where police procedures, including treatment of claimants, as well as reporting procedures, are relatively fixed, one could expect to find the proper answer, but only for that single department. With the case of Kanin’s study, for instance, that number could have easily been heavily influenced by local attitudes toward the crime of rape.

As I documented above, several large U.S. cities have been found to discourage the reporting of rape by various means. It is easy to see how smaller, less sophisticated city, county and even state policing agencies might also have questionable practices in that regard.

To have a better picture of the overall reality of the situation, one must take into account that the true (including the unreported incidents) number for the rates of rape is thought to be very high in comparison to the numbers that we know of (as in, the true rate might actually be double what we know of, or more). So, for instance, an 8% number of false rape reports might really represent only 4% of total rape events. Using small, rounded numbers, if there were 100 total rape events and only 50 were reported, but in addition, 8% false rape reports were turned in, then that number would be 54 reported rapes (4 of which were false), but the 4 that were false must be considered out of the 100 that actually occurred, not just the 54 that were reported.

Anyway, now I’ll move on to another portion of studies, which were a little better than the above, but still not quite spectacular (once again from the same general sources, with the same formatting).

-:An Overview of Some False Rape Allegation Studies and Statistics (Marginally Better [2]):

Study Name: U.S. Department of Justice (1997)
Number: n/a
False Reporting Rate (%): 8%

L.A. Greenfield, Sex Offenses and Offenders: An Analysis of Data on Rape and Sexual Assault (US Department of Justice 1997), p. 7.

“In the United States, law enforcement agencies make a distinction between rape reports that are ‘founded’ and ‘unfounded’. The Federal Bureau of Investigation’s Uniform Crime Reports has stated that ‘unfounding’ refers to the ‘percentage of complaints determined through investigation to be false’. The US Department of Justice, Bureau of Justice Statistics report from 1997 on sex offences and offenders has published data from more than 16,000 local, county and state law enforcement agencies. The Bureau found that ‘[l]aw enforcement agencies indicated that about 8% of forcible rapes reported to them were determined to be unfounded and were excluded from the count of crimes’. 79 The FBI Uniform Crime Reports have shown an unfounding rate between 1966 and 1994 of 8%–20% for rape and between 2%–4% in other ‘index crimes’ such as murder or robbery. 80 The extent to which this figure can be relied upon has to be questioned. Among such a large number of agencies there is likely to be a significant variation in recording practice. For example, it was recently discovered that for nearly two decades the Philadelphia police department deliberately mislabelled rape complaints and ‘‘dumped cases’’ by unfounding reports to reduce workload and create favourable crime statistics.” [19]

It is important to note for this statistic, despite it being included under my "marginally better" section, that it is still not necessarily all that reliable (the range is incredibly large, and paragraphs prior in this post explained some of the other serious problems with it as well; it is certainly not one which should be taken as the “absolutely true statistic” or even at face-value; it is essentially almost just as questionable as the rest [due to probable inflation]).

My Score: (+Large sample size; attempt to standardize.) (-Difficulty in categorization.)

Study Name: Kelly et al. (2005)
Number: 67 out of 2,643
False Reporting Rate (%): 3% ("possible" and "probable" false allegations) // 22% (recorded by police as "no-crime")

L. Kelly et al., A gap or a chasm? Attrition in Reported Rape Cases, Home Office Research Study 293 (London 2005), 46–47.

“Recent research by Kelly et al. has found another category of technically false, but non-malicious allegations of rape.

They found a group of no-crimed cases that arose from complainants who thought they might have been sexually assaulted while asleep or intoxicated, but subsequent forensic examination indicated that no sexual contact had taken place.”

My score: (+Larger sample; effort by researchers to correct police bias.) (-None.)

Study Name: Lea et al. (2003)
Number: 42 out of 379
False Reporting Rate (%): 11%

S.J. Lea et al., ‘‘Attrition in Rape Cases’’ (2003) 43 British Journal of Criminology 583, 593.

