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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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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Other Issues We're Working 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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Congress Says ‘Yes’ to Survivors’ Rights

The Survivors’ Bill of Rights Act, passed on September 6 through the House, takes a clear stand that survivors should have full access to sexual assault forensic exams and forensic evidence collection kits.

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DNA Database Leads to Lower Crime

A new study supports what RAINN has been telling state and federal policymakers for decades: a more robust DNA database leads to lower crime rates.

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Sexual Assault Kit Initiative Helps States Erase Rape Kit Backlogs

RAINN’s policy department has joined a team of national experts selected by the Justice Department to support states’ work to address and end the backlog of untested and unanalyzed rape kits.

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