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What constitutes rape?

What is the specific technical definition of 'rape'?
Is it merely a 'non-consensual, penetrative' act?
And can rape be perpetrated by women?

Author: Betty, Female, Edinburgh
Date: 29/06/2010

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At the moment, rape is narrowly defined in legal terms in Scots law as the penetration of a woman's vagina by a penis without consent. That means at the moment, men cannot be "raped" and other forms of abuse are classed as sexual or indecent assault.

However from October 2010 the Sexual Offences (Scotland) Act 2009 will come into effect which will broaden the definition of rape to include penile penetration on the mouth, vagina or anus (meaning that for the first time in Scotland, male rape will be able to be tried as such) and will also clarify the law on consent to mean "free agreement".

Author: Dawn, Female, Glasgow
Date: 30/06/2010

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“Rape seems to be the only crime where it's seen as ok to put the victim on trial.”

Natasha, Female from Glasgow

“Short skirts don't cause rape. Rapists cause rape”

Joss, Female from Connecticut

“About time something like this was shown on TV. Hopefully it will make everyone realise there cannot be any excuse for rape - EVER.”

Helzo, Female from Renfrewshire