Rape [Ro.: Viol, De.: Vergewaltigen, Fr.: Viol, Gr.: βιασμός] (See also: Sexual Assault, Consent, Harassment) = a criminal offence consisting of a non-consensual sexual act with another person, with or without the use of force or unlawful threats of serious harm, when the perpetrator does not reasonably believe that the victim consented (United Kingdom). In most jurisdictions rape commonly requires penetration.

~ Consent [Ro.: Consintamant, De.: Zustimmen Fr.: Consentement, Gr.: συγκατάθεση] (See also: Duress, Misrepresentation, Capacity) = agreement by choice, where the individual has the freedom and capacity to make that choice. Depending on the country, the age of consent can vary between 14 (Bulgaria, Italy) to 18 years old. (Turkey)

Useful Links

Legislation Romanian Penal Code, Article 218 [Romanian] Sexual Offences Act 2003 [English] 10 U.S Code § 920 - Art. 120. Rape and sexual assault generally [English] Current Legal Framework in France [English] Greek Penal Code, Article 336 [Greek]

Organisations and Associations Rape Crisis England & Wales [United Kingdom] Legal Resources [United States] Victim Right Law Centre [United States] Law Reform Efforts [United States]

Case Law Assange v The Swedish Prosecution Authority [English]  R v C [2009] UKHL 42 [English]  - R v H [2005] All ER (D) 16 (Feb) [English] Leaver, R. v, Court of Appeal [English]

Online Publications

Newspaper Articles S.M., Why sex crimes have statutes of limitations, The Economist (United Kingdom, October 8, 2015) [English] Prosecuting rapists: Sitting on the evidence, The Economist (United States, July 14, 2014) [English] Rape laws: Crime and clarity, The Economist (United Kingdom, September 1, 2012) [English]

Journal Articles Drakopoulou, M., 2007, Feminism and consent: a genealogical inquiry, Hunter, Rosemary and Cowan, Sharon, eds. Choice and Consent: Feminist Engagements with Law and Subjectivity. Critical Approaches to Law, Routledge Cavendish, London, pp. 9-38. [English] Jiloha, R.C., July 2013, Rape: Legal issues in mental health perspective, United States, Indian J Psychiatry Volume 55(3); [English] Sharpe, A., 2014, Criminalising Sexual Intimacy: Transgender Defendants and the Legal Construction of Non-Consent', United Kingdom, Criminal Law Review 207-223. [English] Spena, A, 2010, Harmless Rapes? A False Problem for the Harm Principle, Italy, Diritto & Questioni Pubbliche [English] Tadros, V., 2006, Rape Without Consent, Oxf J Leg Stud 26 (3): 515-543. [English]


Herring J., Criminal Law: Text, Cases, and Materials (OUP, 2016) [English]

Ormerod D., Laird K., Smith, Hogan & Ormerod's Text, Cases and Materials on Criminal Law (OUP, 2017) [English]

By Alexandru Gradinaru