“Recent research by Lea et al. further supports the argument that the police may be using the no-crime designation in inappropriate circumstances. [Their research] indicates that significant numbers of cases are being no-crimed due to the complainant being viewed as ‘an unstable female’. The researchers note: ‘The grounds for deeming a complainant as ‘unstable’ seemed entirely dependent upon the investigating officer’s personal judgement’.” [22]

My Score: (+None.) (-Small sample; police bias mentioned, but not corrected for in their results.)

-:My Summary for the Marginally Better Studies/Results:

We should hope that, in the future, a greater number of these studies include more data/sample-points. Studies that focus on a single police department can only be expected to answer questions about that department, that city, and/or maybe the surrounding area. Too many variables exist in the ways wherein crimes are reported from various places, even in a particular country, for these types of studies to produce extremely conclusive or comprehensive/accurately representative general-results. To account for these regional differences, we must look at the FBI/USDoJ statistics for the United States, and the Crown statistics for the United Kingdom.

It is noteworthy that, where studies indicated a high rate of false rape reports, those studies also included either a small sample size, only a single city being studied, or both. Even though differences in reporting practices from one police agency to another make comparisons from city-to-city difficult, the large number of cases under consideration make studies involving the FBI/USDoJ seem more reliable, in that errors which might be introduced in one city due to recording errors, police procedures or regional differences in mores, may eventually average or even out because of the larger sample-bases.

As noted in Rumney’s paper, the exact source of Brownmiller’s 2% number is in doubt, but others have echoed similar low figures (converged at a similar lower point, which tends to be more reliable). It is fairly possible that the awareness raised by Brownmiller’s book has, over the years, had the effect of improving both police methods as well as research data. Combined with other scientific advancements (such as DNA testing), we should favor more recent studies over those done, roughly speaking, prior to the mid-eighties (along with those with smaller sample sizes, for the aforementioned noted reasons).

-:A Litany of the Remaining/Lesser Studies/Statistics (From Rumney [2]):

Study Name: Theilade and Thomsen (1986)
Number: 1 out of 56 // False Reporting Rate (%): 1.5% (minimum)
Number: 4 out of 39 // False Reporting Rate (%): 10% (maximum)

P. Theilade and J.L. Thomsen, ‘‘False Allegations of Rape’’ (1986) 30 Police Surgeon 17.

“An integral part of the 2% figure is the claim that the false reporting rate for rape is no higher than for other offences. Yet rarely do scholars actually cite studies of false complaints for offences other than rape. The findings from studies of false reporting in non-sexual assault cases would appear to be inconclusive. In a direct comparison with rape complaints and those involving non-sexual assaults, Theilade and Thomsen found that the highest rate of false complaints was for non-sexual assault.” [13]

My Score: (+None) (-Small sample size; not enough information.)

Study Name: Hursch and Selkin (1974)
Number: 10 out of 545
False Reporting Rate (%): 2%

C.J. Hursch and J. Selkin, Rape Prevention Research Project Mimeographed Annual Report of the Violence Research Unit, Division of Psychiatric Service, Department of Health and Hospitals, Denver, 1974, cited in S. Katz and M.A. Mazur, Understanding the Rape Victim: A Synthesis of Research Findings (New York 1979) ch. 13. [15]

My Score: (+None) (-Old data; not enough additional information.)

Study Name: Smith (1989)
Number: 17 out of 447
False Reporting Rate (%): 3.8%

L.J.F. Smith, Concerns About Rape, Home Office Research Study 106 (London 1989), pp. 8, 23–24. [18]

“In England and Scotland there have been a number of studies that have examined how the police record complaints of rape and provide important evidence on the police no-criming of rape reports. The first study to be discussed examined the recording of rape complaints in two London boroughs between 1984 and 1986. 20 One of the areas of investigation for this study was how Home Office circular 69/1986 altered recording practices. As already noted above, this circular was an attempt to encourage police officers to record rape complaints more accurately and to avoid the use of the ‘‘no-crime’’ label in inappropriate cases. Smith found that the circular had a significant impact in that there was a 50% increase in criming of rape reports during the three-year period under review. 21 During this time there were 447 allegations of rape reported to the police, of which 215 were not recorded as offences. In contravention of circular 69/1986, nearly half of these 215 cases (101) were not recorded because of ‘insufficient evidence’, with another 91 not recorded because the complainant withdrew the allegation. Included within the category of cases not recorded were only 17 complaints that were deemed to be malicious, a rate of 3.8% of the total number of reported cases. 22 However, this study, as acknowledged by its author, was limited. Smith notes that it was not possible to tell whether reports that were not recorded because of insufficient evidence, may in fact, have been false.”


