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 [email protected].
CHILD USA’s Legal Team
Marci Hamilton, Esq.
Founder & CEO
Jessica Schidlow, Esq., MA, NCC
Alice Nasar Hanan, Esq.
Senior Staff Attorney
Carina Nixon, Esq.,
Senior Staff Attorney
Devyne Byrd, Esq.,
Staff Attorney for Global Projects
Jessica Downes, Esq.,
Jennifer Wilczynski, Esq., MA, MS
CHILD USA’s Legal Reports
HISTORY OF CHILD SEX ABUSE SOL REFORM SINCE 2002
National overview of the movement to prevent child sex abuse and empower victims through statutes of limitation reform since 2002. This report includes an overview of the current and prior criminal and civil SOLs in each of the 50 States and US Territories, the recent trends in SOL reform, a focus on revival windows and discovery rules and CHILD USA’s rankings of each state’s SOLs.
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.
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.
An overview of all window and age limit revival laws for child sex abuse in the United States, which includes laws in 30 U.S. Jurisdictions, including 27 States and 3 Territories. Revival windows are now open or opening soon in Arkansas, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Nevada, New York City, Ohio (only for Boy Scout survivors) Vermont, Northern Mariana Islands, and Guam, and several states have revived claims until a survivor reaches a certain age, ranging from 27-55 years old.
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.
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.
A national overview of current child marriage laws in each state. The movement to end child marriage in the United States is growing, and CHILD USA is dedicated to reforming the laws to ensure children are not married before the age of 18.
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.
Request An Annual Statutes of Limitation Report