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Statute of Limitations

A statute of limitations is a law that sets the amount of time (usually specified in years) that a victim has to come forward and report a crime before prosecution is no longer possible. Applied to sexual violence cases, statutes of limitations add an additional roadblock to access justice for victims.

The information in this factsheet is largely derived from the report titled Failure to Protect: How Discriminatory Sexual Violence Laws and Practices are Hurting Women, Girls, and Adolescents in the Americas, published by Equality Now in September 2021. Please refer to the report for further information on these laws as well as a full list of recommendations.