Public Policy & Action

Laws in Your State

From the legal definition of rape to the statute of limitation for a particular sex crime, where you live makes a difference. Here's a guide to the laws in your state.

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RAINN Action Center


RAINN Working With Lawmakers

I care about ensuring victims of sexual assault have access to the resources they need for recovery. It's vital that we protect services for all sexual assault victims, and their families, but especially those in rural areas where access to these resources can be limited. I am proud to stand with sexual assault victims and applaud the work of organizations like RAINN who make a positive impact across our communities. Rep. Tom Reed, R-NY
RAINN provides a critical lifeline and support system to victims of sexual violence, which happens all too often in California and in communities across the country. I’m working hard to... to combat domestic violence and sexual assault, and to pass [legislation] to improve law enforcement’s ability to track sexual assault and prevent violent crimes. Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-CA
I commend RAINN for its dedication to provide victims and survivors of sexual assault with the vital services and resources they need and deserve. There is no place in any society for acts of sexual assault. I am proud to raise awareness on this issue and will continue to work in the Senate advocating for legislation combatting sexual violence and helping survivors of these crimes. Sen. Dean Heller, R-NV
RAINN has long been at the forefront of national efforts to prevent sexual assault and has helped millions of victims, families, friends, and community members — all touched by violent crime. As a former prosecutor, I am proud to support the nation’s largest anti-sexual assault organization and stand committed to joining RAINN in its efforts to improve services to victims and ensure that rapists are brought to justice. Sen. Amy Klobuchar, D-MN
RAINN's great work cannot be overstated and should not be overlooked. As a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, I have been proud to work closely with RAINN to support multiple pieces of legislation that target the perpetrators of sexual violence and protect the victims of these terrible crimes. I look forward to continuing this important partnership with RAINN in the years to come. Sen. John Cornyn, R-TX
RAINN is a critical ally in the fight to help victims of sexual assault and violence. I share their commitment to eradicating these heinous crimes by providing survivors with a vast network of support and resources to ensure that they are kept safe and have the tools to recover emotionally and physically. As a long-time advocate against sexual violence, I look forward to continuing to work with RAINN on efforts to bolster prevention, education, and enforcement to ensure a safe and healthy environment for women and families in Connecticut and across the country. Sen. Richard Blumenthal, D-CT

DNA and Sexual Violence

When law enforcement investigates a case of sexual violence, DNA evidence can sometimes make or break the outcome. 

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Statutes of Limitations

When a crime is committed, there is a window of time that a state has to charge the perpetrator. The laws that determine this time frame are called criminal statutes of limitations, and they vary by state, situation, and crime. How does your state stack up?

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Sexual Assault Laws and Court Decisions

Key federal laws help to prevent sexual violence, allocate critical funds, and establish protections for survivors.

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Issues We Work On

RAINN’s Public Policy team works with lawmakers to ensure survivors have access to critical services after sexual assault and to improve the way perpetrators are prosecuted. Learn more about the bills we currently support and other issues. 

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RAINN Statement On Kavanaugh Vote

While we are disappointed in the outcome, we are glad that America got the opportunity to hear Dr. Blasey Ford’s testimony. Our nation has learned a lot in the last two weeks about the millions of sexual assault survivors who have stayed silent for years. It has also learned about the long-term damage that sexual violence often does to victims, and the effects on families, on workplaces, and on communities.

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RAINN Statement on Cosby Sentence

The women who shared their stories in the Cosby trial and sentencing showed admirable courage and strength. We are grateful that the court understood the seriousness of Cosby’s crime and sentenced him to prison. Let’s hope that the legacy of this case is that victims feel empowered to come forward, knowing that it can truly make a difference in bringing perpetrators to justice.

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RAINN Statement About Allegations Against Kavanaugh

Sexual assault is a crime, and every allegation should be thoroughly investigated. The allegations made by Dr. Christine Blasey Ford are very serious. The Senate Judiciary Committee has a responsibility to hear from both Judge Kavanaugh and Dr. Ford before voting on his nomination.

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