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, rape is primarily committed by males. Rape by strangers is usually less common than rape by people the victim knows, and male-on-male and female-on-femaleprison 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.
The term rape originates from the Latinrapere (supine stem raptum), "to snatch, to grab, to carry off". Since the 14th century, the term has come to mean "to seize and take away by force". In Roman law, the carrying off of a woman by force, with or without intercourse, constituted "raptus". In Medieval English law the same term could refer to either kidnapping or rape in the modern sense of "sexual violation". The original meaning of "carry off by force" is still found in some phrases, such as "rape and pillage", or in titles, such as the stories of the Rape of the Sabine Women and The Rape of Europa or the poem The Rape of the Lock, which is about the theft of a lock of hair.