“Parker and Brown also cite this study and accurately note ‘just under half of these cases were thought to have been false or malicious allegations’. 164 In other words, in a significant number of cases, the no-crime criteria are being applied to allegations that are not deemed false or malicious. Yet as becomes apparent, the unreliability of the no-crime criteria for judging a complaint to be false, does not impact on what would appear to be an underlying assumption that crime reports involving sexual offences are particularly problematic. They cite a Home Office study that found a no-crime rate of 45% and while noting a drop in this rate as reported by Smith, they did not note that the rate measured by Smith was 3.8%.”

My Score: (+Noted police bias.) (-Relatively inconclusive.)

Study Name: McCahill et al. (1979)
Number: 218 out of 1,198
False Reporting Rate (%): 18.2%

T.W. McCahill et al., The Aftermath of Rape (Lexington 1979), p. 115. [24]

My Score: (+None.) (-Not enough information.)

Study Name(s): Harris and Grace (1999); Grace et al. (1992)
Number (Grace): 80 out of 335 // False Reporting Rate (%): 24%
Number (Harries and Grace): 53 out of 483 // False Reporting Rate (%): 10.9% ("false/malicious" claims)
Number (Harris and Grace): 123 out of 483 // False Reporting Rate (%): 25% (recorded by police as "no-crime")

S. Grace et al., Rape: From Recording to Conviction (London 1992), 6.

J. Harris and S. Grace, A Question of Evidence? Investigating and Prosecuting Rape in the 1990s (London 1999), 14.

“For an offence to be no-crimed the circular sets out two criteria: that the complainant retracts the allegation and admits to fabrication. [27] These criteria are clearly strict. To what extent they may result in some complaints being crimed, when they are in fact false, cannot be established using the existing research literature. In this respect, Harris and Grace quote one police officer thus: ‘If rape was treated as any other crime you would probably no-crime a lot more. But because rape is treated as something special, and indeed it is a serious crime, it is much more difficult to no-crime it’.

In their Home Office survey, Harris and Grace found that of forty cases involving complainants with a learning disability or mental health problem, 22 were no-crimed ‘usually because they were believed to be false’ and 18 were designated as involving no further action.”

My Score: (+Identified police and policy/practice issues; attempted to correct for police bias.) (-Small sample sizes; relatively inconclusive.)

-:Supplementary Information (Repeat Offender Data and Sex of Victim/Perpetrator Data):

For rapes that never go prosecuted, there may be a significant number of repeat offenders (those who know how to commit the crime and elude justice); Lisak and Miller [11] attempted to quantify this among prison populations:

“Pooling data from four samples in which 1,882 men were assessed for acts of interpersonal violence, we report on 120 men whose self-reported acts met legal definitions of rape or attempted rape, but who were never prosecuted by criminal justice authorities. A majority of these undetected rapists were repeat rapists, and a majority also committed other acts of interpersonal violence. The repeat rapists averaged 5.8 rapes each. The 120 rapists were responsible for 1,225 separate acts of interpersonal violence, including rape, battery, and child physical and sexual abuse.” [11:synopsis, pg. 1]

“The goal of the present study was to determine the proportion of self-reported rapists who commit multiple acts of rape undetected by the criminal justice system and to examine whether some proportion of rapists also admit to other forms of interpersonal violence. Further, we sought to study whether repeat rapists were responsible for a disproportionate share of this undetected interpersonal violence.” [11:pg. 3]

“There are numerous difficulties inherent in collecting potentially incriminating information from research subjects, particularly regarding sexual behavior that is generally considered to be deviant. Yet, there is considerable evidence supporting the viability of this enterprise. Delinquency researchers during the 1960s and 1970s demonstrated the validity of self-report assessments of criminal behavior, in some cases verifying self-reports through polygraph administration or through cross-referencing with already-known offenses (Clark & Tifft, 1966; Gibson, Morrison, & West, 1970; Gold, 1966).” [11:pg. 3]

Number of rapists who committed single and multiple numbers of rape. [11:pg. 7]

One of the important conclusions of Lisak and Miller is as follows:

“A majority of the undetected rapists in this sample were repeat offenders. Almost two thirds of them raped more than once, and a majority also committed other acts of interpersonal violence, such as battery, child physical abuse, and child sexual abuse. These repeat rapists each committed an average of six rapes and/or attempted rapes and an average of 14 interpersonally violent acts. Within the universe of 3,698 violent acts that the 1,882 men in this sample were responsible for, the 76 repeat rapists by themselves accounted for 1,045 of that total. That is, representing only 4% of the sample, the repeat rapists accounted for 28% of the violence. Their level of violence was nearly ten times that of non-rapists, and nearly three and a half times that of single-act rapists.

The evidence that a relatively small proportion of men are responsible for a large number of rapes and other interpersonal crimes may provide at least a partial answer to an oft noted paradox: namely, that while victimization surveys have established that a substantial proportion of women are sexually victimized, relatively small percentages of men report committing acts of sexual violence (e.g., Rubenzahl & Corcoran, 1998). In this sample of 1,882 men, 76 (4%) individuals were responsible for an estimated 439 rapes and attempted rapes.”
 [11:pg. 8]

Lawrence A. Greenfeld at the Bureau of Justice Statistics, Office of Justice Programs, U.S. Department of Justice, while verifying the general prevalence of rape (particularly in relation to male-on-female acts), also seems to come to different conclusions about perpetrators:

“Rape and sexual assault offenders account for just under 5% of the total correctional population in the United States:

Since 1980 the average annual growth in the number of prisoners has been about 7.6%. The number of prisoners sentenced for violent sexual assault other than rape increased by an annual average of nearly 15%--faster than any other category of violent crime and faster than all other categories except drug trafficking.

Rapists and sexual assaulters serving time in State prisons were less likely to have had a prior conviction history or a history of violence than other incarcerated violent offenders, though they were substantially more likely to have had a history of convictions for violent sex offenses.

In two 3-year BJS followups of samples of felons placed on probation and of felons released from prison, rapists had a lower rate of rearrest for a new violent felony than most other categories of offenders convicted of violence. Yet, rapists were more likely than others to be re-arrested for a new rape.”
[12:pp. 3-4]

Number of Victimizations

Year: 1993 // Experienced: 485,000 // Reported to Law Enforcement: 140,000
Year: 1994 // Experienced: 433,000 // Reported to Law Enforcement: 137,000
Year: 1995 // Experienced: 355,000 // Reported to Law Enforcement: 113,000

Source: BJS, National Crime Victimization Survey. (rev. 2/7/97) [12]

“For both 1994 and 1995 the percentage of rape/sexual assault victimizations reported to a law enforcement agency was 32%. The most common reason given by victims of rape/sexual assault for reporting the crime to the police was to prevent further crimes by the offender against them. The most common reason cited by the victim for not reporting the crime to the police was that it was considered a personal matter.

In 1994 victims reported about 1 rape/sexual assault victimization of a female victim for every 270 females in the general population; for males, the rate was substantially lower, with about 1 rape/sexual assault of a male victim for every 5,000 male residents age 12 or older.

Per capita rates of rape/sexual assault were found to be highest among residents age 16 to 19, low-income residents, and urban residents. There were no significant differences in the rate of rape/sexual assault among racial groups.

Overall, an estimated 91% of the victims of rape and sexual assault were female. Nearly 99% of the offenders they described in single-victim incidents were male.”
 (Emphasis Added.) [12]

One obvious reason for all of this is that the BJS, as a government body, is forced to look at convictions alone (they cannot merely rely on survey data). And yet, it is the results of the survey data from Lisak and Miller that might explain the discrepancy between higher and lower rape statistic rates. Simply put, many rapists do not get caught, or if they are caught, they do not get convicted.

-:Further Study [9]:

1. In January 2011, the Director of Public Prosecutions decided to require all CPS Areas to refer to him any case in which a person who was said to have made a false complaint of rape and/or domestic violence was being considered for prosecution. He wished personally to oversee all charging decisions in these cases, because of the particular difficulties and sensitivities which can arise.

2. This report analyses the 159 charging decisions made over a seventeen month period between January 2011 and May 2012. Of these: (a) 121 involved an allegedly false allegation of rape (b) 27 involved allegedly false allegations of domestic violence, that is to say, assaults of a non-sexual nature between adults who are or have been intimate partners or family members, and (c) 11 involved both rape and domestic violence.

3. In this report the expression ‘suspect’ is used to describe the person who has allegedly made the false complaint and is being considered for prosecution.

4. Whilst it is not an exact science, it may be instructive to compare the figures for those prosecuted for making a false allegation with the number of prosecutions for rape, sexual assaults and domestic violence which took place during the same period:

(i) there were 5,651 prosecutions for rape, and 35 prosecutions for making false allegations of rape (
that's .62%; recent data).

(ii) there were 111,891 prosecutions for domestic violence, and 610 for making false allegations of domestic violence.

6. In November 2010, the Court of Appeal dealt with the case of R v A. The facts were as follows:

i. Ms A had reported to the police that she had been raped on three occasions by her husband, against a background of other domestic violence. As a result of her complaint, he was arrested and charged.

ii. Some weeks later, Mrs A told the police that she no longer wished her husband to be prosecuted and that, whilst what she had said was true, they were now reconciled and she wanted to retract her allegations. Following careful consideration, the CPS Area decided that the prosecution should continue, because cases involving serious offences such as rape are not merely a private matter between the parties.

iii. Upon being told that the case would continue, Mrs A said that she had lied in her statements and that her husband had never raped or otherwise assaulted her. This meant that there was no longer any evidence against him and therefore the case was stopped. The decision was made to charge Ms A herself with perverting the course of justice on the basis that she had made false allegations against her husband, who had as a result spent some time in custody awaiting trial.

iv. However, after she was charged, Ms A then said that in fact the original allegations had been true. As a result she was further charged (in the alternative) with perverting the course of justice, on the basis that she had falsely withdrawn a true allegation. This situation is known as a “double retraction”.

v. Ms A pleaded guilty, but on the basis that her original allegations of rape were true and she had lied when she said that they were not. She was sentenced by the Crown Court to eight months’ imprisonment, which was reduced by the Court of Appeal to a community order.

7. This case caused the CPS to consider whether the decision to prosecute Ms A had been in the public interest, because prosecuting her for falsely retracting her allegations involved of necessity accepting that she had in fact been a victim of rape.”


As all of the above makes clear, these are tremendously complex issues, and while I have presented a large amount of information here, these things are by no means the entirety of all that there is out there; I did this post so as to provide some useful information and data for everyone interested in this general subject, because these are important issues, and due to the fact that these are frequently discussed topics amongst those who debate sex and gender issues online, all of this is, of course, relevant to me as well.

False rape reports/allegations are by no means subjects which are as black-and-white as people like MRAs tend to pretend that they are (or often present them to be); the whole of these issues paints a picture of varying influence from institutional and social/societal factors which affect the results that cannot be ignored, dismissed or overlooked, and the 8% statistic, along with many other oft-cited figures, must not simply be taken at face-value as being absolutely true or as being object "facts"; the data for these statistics is simply not that reliable at the moment.

In fact, it is easily arguable that none of the current statistics out there can be taken at face-value as being realistically representative of whatever the actuality of these issues might be; all of the elements that play into the ways wherein the events that produce the known-data take place influence the outcomes greatly, and until many of those problems, as discussed at length above, are corrected (which is not necessarily absolutely possible, and certainly has not transpired yet), it must be remembered that the rates are not to be taken as the objective truth or as extremely reliable facts (because, as I stated earlier in this post, the rates are simply not that dependable currently).

It is agreed, generally, that the occurrence of false reports of rape is a rarity, and a majority of the more reliable rates appear to converge at similar lower percentages, but nevertheless, false allegations and reports of rape are still an important issue; false reports of rape are harmful not only to the wrongly accused, but also to real victims of violent crime (who already have difficulties with being believed by extension as a consequence of those who truly do lie).

