In the city of Atlanta, as well as federally, the definition of rape is: “The penetration, no matter how slight, of the vagina or anus with any body part or object, or the oral penetration by a sex organ of another person, without the consent of the victim.” This is a change from the original definition that was written in 1927.

This definition of rape was written in 2012 and released publicly by the Attorney General of the United States. The definition of rape was changed to include all genders, and it no longer specifies that a woman is raped by a man. This definition covers same gender and, by its wording, includes the knowledge that men can be victims of rape as well.

Rape laws are broken down into subcategories such as forcible rape and statutory rape. Which crime a person will be charged with depends largely on the circumstances. For example, a person who takes another off the sidewalk and rapes them in an alleyway will be charged differently than an 18-year-old that had sexual intercourse with his minor girlfriend.

Whether or not a person has to register on the sex offender list in Georgia will depend on the classification of rape they are convicted of. Using the above example, the person who forcibly raped another will be forced to register. The teenager who has intercourse with his girlfriend may not be forced to register. Laws on the books aim to take into account both victims’ rights and the unique circumstances of each situation.