Rape is a type of sexual assault usually involving sexual intercourse or other forms of sexual penetration carried out against a person without that person's consent. The act may be carried out by physical force, coercion, abuse of authority, or against a person who is incapable of giving valid consent, such as one who is unconscious, incapacitated, has an intellectual disability, or is below the legal age of consent. The term rape is sometimes used interchangeably with the term sexual assault.
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The rate of reporting, prosecuting and convicting for rape varies between jurisdictions. Internationally, the incidence of rapes recorded by the police during 2008 ranged, per 100,000 people, from 0.2 in Azerbaijan to 92.9 in Botswana with 6.3 in Lithuania as the median. Worldwide, sexual violence, including rape, is primarily committed by males against females. Rape by strangers is usually less common than rape by people the victim knows, and male-on-male and female-on-female prison rapes are common and may be the least reported forms of rape.
Widespread and systematic rape (e.g., war rape) and sexual slavery can occur during international conflict. These practices are crimes against humanity and war crimes. Rape is also recognized as an element of the crime of genocide when committed with the intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a targeted ethnic group.
People who have been raped can be traumatized and develop posttraumatic stress disorder. Serious injuries can result along with the risk of pregnancy and sexually transmitted infections. A person may face violence or threats from the rapist, and, sometimes, from the victim's family and relatives.