However, individuals such as MRAs would like to present this issue as being an epidemic, which it is not (it does not even qualify as “endemic”); and, they would like to present percentages (such as 8% or 41%) as being absolutely true and reliable, when in fact, those statistics are essentially almost equally as questionable as all of the other percentages out there (they are certainly not, as I stated before, numbers to be taken at face-value as the absolute truth, or as absolute and/or extremely reliable facts). One must always consider all of the other influences and factors which amalgamate to bring to life this sort of data (or these sorts of results). All of that is just as important as the primary issue itself (false rape allegations).

Anyway, I may return to this post at a later date to add more information to it. I would advise all who read this post to check out some of my sources below and to do a bit of research on this subject on their own, as there is more in those references than I included here, and as there is more information out there on these issues than I have presented here. This topic, or false rape allegations, is a nuanced and multifaceted issue, and it should be thoroughly researched and considered before drawing any real and/or final conclusions about any particular results/statistics or sets-of-data.

Thank you all for reading.

Author: Krista [FD]
(Femitheist Divine - Leader of The Fethez Legion)

P.S. If I have made any carry-over/formatting errors in this post, or any other errors that I notice, I will come back to adjust the text at a later time; and, as I mentioned above, I may also add more to this post at another date. But, this is all for now. Hope everyone enjoys it!

P.P.S Also, any time an MRA references the "8%" statistic to you, or mentions false rape allegations, just link them to this post, and let them read about the greater-details for themself.

All References (Last Accessed on March 18, 2014):

[1] “False Rape Allegations” by Eugene J. Kanin Ph.D. https://ia600406.us.archive.org/1/items/FalseRapeAllegations/false-rape-allegations-archive.pdf

[2] Rumney, P. (2006) False allegations of rape. The Cambridge Law Journal, 65 (1). 125 -158. ISSN 1469-2139 http://eprints.uwe.ac.uk/6478/1/Dow

[3] "False Allegations of Sexual Assualt: An Analysis of Ten Years of Reported Cases" David Lisak1, Lori Gardinier2, Sarah C. Nicksa2, and Ashley M. Cote2 http://www.icdv.idaho.gov/conference/handouts/False-Allegations.pdf

[4] "False Rape Allegations: An Assault On Justice" By Bruce Gross, PhD, JD, MBA http://www.theforensicexaminer.com/archive/spring09/15/

[5] The Innocence Project is a national litigation and public policy organization dedicated to exonerating wrongfully convicted people through DNA testing and reforming the criminal justice system to prevent future injustice. http://www.innocenceproject.org/

[6] How Often Do Women Falsely Cry Rape http://www.slate.com/articles/news_and_politics/jurisprudence/2009/10/how_often_do_women_falsely_cry_rape.single.html

[7] "Successfully Investigating Acquaintance Sexual Assault" The National Center for Women and Policing http://www.mincava.umn.edu/documents/acquaintsa/participant/allegations.pdf

[8] Violence against Women and Girls - Crime Report 2011-2012 Equality and Diversity Unit - October 2012 http://www.cps.gov.uk/publications/docs/cps_vawg_report_2012.pdf

[9] CHARGING PERVERTING THE COURSE OF JUSTICE AND WASTING POLICE TIME IN CASES INVOLVING ALLEGEDLY FALSE RAPE AND DOMESTIC VIOLENCE ALLEGATIONS - Joint report to the Director of Public Prosecutions by Alison Levitt QC, Principal Legal Advisor, and the Crown Prosecution Service Equality and Diversity Unit http://www.cps.gov.uk/publications/research/perverting_course_of_justice_march_2013.pdf

[10] (Unused; Only Readhttp://www.feministcritics.org/blog/2013/01/12/the-truth-about-enlivens-2-false-accusation-figure-part-1-noh/

[11] Lisak, David, and Paul M. Miller. "Repeat rape and multiple offending among undetected rapists." Violence and victims 17.1 (2002): 73-84. http://www.wcsap.org/sites/www.wcsap.org/files/uploads/webinars/SV%20on%20Campus/Repeat%20Rape.pdf

[12] Greenfeld, Lawrence A. Sex offenses and offenders: An analysis of data on rape and sexual assault. Washington, DC: US Department of Justice, Office of Justice Programs, 1997.

