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Rape bill falls in Senate

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Despite more than 26,000 signatures on our petition the Rape is Rape Bill did not pass the NY Senate this legislative session.  Lydia Cuomo whose brutal gunpoint rape at the hands of an off duty police officer who was subsequently not found guilty of rape so graphically illustrated why this law is urgently needed.  I will continue to work to ensure that the Rape is Rape bill becomes law,” said Assemblywoman Aravella Simotas, author of the legislation. “I am so grateful for your support and together we can achieve equality for all victims of rape.

Lydia Cuomo1

More than 26,000 of us signed the petition calling for change in New York and the New York State Assembly have passed the bill with a clear majority.  Governor Cuomo’s office say the Governor is ready to sign the bill into law, but the bill does not have the support of the New York State Senate, where Senator Young introduced a different bill.

Assemblywoman Simotas’ bill, passed by the Assembly brings New York’s rape laws in line with the FBI’s definition of rape, further improving the standard to contact from penetration.  Since 50 million people a year visit New York State keeping our rape laws in line with national standards is important.

It’s also important that the law calls a rape what we call a rape outside the courtroom.  Making the legal definition of rape consistent with the everyday meaning of rape will make prosecutors jobs easier.  It will also clarify in a post Steubenville world that rape is rape.  There should be no excuse for abuse.  The law should set clear, easily communicated standards that we, the public, can easily understand.  The NY State Assembly’s Rape is Rape Bill does that.

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 and guy raped.

“I don’t have a vagina, but I was raped as a child”

Andrew Willis, New York

Aj Willis1

Sadly both straight and gay men get raped, almost 1 in 6 of them as children, and in a state that recognises marriage equality we believe we should also recognise rape equality.

Anal rape and oral rape are forcible sex and are every bit as much a rape as vaginal rape.  With one in every five women experiencing rape in their lifetime and many men too

The Senate version of the bill is not acceptable to victims like Lydia Cuomo,

“To come to terms with being raped is hard enough, for the justice system not to recognise rape as rape is to re-victimise victims.”

Lydia Cuomo speaking after the verdict

New York should pass the Rape is Rape Bill.  The revised definition of rape sends an important message to the broad range of rape victims that they are supported and to perpetrators that they will be held accountable.

A distinction between Rape, Oral Rape and Anal Rape as proposed in the Senate legislation perpetuates the intractable fallacy of “real or legitimate rape” as contrasted with violations of the mouth and anus as not real rape. Rape is rape and it should be simply known as such.

“New York’s rape laws were written to protect a woman’s virtue for her husband or father.” said Andrew Willis, CEO of the Stop Abuse Campaign, “Of course we are disappointed that New York’s senate refused to recognize the will of the people.  Nine out of ten rapists never pay for their crimes because current laws confuse.  The most searched for term on Google that includes the word rape is “Was I raped.

“We are committed to changing the law and we intend to continue to petition the NY Senate until they listen to the people who elect them.”

Want to get involved? Sign this pledge to help pass the bill next year

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