Stop Prisoner Rape Calls on FBI to Stop Ignoring Male Rape in its Violent Crime Statistics
October 23, 2003
LOS ANGELES - The
nonprofit human rights group Stop Prisoner Rape today called on the FBI to
stop excluding the rape of men from the statistics on violent crime in its
annual Uniform Crime Report.
Lara Stemple, executive
director of the Los Angeles-based group, said the statistical exclusion of
male rape victims from the numbers on violent crime works to conceal and
trivialize the ongoing rape and sexual assault of men in jails and
Studies of sexual assault
in prison show that as many as one in ten men have been raped in some
facilities. If the FBI's new crime report - due to be published Monday,
October 27 - follows the same statistical approach as in years past, these
rapes will be not be included in the reported rate of violent crime.
"The FBI is the agency we
rely on to give us accurate, objective data on crime," Stemple said.
"Unfortunately, when it comes to rape, the Uniform Crime Report gives us a
picture of reality that is neither accurate nor objective. It's a report
that is distorted by gender bias, and unfortunately out of touch with
Unlike many state penal
codes that use a gender-neutral approach to rape, the national crime
report has defined forcible rape as, "(t)he carnal knowledge of a female
forcibly against her will." The categories of the FBI's Uniform Crime
Report were created in 1929, according to the report. And though the
report compiles a wealth of data from 17,000 law enforcement agencies
throughout the country, that analysis of that data is skewed because the
FBI "has traditionally defined rape victims as female," according to the
2002 UCR report.
"The rape of men in prison
is a serious human rights abuse that is dehumanizing and sometimes deadly.
Victims have been left beaten and bloodied, they have suffered long-term
psychological harm, and they have contracted HIV. When we look at violent
crime as a nation, we cannot ignore these victims," said Stemple.
Stemple noted that the Prison Rape Elimination Act of 2003, which was
signed by President Bush in September, will begin to uncover the extent of
the problem by creating a commission to study sexual violence behind bars.
"The federal government has finally made an effort to acknowledge and
address rape in prison," Stemple said. "It's time for the FBI's crime
report to reflect that evolution in awareness."