chapter  42
6 Pages


WithRoss M. Bartels, Anthony R. Beech, Leigh Harkins

Legal definitions in the United States and United Kingdom tend to agree that rape involves the nonconsensual penetration of the vagina or anus. However, not all definitions stipulate that the penetration has to be penile. For instance, in the State of Washington, rape is defined as the

penetration of the vagina, anus, or mouth by an object or sexual organ. According the Sexual Offences Act (2003), the definition of rape in the United Kingdom is confined to the penile penetration of the vagina, anus, or mouth. Penetration involving an object is associated with the legal definition of “assault by penetration,” whereas the intentional touching of a person that is sexual in nature is defined as “sexual assault.”