CURRENT LAWS

FOR CHILD PROTECTION

CHILD USA tracks laws that put children at risk so that we can study and improve those laws to prevent abuse and neglect.

Click on the map below for each state’s statutes of limitation (SOLs) for child sex abuse, age of marriage, medical neglect, and religious liberty statutes:

 

**This data is available to license.  For more infomation, please contact info@childusa.org

CHILD USA’s Legal Team

Marci Hamilton, Esq.

Founder & CEO

Jessica Schidlow, Esq., MA, NCC

Legal Director

Alice Nasar Hanan, Esq.

Senior Staff Attorney

Carina Nixon, Esq., 

Senior Staff Attorney

Devyne Byrd, Esq., 

Staff Attorney for Global Projects

Jessica Downes, Esq.,

Staff Attorney

CHILD USA’s Legal Reports

Combined SOL map and data 2020

STATUTES OF LIMITATION TRACKER

CHILD USA leads the national SOL reform movement and tracks every SOL reform bill for child sex abuse introduced in state legislatures across the country. Our SOL Tracker provides an overview of all pending bills and new laws and is updated on a weekly basis. It also highlights states that have eliminated SOLs and revived expired claims.

2024 SOL TRACKER

2023 SOL TRACKER

2022 SOL TRACKER

2021 SOL TRACKER

2020 SOL TRACKER

2019 SOL TRACKER

2018 SOL TRACKER

 

THE HISTORY OF CHILD SEX ABUSE STATUTES OF LIMITATION REFORM IN THE UNITED STATES: 2002 TO 2024

A resource book outlining everything you need to start your statutes of limitation legal research for every U.S. jurisdiction, including federal, state, and U.S. territories.

$1385 includes the e-version, a bound version (if desired), and 1 hour of free SOL consultation
OR
$1585 includes the e-version, a bound version (if desired), and 1 hour of free SOL consultation, plus an e-update in 2025

 

*For tax purposes, this purchase is a business expense rather than a charitable donation

 RETHINKING CHAPTER 11 FOR MASS CHILD SEXUAL ABUSE CLAIMS: SHIFTING THE FOCUS FROM DEBTOR INSTITUTIONS TO THE VICTIMS

There is no one quick fix to make Chapter 11 a proceeding that is a safe space for victims and a process to educate the public on the prevalence and long-lasting effects of child sexual abuse. Bankruptcy law was designed to provide an honest debtor reprieve from debilitating debt, and Chapter 11 to enable an organization to remain operational until it can restructure its debts through a reorganization plan.

Instead, Chapter 11 has been used as an avenue for institutions facing mass tort claims to avoid being financially crushed from the outcomes of those claims while also evading their responsibility for the lifelong harms caused to their victims. Specifically, youth-serving organizations that are alleged and proven to have played a role in child sexual abuse cases continue to seek refuge in the bankruptcy system, creating significant problems for the victims seeking, not just financial compensation, but answers related to the failures of the institutions to protect them.

Legislative reform to Chapter 11 is required to shift the role of bankruptcy law from merely assisting the responsible organizations in improving their financial state and escaping liability, to ensuring that these institutions are held accountable and victims of child sexual abuse secure fair outcomes.

A REPORT ON U.S. REVIVAL WINDOWS AND AGE LIMIT REVIVAL LAWS

An overview of all window and age limit revival laws for child sex abuse in the United States, which includes laws in 33 U.S. Jurisdictions, including 30 States and 3 Territories. Revival windows are now open in Arkansas, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Nevada, New York City, Vermont, Northern Mariana Islands, and Guam. Limited windows are also open in Ohio, Indiana, Alabama, and Iowa only for Boy Scout survivors. Several states have revived claims until a survivor reaches a certain age, ranging from 27-55 years old.

The Relative Success of State Windows for Child Sexual Abuse Claims

Read about the relative success of state windows for child sexual abuse claims here.

The Relative Success Memo documents the success of state revival windows for child sexual abuse claims both in the total number of lawsuits filed under each window and the public identification of previously unknown predators and enabling institutions.

