I pledge to call a rape a rape and to hold rapists accountable, not victims.
We looked at Google's search data to see what we the people search for when we enter the word rape, the most searched for term is "was I raped."
Other top search terms include man raped, boy raped, guy raped and anally raped.
It seems obvious but stopping rape starts with agreeing what it is.
Today only 3 in every 100 rapists ever see a day of jail time. Before the police and prosecutors can do their job though the crime has got to be reported. More than half of rapes today are not.
To increase reporting we need to clarify what rape is.
Calling a Rape a Rape
On January 06, 2012 The Attorney General Eric Holder announced revisions to the Uniform Crime Report's (UCR) definition of rape. This has helped provide a comprehensive statistical reporting of rape nationwide but it has done nothing to remove the confusion of what a rape is.
And how can you set about preventing rape if you cannot agree on what it is?
Today the laws in most states define rape differently and usually limit rape to the insertion of a penis into a vagina.
It is time for state laws to catch up with the FBI's definition
The new definition is more inclusive, and focuses on the various forms of sexual penetration understood to be rape. The new definition of rape is: "The 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."
The Rape is Rape Bill
The Rape is Rape Bill has been introduced in New York State to redefine rape. Better aligning it with how we, the people, use the word rape. Aligning with the FBI and respecting the rights of victims like Lydia Cuomo.
"What does a woman have to do to prove she was raped?"
Lydia Cuomo was brutally raped at gunpoint by a drunken off duty policeman but her jury hung because a good defense attorney, just doing his job, sowed reasonable doubt about whether Pena's penis actually penetrated her - perhaps it just made contact?
Cunning defense attorneys attack the credibility of a witness's memory to question the difference between penetration of a penis in a vagina and a penis being in contact with her vagina.
It's time to call a rape a rape in New York State [and every other state]
Almost 25,000 of us have signed a petition calling on New York's Governor to pass the Rape is Rape Bill. Redefining rape by adopting a consistent standard of contact rather than the current standard of penetration, further it calls forcible oral and anal contact what they are - Rape! Please sign the petition
Ignite Conversations For Change
Most rape laws were written long ago when women and children were still the property of men, gender stereotypes continue to reinforce old attitudes, and victim blaming ensures that all to often society blames the victim not the rapist.
With your help we can change the way society thinks about rape one story, one petition signature, one water cooler conversation at a time.
Please add your photographs, links to media stories, add your own stories, keep commenting. Ignite more conversations - or click here to join one!
Rape ends when we all say NO MORE, take the pledge NOW.