[13] P. Theilade and J.L. Thomsen, ‘‘False Allegations of Rape’’ (1986) 30 Police Surgeon 17

[14] S. Brownmiller, Against Our Will: Men, Women and Rape (Harmondsworth 1975) http://books.google.com/books?id=jaWqAAAAQBAJ (Updated edition.)

[15] HURSCH, CJ, and J. SELKIN. "DENVER-RAPE PREVENTION RESEARCH PROJECT-FINAL REPORT." (1975). https://www.ncjrs.gov/App/Publications/abstract.aspx?ID=42911

[16] Kelly, Liz, Jo Lovett, and Linda Regan. A gap or a chasm?: attrition in reported rape cases. London: Home Office Research, Development and Statistics Directorate, 2005.

[17] R. Geis et al., ‘‘Police Surgeons and Rape: A Questionnaire Survey’’ (1978) https://www.ncjrs.gov/App/Publications/abstract.aspx?ID=119032

[18] Smith, Lorna JF. Concerns about rape. HM Stationery Office, 1989.

[19] Greenfield, L. A. "Sex Offenses & Offenders: An analysis of Data on Rape and Sexual Assault. 1997." US Department of Justice: Bureau of Justice Statistics: Washington, DC (1998).

[20] Clark, Lorenne MG, and Debra J. Lewis. Rape: The price of coercive sexuality. Toronto: Women's Press, 1977. https://www.ncjrs.gov/App/Publications/abstract.aspx?ID=44834

[21] Harris, Jessica, and Sharon Grace. A question of evidence?: Investigating and prosecuting rape in the 1990s. London: Home Office, 1999. https://www.ncjrs.gov/App/Publications/abstract.aspx?ID=180356

[22] Lea, Susan J., Ursula Lanvers, and Steve Shaw. "Attrition in rape cases. Developing a profile and identifying relevant factors." British Journal of Criminology 43.3 (2003)

[23] (Not Independently Located) Her Majesty’s Crown Prosecution Service Inspectorate/Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary, A Report on the Joint Inspection into the Investigation and Prosecution of Cases involving Allegations of Rape (2002)

[24] (Not Independently Located) T.W. McCahill et al., The Aftermath of Rape (Lexington 1979)

[25] (Not Independently Located) ‘‘Police Discretion and the Judgement that a Crime Has Been Committed—Rape in Philadelphia’’ (1968) 117 University of Pennsylvania Law Review

[26] (Not Independently Located) G. Chambers and A. Millar, Investigating Sexual Assault (Edinburgh 1983)

[27] (Not Independently Located) J. Harris and S. Grace, A Question of Evidence? Investigating and Prosecuting Rape in the 1990s (London 1999)

[28] J. Jordan, ‘‘Beyond Belief? Police, Rape and Women’s Credibility’’ http://www.d.umn.edu/cla/faculty/jhamlin/3925/4925HomeComputer/Rape%20myths/Police.pdf

[29] "Successfully Investigating Acquaintance Sexual Assault: A National Training Manual for Law Enforcement" Dr. Kimberly A. Lonsway, Research Director, National Center for Women & Policing

[30] Gregory, Jeanne, and Sue Lees. "Attrition in rape and sexual assault cases."British Journal of Criminology 36.1 (1996) http://bjc.oxfordjournals.org/content/36/1/1.short

[31] MacLean, N. M. "Rape and false accusations of rape." Police Surgeon 15 (1979): 29-40. https://www.ncjrs.gov/App/Publications/abstract.aspx?ID=67981

[32] (Not Independently Located) C.H. Stewart, ‘‘A Retrospective Survey of Alleged Sexual Assault Cases’’

[33] (Not Independently Located) Aiken, Margaret M. "False allegation. A concept in the context of rape." Journal of psychosocial nursing and mental health services 31.11 (1993): 15-20.