A NATIONAL OVERVIEW OF CHILD MARRIAGE DATA  AND LAW – a comprehensive report on child marriage in the United States.

The current worldwide total number of child marriage is about 755 million, and while many people cling to the flawed assumption that child marriage is not an American issue although, almost 300,000 children were married in the US alone between 2000 and 2018. Thus, they are at higher risk for harms including death, serious health issues, and physical and sexual violence.

Three factors improve child protection from the severe negative impacts of child marriage:
  • Mandatory age floors set at 18
  • Proof of age and residency requirements (currently, only 22 states strictly require official proof of age)
  • The elimination of parental and judicial consent exceptions.

DELAYED DISCLOSURE OF CHILD SEX ABUSE FACTSHEET

WHAT IS DELAYED DISCLOSURE? 

Disclosure refers to when a victim of child sexual abuse (CSA) tells someone about the abuse they endured, whether a peer, to a parent, another adult, or the authorities. Not all victims disclose, but for the CSA victims who do disclose, the vast majority need decades to come forward.

CHILD USA analyzed data on disclosure to explain why this “complex, lifelong process” can take decades or may never occur.

 Family members, lawmakers, and investigators need to understand the facts about disclosure so they can support victims who come forward and help them seek justice. The public also needs this information to protect kids and prevent child sex abuse.

 By the time most victims are able to come forward, the arbitrary deadlines for pressing charges or suing perpetrators and responsible institutions—known as statutes of limitation (SOL)—have expired. These short SOLs silence victims, assist perpetrators, and aid in institutional cover-ups.

REPORT ON ENFORCING THE RIGHTS OF CHILDREN IN MIGRATION

The ILA Study Group began its work by identifying guiding principles that should frame and inform state practices with respect to children in migration. These principles included, but were not limited to, non-discrimination; the best interests of the child; the right to life, survival, and development; the right of the child to express their views on all matters affecting them; and the right to an effective remedy. The Study Group identified some of the most common rights violations for children in migration, such as arbitrary age assessment practices, inadequate and age-inappropriate reception policies and facilities, and immigration detention of children and other coercive practices. The Study Group undertook a multidisciplinary approach by summarizing the research documenting the harmful effects of these practices on child health and well-being. Finally, it identified gaps in the international and regional frameworks and formulated recommendations as to how to ensure children in migration are able to enforce their rights and access justice.

A Preliminary Report on the New York Child Victims Act

Read more about the New York Child Victims Act and why statute of limitations reform serves the public interest, here.

2021 Supreme Court Cases Relevant to Children

Read more about the cases reviewed by the United States Supreme Court this year, here.

Position Paper on the Constitutionality of Reviving Child Sex Abuse Statutes of Limitations in Pennsylvania

BACKGROUND: Pennsylvania lawmakers have debated whether to provide justice to child sex abuse victims since 2005 when Philadelphia District Attorney Lynne Abraham released the groundbreaking Grand Jury Report on child sex abuse in the Philadelphia Archdiocese. There have been numerous hearings on bills introduced to enact a statutory window, support from one editorial board after another, and dozens of op-eds in support.

The nation’s leading constitutional expert on this issue, Penn professor, and former United States Supreme Court clerk, Marci A. Hamilton, has testified in every state to enact a window and defended window constitutionality across the United States including in Pennsylvania.

Click here for an analysis of the constitutionality of revival windows.

Click here for an outline of Pennsylvania caselaw showing that a revival window is constitutional.

Click here to see why Pennsylvania needs a revival window.

RELIGIOUS EXEMPTIONS TO MEDICAL CARE

An explanation of religious exemptions to medical care and why they need to be eliminated

We are investigating the states with inadequate protection laws against child sex abuse, maltreatment, physical abuse, and neglect.

The information regarding child protection laws provided is solely for informational purposes and is not legal advice. To determine the law in a particular sex abuse or maltreatment case, contact a lawyer in the state.