Welcome to the National Center for Victims of Crime

We are the nation's leading resource and advocacy organization for crime victims and those who serve them. Please join us as we forge a national commitment to help victims of crime rebuild their lives.

           

Add your name to a list of supporters for the Child Victim Act!

Click HERE to join thousands of concerned citizens ensuring justice does not expire!


I am a Survivor

If you are a survivor of Child Sex Abuse and are willing to share your story with advocates, legislators, committees, or media, please let us know. 

All responses are strictly confidential and can include only the information you feel comfortable sharing.

To proceed, click HERE

Child Victims Act in California

California Governor Jerry Brown Vetoed SB 131

Read the National Center for Victims of Crime's Statement on Jerry Brown's Veto of the Child Victims Act (SB 131)


Overview of SB 131, the California Child Victims Act

Background

In 2002, recognizing that it can take decades before victims of child sex abuse can come forward, or even recognize how they have been harmed, California amended the civil statute of limitations with a two-prong approach to give victims an opportunity for  justice. Under a "delayed discovery" provision, victims could file suit within three years of when they discover that their current injury or condition was causally related to the childhood sex abuse. For victims who had previously made their causal connection or whose statute of limitations had otherwise expired, the legislature created a one-year "window" in which victims could file a civil suit without regard to the statute of limitations.

The Quarry bothers were sexually abused in the 1970's, but did they did not recognize how they were harmed by the abuse until the late 2000's. They filed suit within three years of making the causal connection.  In 2012, the California Supreme Court ruled that the delayed discovery provision did not apply to the Quarrys because the language of the statute was not explicitly retroactive.  Consequently, their statute of limitations expired when the civil window closed  in 2003.  In effect, the court ruled that the law required them to file suit before they even knew they had been harmed.

SB 131, the California Child Victims Act, will do three things:

  1. It will make retroactive the delayed discovery provisions of 340.1 to comply with California Supreme Court decision in the Quarry case.

  1. It will provide a limited, one year, civil window to provide an opportunity for justice to those victims who were previously excluded by the technical defect of 340.1.

  1. 340.1 requires a victim suing a third-party to allege in his or her initial pleading specific proof that the defendant had notice of the sexual abuse.  The proof of this knowledge is usually documented in the defendant’s own files.  SB 131 would allow the parties to conduct discovery before the court could rule on a motion to dismiss for failure to allege proof of notice.
Not all silence is golden. Child Victims Act

 

 

Sign the Petition to Support the Child Victims Act

Become a part of the national movement to protect children and hold abusers and those who harbor them accountable. 

This One Minute petition will help victims of child sexual abuse of all ages.

Authors:

Senator Jim Beall (Democrat) District: 15

Where is this Bill?

Senate Bill 131: Track this bill

Read the Child Victims Act

Key States Currently Considering the Child Victim Act

For more information on reforming statutes of limitation for child sex abuse and efforts in other states, please visit one of our advocacy partners at www.SOL-Reform.com


   
Vote Smart

  • Find contact information for your elected representatives and let them know you support the Child Victim Act!
  • Track your elected official's record.

Need Help?

If you are victim or adult survivor seeking assistance, please refer to our Connect Directory for a full listing of organizations that can provide help. 


The Problem

The sexual abuse of children is a public health epidemic in the United States. Recent child sex abuse cases at Penn State University, the release of documents concerning sexual abuse and the Boy Scouts and consistent reports of abuse within California institutions such as Miramonte Elementary School are recent examples.

Research has shown that as many as one in four women and one in five men suffered abuse as a child and that almost 90% of abuse never gets reported.  Those that do come forward find themselves barred by the legal technicality of a statute of limitation. Considering how long victims often take to find the courage to speak out, statutes of limitation are woefully short and act as an arbitrary barrier to justice.



News Coverage of the California Child Victims Act

All news

Statement on the TODAY show's airing of Ziegler Interviews with Sandusky

March 25, 2013--This morning, NBC News and TODAY show Executive Producer Don Nash have collaborated with independent filmmaker John Ziegler to air portions of prison interviews recorded by Ziegler with convicted child rapist Jerry Sandusky. Ziegler is seeking to profit by capitalizing on the controversy of the Sandusky scandal by producing and distributing a film. By airing these interviews, and capitalizing on the ensuing storm of controversy unleashed by this announcement, NBC has chosen to give national exposure for a second time to a child rapist whose indisputable guilt on over 40 counts of sexual abuse of children was agreed upon by a jury of his peers.

These interviews have no independent news value, and will publicize and quite likely provide additional funding to Ziegler’s independent project. It should be noted that members of the Paterno family have disavowed any connection to this project. Airing these clips will re-victimize some of the survivors of Sandusky’s crimes. It also serves as highly unethical (and possibly illegal) harassment by Sandusky of his victims. NBC’s decision to air these interviews places them in the role of abetting and assisting this harassment. Further, it serves to give credence to Ziegler, who has publicly proclaimed his doubts that Sandusky’s behavior constituted sexual abuse.

Despite repeated efforts on the part of many advocates, attorneys, and therapists NBC News and producers of the TODAY show have refused to give a moment of air-time to anyone who represents the interests of survivors of childhood sexual abuse. By making this decision, NBC NEWS and Ziegler are choosing to shamelessly profit while causing survivors of sexual abuse needless harm. To air clips of Sandusky speaking from jail without ensuring survivors are given a chance to respond violates one of the basic principles of journalism – that both sides of a story be given an opportunity have their views aired.

Survivors of sexual abuse struggle with shame, stigma, and are often shoved to the sidelines. It is the stories of survivors of sexual abuse that should be told in the wake of abuse scandals. Sexual abuse is a public epidemic, with more than 20% of the US population reporting having experienced some form of sexual abuse during their lifetimes. Survivors suffer from far higher rates of anxiety, depression, dysfunctional interpersonal relationships, heart disease, substance abuse, and suicide. However, time and again these facts and the survivors’ voices are marginalized and drowned out in the rush to give platforms for criminals and abusers to pronounce their innocence.

NBC News had an opportunity to promote healing by supporting survivors of abuse and using this time to share information that would help survivors heal. Instead they have needlessly harmed many survivors and placed more children at risk by giving attention to a controversial filmmaker of self-serving motives and a convicted child rapist.

For more information and answers to your questions, email

Christopher Anderson, Executive Director, 
MaleSurvivor

Marci Hamilton, JD, Paul N. Verkuil Chair of Public Law,
Cardozo Law School

Mai Fernandez, Executive Director, 
National Center for Victims of Crime

John Salveson, President
Tammy Lerner, Vice President
Foundation to Abolish Child Sex Abuse
Bryn Mawr, PA

Roger Canaff, President Board of Directors
End Violence Against Women, International