Now I don't fully understand what has happened to me. Yes I know what sex is. I know what rape is it's when a man forces a woman to have sex with him.

But the other night I was at a friend's house with my two best friends. When one of them had to temporarily leave to go help a relative, my other friend was still at the house with me and we were the only two there. Out of nowhere she started kissing me. I pushed her back and asked her what she was doing; she said she loved me but it didn't come off loving when she threw me down and ripped my clothes off against my will and stuck something in me and I don't even know what it was also she touched my breast and I said stop.

My family wants to call it rape but since we're both female how is that possible?

  • 3
    Which jurisdiction? Commented May 22, 2018 at 21:22
  • In some parts of a
    – Muze
    Commented Apr 25, 2019 at 19:49

3 Answers 3


The definition of what kind of interaction constitutes rape is normally defined by statute or by case law, which can vary somewhat from jurisdiction to jurisdiction.

Typically, "penetration" for sexual gratification secured by force would constitute rape, regardless of the gender of the perpetrator.

Typically, "penetration" does not cease to be rape because it is not accomplished with a male penis.

For statistical purposes, the United States Department of Justice defines rape as:

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.

What you describe sounds like something that would qualify as rape under most jurisdiction's definitions of that crime.

None of the exceptions to the U.S. Department of Justice's definition of rape (e.g. legitimate medical examination or a law enforcement cavity search where one is authorized by law) apply in this case.

Even if a particular jurisdiction didn't classify this as rape (and the vast majority would), most would, at a minimum, classify this as sexual battery (i.e. forcible sexual contact not amounting to rape under the local definition), or simple battery (i.e. forcible contact without permission that is not necessarily sexual).

Of course, even if it meets the legal definition of rape, a prosecutor or law enforcement who is accustomed to thinking of rape as exclusively a male upon female crime could balk at prosecuting the incident as rape, something that can be hard to get them to take seriously and prosecute when acquaintances are involved even in opposite sex couples. Law enforcement and prosecutors have broad discretion regarding which crimes they prosecute and for which charge.

About 1% of people arrested for committing rape are female, and while some of those cases involve materially aiding and abetting a male perpetrator (e.g. by holding down a victim while the male perpetrator engaged in the act), some of those arrests involve the fact pattern that you describe.

In part, the low rate of female arrest for rape arises from the fact that women commit violent acts, in general, at a much lower rate than men. The low rate of female arrest for rape also almost surely involves underreporting of rapes committed by women against women, in part, because women are less likely to conceptualize what they have experienced as rape and, in part, because law enforcement is often insensitive or dismissive of these charges in many places.

  • 2
    Excellent answer. I would point out that female on male and male on male rapes are likely under-reported when compared to male on female rapes. But they do occur and are equally against the law. Rape does not presume a specific gender on either the attacker or the victim.
    – hszmv
    Commented May 22, 2018 at 20:09
  • @hszmv Agreed. This is certainly true.
    – ohwilleke
    Commented May 22, 2018 at 21:14
  • 2
    I would also point out that the act described here could be a crime other than rape. In other words, if the answer is (perhaps in a particular jurisdiction) "no, it's not rape," that doesn't mean it's not a crime. The details will vary by jurisdiction. For example, New Jersey does not appear to have any crime called "rape": law.justia.com/codes/new-jersey/2017/title-2c
    – phoog
    Commented May 23, 2018 at 6:34

The law seems to be different in the US to the UK.

Under UK law, this is covered by the Sexual Offences Act, 2003, and there are 3 main categories of sexual assault

  • Rape (Section 1)
    Penetration of any bodily orifice by the penis without consent
    (Maximum Penalty of Life Imprisonment whether against an adult or child)
  • Sexual Assault by Penetration (Section 2)
    Penetration of any bodily orifice by anything other than a penis without consent
    (Maximum Penalty of Life Imprisonment whether against an adult or child)
  • Sexual Assault (Section 3)
    Any other sexual contact without consent
    (Maximum Penalty of 10 years against an adult or 14 years against a child)

Therefore, a woman cannot rape anyone under UK law, but can commit Sexual Assault by Penetration which carries the same maximum potential sentence (Life Imprisonment).

What you describe seems to fit the UK definition of Sexual Assault by Penetration (a contravention of Section 2 of the Sexual Offences Act, 2003).

  • What are your thoughts on this question? law.stackexchange.com/questions/33966/…
    – Muze
    Commented Apr 25, 2019 at 19:53
  • @Muze - The question you linked is interesting and I have favourited it as the topic is within a subject I have been conducting research on for a number of years. As for the chat about touching male or female breasts intentionally and without consent, that is definitely sexual assault (section 3 of the Sexual Offences Act 2003) Commented Apr 26, 2019 at 7:43
  • 1
    @Muze - There are big problems in some parts of Africa as you mentioned, just like there are in other parts of the world. Take India for example. The thing with areas such as the DRC in Africa, there is more to it than what you said. There are cultural and belief issues at play and no matter how you look at the situation, rape is rape. Commented Apr 26, 2019 at 7:46

It sounds to me like what you're describing is a rape. By law rape is when one person forces another person to have sex against their will. Though a lot of the time it is a man raping a woman or a child and these rapes are reported most. However it also commonly know that men get raped by other men in prison. Woman-on-woman rapes do occur and is illegal in all jurisdictions ,unless laws have changed, and often reported Woman-on-woman rapes the victim usually states that were penetrated with a strap on dildo or a vibrator or some other kind of sex toy. Which is likely what was used on you the judge or prosecutor can dismiss but not necessarily you should report this event.

  • This post is just a long, hard-to-read string of loosely connected sentences. “By law rape is when one person forces another person to have sex against their will.” Wrong – see the other answer about the UK. Commented Nov 13, 2020 at 13:53

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .