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

Jury awards more than $20M to man beaten at Jack in the Box

A St. Louis jury awarded $20.5 million to a man who was beaten by five people at a Jack in the Box restaurant.
The full verdict was $25 million, but the jury assessed 18 percent of the fault against the plaintiff, Ali Aziz. The plaintiff filed the lawsuit in 2011 through his mother and next friend, Annette Brown.
The verdict came on Aug. 30, at the end of a two-week trial.
Aziz, 35, suffered an anoxic brain injury, according to a guardianship petition Brown filed to prosecute the personal injury suit. The probate case was dismissed without prejudice a few months after it was filed in 2011.
Represented by lawyers from Anderson & Associates in St. Louis, Aziz alleged that the owners of the Jack in the Box restaurant at 1807 Gravois Road in south St. Louis knew there had been many violent and nonviolent crimes on the premises before Aziz was beaten.
The plaintiff listed seven violent crimes — fights, assaults and two weapon offenses — between February 2006 and September 2009. He also listed 10 nonviolent crimes between August 2005 and February 2010; those included larceny, property destruction, auto theft and suspicious persons.
John Anderson, one of the plaintiff’s lawyers, could not be reached immediately for comment. St. Louis lawyer Richard A. Day, of Hennessy & Roach, represented defendant Jack in the Box Eastern Division, and Randy P. Scheer, of Sanders Warren & Russell in Springfield, represented Jack in the Box Inc. They also could not be reached immediately for comment.
According to the petition:
Aziz and an unidentified friend arrived at the restaurant at 5 a.m. June 10, 2010, to get some food. While they were there, a group of five individuals was harassing other customers around the restaurant’s drive-thru and parking lot.
The five started a fight with Aziz and his friend. The friend fled, and Aziz was beaten unconscious. When the city’s emergency medical personnel arrived, they found Aziz unresponsive with blood in his mouth and nose. They attempted a tracheotomy but placed the tube in his esophagus instead of his trachea, preventing oxygen from reaching his brain. The paragraph describing the medical error was stricken before trial.
The defendants’ motion for a directed verdict mentioned that Aziz had been assaulted and robbed at the restaurant. They argued in the motion that the plaintiff failed to prove he was an invitee on the premises. They also argued that landowners don’t have a duty to protect business invitees from the criminal acts of others and that the plaintiff didn’t prove that the violent crimes exception to this rule should apply. Aziz did not show a causal relationship between any alleged negligence of the defendants and his injuries, the defense argued.
St. Louis Circuit Judge Thomas C. Grady denied the defendants’ motion.
The case is Ali Aziz, by and through his natural mother and next friend, Annette Brown v. Jack in the Box Eastern Division and Jack in the Box Inc., 1122-CC00629.