Defining Sexual Assault Nationally
Uniform Crime Reports
The Uniform Crime Reporting (UCR) program provides reliable, uniform crime statistics for the Nation, which the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) collects, publishes, and archives. The FBI produces several annual statistical publications, such as the comprehensive Crime in the United States, using data provided by nearly 17,000 law enforcement agencies throughout the United States.
UCR defines sexual assault as one of the following two categories:
- Forcible rape: The carnal knowledge of a female forcibly and against her will. Assaults or attempts to commit rape by force or threat of force also are included. This category doesn't count unreported rapes, reports to authorities that are considered unfounded following an investigation, oral sex, anal sex, penetration with fingers or objects, statutory rape, or alcohol- or drug-facilitated rape.
- Sex Offenses: Sodomy, statutory rape, and male rape. This category is limited to arrests only.
In response to UCR's narrow definitions, the FBI created the National Incident-Based Reporting System. This system requires significantly more data from law enforcement and specifically addresses male rape and same-sex sexual assault as forcible rape.