Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault Data Resource Center banner spacer spacer spacer spacer
 
 
spacer Domestice Violence Sexual Assault Stalking spacer spacer About the Center Contribute Info Contact JRSA JRSA Home spacer
Home
National Summary
State Profiles
State Summaries
Projects
Bibliography
Form Library
Links and Contacts
Available Data
Illinois' InfoNet

     

Sexual Assault in the States

Legislation  -  Data Sources  -  Projects  -  Reports

You can also go to a page that includes all sexual assault sections for easy printing.
For information on a particular state, please visit the state profiles.



Sexual Assault Legislation

The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) breaks sexual assault into two main categories - forcible sex offenses and nonforcible sex offenses. Forcible sex offenses are defined as "any sexual act directed against another person, forcibly and/or against that person's will or not forcibly or against the person's will in instances where the victim is incapable of giving consent" (FBI National Incident-Based Reporting System Volume 1: Data Collection Guidelines, 2000). Forcible sex offenses include the following offenses:

  • Forcible rape - "the carnal knowledge of a person, forcibly and/or against that person's will or not forcibly against the person's will in instances where the victim is incapable of giving consent because of his/her temporary or permanent mental or physical incapacity." (ibid)
  • Forcible sodomy - "oral or anal intercourse with another person, forcibly and/or against that person's will or not forcibly or against the person's will in instances where the victim is incapable of giving consent because of his/her youth or because of his/her temporary or permanent mental or physical capacity." (ibid)
  • Sexual assault with an object - "to use an object or instrument to unlawfully penetrate, however slightly, the genital or anal opening of the body of another person, forcibly and/or against that person's will or not forcibly or against the person's will in instances where the victim is incapable of giving consent because of his/her youth or because of his/her temporary or permanent mental or physical incapacity." (ibid)
  • Forcible fondling - "the touching of the private body parts of another person for the purpose of sexual gratification, forcibly and/or against that person's will or not forcibly or against the person's will in instances where the victim in incapable of giving consent because of his/her youth or because of his/her temporary or permanent mental or physical incapacity." (ibid)
Nonforcible sex offenses include two offenses:
  • Incest - "nonforcible sexual intercourse between persons who are related to each other within the degrees wherein marriage is prohibited by law." (ibid)
  • Statutory rape - "nonforcible sexual intercourse with a person who is under the statutory age of consent." (ibid)
Generally, research on sexual assault focuses on forcible sex offenses, most often rape.

All states have legislation that defines sexual assault, which may differ from the federal definition. Once states report the information to the FBI, however, the data must be consistent with the federal definitions. As a result, state and federal statistics may differ slightly, but national reports are based on comparable definitions.

Go to next section - Sexual Assault Data Sources