[34] Root I, Ogden W, Scott W: The Medical Investigation of Alleged Rape. West J Med 120:329-333,Apr 1974 http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1129457/pdf/westjmed00308-0091.pdf

[35] Ledray, L.E. (1999). Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner (SANE): Development & Operation Guide. Manual prepared under grant number 96-VF-GX-K012, awarded by the Office for Victims of Crime, Office of Justice Programs, U.S. Department of Justice.

[36] Investigation of the New Orleans Police Department, New Orleans, Louisiana http://www.justice.gov/crt/about/spl/nopd.php

[37] Lisa R. Avalos, Assistant Professor of Law, University of Arkansas School of Law, Alexandra Filippova, J.D. class of 2013, Cynthia Reed, J.D. class of 2014, Matthew Siegel, J.D. class of 2013 Georgetown University Law Center http://www.womenagainstrape.net/sites/default/files/final_paper_for_war_9-23.pdf

[38] How to Avoid Going to Jail under 18 U.S.C. Section 1001 for Lying to Government Agents By Solomon L. Wisenberg http://corporate.findlaw.com/litigation-disputes/how-to-avoid-going-to-jail-under-18-u-s-c-section-1001-for-lying.html

[39] Capitol Offense Police Mishandling of Sexual Assault Cases in the District of Columbia http://www.hrw.org/news/2013/01/24/us-dc-police-mishandle-sexual-assault-cases

[40] National Institute of Justice: Reporting of Sexual Violence Incidents http://www.nij.gov/topics/crime/rape-sexual-violence/pages/rape-notification.aspx#

Supplementary Resources (Last Accessed on March 18, 2014):

1) http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2013/mar/13/false-allegations-rape-domestic-violence-rare

2) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/False_accusation_of_rape (Debunks Kanin.)

3) Good Slate Article: http://www.slate.com/articles/news_and_politics/jurisprudence/2009/10/how_often_do_women_falsely_cry_rape.html

4) “Clearance” data represents a crude way of measuring false reports by instead measuring convictions: http://www.fbi.gov/about-us/cjis/ucr/crime-in-the-u.s/2012/crime-in-the-u.s.-2012/offenses-known-to-law-enforcement/clearance-browse-by/national-data (Follow the links on this page.)

Also here: http://www.fbi.gov/about-us/cjis/ucr/crime-in-the-u.s/2012/crime-in-the-u.s.-2012/offenses-known-to-law-enforcement/clearances

5) http://www.cps.gov.uk/publications/research/perverting_course_of_justice_march_2013.pdf (Recent CPS study.)

6) http://www.cps.gov.uk/publications/docs/cps_vawg_report_2012.pdf (Conviction rate increases, graph and tables, after better training of officials.)

7) http://www.fbi.gov/stats-services/publications/law-enforcement-bulletin/september-2012/false-allegations-of-adult-crimes

8) http://www.ncdsv.org/images/SoHowManyRapeReportsareFalse.pdf (A decent discussion.)

9) http://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/ERORecords/HO/421/2/P2/RDS/PDFS/HORS196.PDF (For England and Wales.)

10) http://www.justice.gov/publications/publications_r.html (General resource.)

11) http://www.icpsr.umich.edu/icpsrweb/NACJD/ (Raw-data-goldmine.)

12) http://www.bjs.gov/ucrdata/ (Online data-building-tool.)

13) http://www.bjs.gov/content/pub/pdf/fvsv9410.pdf (Tangent.)

14) http://bjc.oxfordjournals.org/content/52/6/1152.full (The Truth, The Half-Truth, and Nothing Like the Truth: Reconceptualizing False Allegations of Rape.)

15) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/False_accusation_of_rape#cite_note-16

16) http://www.ndaa.org/pdf/the_voice_vol_3_no_1_2009.pdf (Quotes a rather "weird" [bad] report.)

17) http://www.ndaa.org/pdf/the_voice_vol_1_no_4_2006.pdf

18) http://www.ndaa.org/pdf/the_voice_vol_1_no_7_06.pdf

19) http://www.ncdsv.org/ncd_linkssexviolence.html (Numerous activist-links.)

20) http://www.victimsofcrime.org/docs/Reports%20and%20Studies/rape-in-america.pdf?sfvrsn=0