Abolish Statutes of Limitations

Abolish Statutes of Limitations

In too many countries around the world, there are arbitrary, archaic, predator-friendly statutory time limits that prevent survivors from being able to press charges against their perpetrators. They also prevent the public from learning the full truth.

Enough is enough! The Brave Movement calls on all governments to ensure that survivors have effective access to justice. This means urgently passing laws that abolish criminal and civil statutes of limitations (SOLs) to guarantee that survivors can bring perpetrators and complicit institutions to justice.

Brave survivor advocates are campaigning to make these changes a reality. From Latin America, to North America and Europe, we’re seeing the survivor movement mobilize!

In Latin America, campaigner, lawyer, psychologist and survivor – Brisa De Angulo – brought a groundbreaking case before the Inter-American Court of Human Rights (IACtHR). Her first demand was to : “Eliminate the Statute of Limitations for all sexually based offenses.” The outcome of this case, which is expected in the next few months, will have a broad and far-reaching impact for survivors and their ability to effectively bring perpetrators to justice.

In Spain, survivor advocate and child psychiatrist, Miguel Hurtado, delivered a 567,000-signature petition to Parliament. Through his campaigning, Miguel managed to get the Spanish government to amend the criminal code to give survivors of child abuse 17 additional years to press charges. His campaign continues, as he now focuses on retroactively abolishing the civil statutes of limitations so adult survivors can get legal redress and compensation.

In the United States, Prof. Marci Hamilton, founder and CEO of CHILD USA, has led the vibrant movement for SOL reform at the state and federal levels, and provided testimony in Chile and Scotland on the topic. CHILD USA’s research and materials have aided groundbreaking advocates like Miguel. CHILD USA is building the global dashboard that will track SOL laws in every country and has also developed a toolkit for advocates and lawmakers. It sets out the key arguments for campaigners working on statute of limitation reform, and tackles some of the common objections.

Join us in our call for governments around the world to abolish these outdated laws that stand in the way of survivors obtaining justice and the public learning the truth about this ongoing endangerment of our children.

Join the Brave Movement

Make sure you get the latest on campaigns to abolish time limits by joining the Brave Movement

Track Globally

Follow activists’ progress around the world to abolish Statutes of Limitations

Write To Your Elected Official

Write a letter to your elected representative, asking for their support to end arbitrary, archaic time limits that prevent justice

Suggested Script

Are you inspired to write to your leaders or local elected official about abolishing the statute of limitations? If so, here is a suggested script for you to use and adapt.

Dear [elected representative/leader],

My name is [INSERT NAME] and I’m a survivor of childhood sexual violence/work for X/am an ally of survivors of childhood sexual violence. I am writing to you on behalf of the Brave Movement/network/organization as a matter of urgency to ask for your support in bringing justice for survivors of childhood sexual violence.

Currently in [INSERT COUNTRY], there is an archaic, predator-friendly statutory time limit that prevents survivors from being able to press charges against their perpetrators. They also prevent the public from learning the full truth. [INSERT COUNTRY-SPECIFIC DETAIL].

1 in 5 women and 1 in 10 men report being sexually abused as children. Around the world, the laws are starting to change but unfortunately too many adult survivors in [COUNTRY] are still waiting for justice.

Will you commit to help abolish criminal and civil statutes of limitations in [COUNTRY]? By joining this historic movement, you will be part of the change that will guarantee survivors of childhood sexual violence can bring their perpetrators and complicit institutions to justice.

We would welcome the opportunity to meet with you to discuss this further. [PROVIDE DETAILS].

Yours faithfully,