Rape

The exact definition of “rape,” “sexual assault,” “sexual abuse” and similar terms differs by state. The wording can get confusing, since states often use different words to mean the same thing or use the same words to describe different things. To see how your state legally defines these crimes, visit our State Law Database.

For its Uniform Crime Reports, the FBI defines rape as:

Please note that this definition is rather graphic, which is inevitable when describing crimes this violent.

“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."

Sexual assault victims may be forced through threats or physical means. In about 8 out of 10 sexual assaults, no weapon is used other than physical force. Anyone may be a victim of sexual assault: women, men or children, straight or gay.

Was I Raped?

Learn more about the laws in your state through RAINN's State Law Database.


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