What is a statute of limitations?

A statute of limitations is like a legal stopwatch that counts down the time to file criminal charges or a civil lawsuit. It is important to know when the clock starts ticking, when the clock stops ticking and whether anything restarts the clock.

What is our goal?

Our goal as an organization is to educate victims and lawmakers and promote public awareness of the varying laws in each state as well as current initiatives related to changes in the statute of limitations law.

States Leading the Fight to Protect Children from Sexual Predators

Hover over any state to see statistics about the estimated number of victims in each state and the current statute of limitation laws. Click on any state in the map to see more detailed information.

Advocating for Public Policy Changes to Hold Abusers—and the Institutions That Harbor them—Accountable

Incentivizing institutions to root out child sexual predators also requires a change in the law. Too often, institutions avoid being held accountable because the restrictive state-level statute of limitation laws prevent victims from getting justice. These narrow limitations let far too many predators off the hook and have actually incentivized institutions to cover up abuse, knowing that after just a few short years the institution can continue to cover up abuse unpunished. This is unconscionable since children suffer lifelong harm from abuse.

Zero Abuse Project advocates for changes to this fatal flaw in our legal system by advocating for legislation that would extend and reopen statutes of limitation at the state level. We are also working at the national level to establish a National Plan that would both stop child sexual abuse and implement policies to meet the needs of the millions of survivors nationwide.