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

RAINN is an outstanding resource on confronting sexual assault. Most recently, we've worked together on the bipartisan Campus Accountability and Safety Act. This bill has provisions to ensure that colleges treat sexual assault cases with the seriousness they deserve. RAINN and I agree that sexual assault is a major criminal offense. It should be treated as a crime wherever it occurs, whether that's in the military or on a college campus. Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-IA

I want to thank RAINN for its advocacy on behalf of victims of sexual violence and its dedication to prevention, education and assistance. It is critical that Congress work to protect victims of sexual violence. I will continue to be a leading voice for victims in the Senate, and look forward to continuing to work with RAINN to end violence against women.

Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, D-NY
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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Understanding Department of Education Policies on Sexual Violence

The Department of Education recently rescinded specific policies and protocols related to how campuses respond to sexual violence and will propose new policies this fall, and the public will have an opportunity to weigh in on these proposed rules. RAINN is watching for the proposal and and will be ready to provide analysis and advice as soon as it is released.

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RAINN Supports Bipartisan Bill to Expand Access to Medical Services for Survivors

RAINN has worked closely with congressional leaders to inform the Survivors’ Access to Supportive Care Act (SASCA) and will continue to support efforts to pass the bill and similar measures.

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Guilty Verdict in Cosby Trial is a Victory for Survivors

Following years of allegations of sexual assault, Bill Cosby has been found guilty on three counts of aggravated indecent sexual assault against Andrea Constand.

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