Each State legislature must determine the need for amendments to statutes or development of new legislation. However, legislators and their aides may need guidance as they consider the questions of exactly what kind of laws to pass and whether current laws require adjustment to reflect new realities. The questions and issues posed in this Handbook are intended to support thorough discussion and consideration of the issues surrounding statutory rape legislation.

OVC encourages legislators and their staff to clarify the purposes of their State statutory rape laws. Legislators should also review existing laws, research State and local statistics, review other research studies, and confer with other State legislative staff members. Hearings should be held to assess the impact of the current state of enforcement as well as the potential impact of enforcing any new or amended laws.

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