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


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.


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

National Center for Victims of Crime Calls for New Response to Child Victims of Trafficking

For Immediate Release
January 30, 2013
Contact: Elizabeth Joyce

              (202) 467-8729
              (240) 274-4608 (Cell) 

Washington, D.C.-- In observance of the 2013 National Slavery and Human Trafficking Prevention Month, the National Center for Victims of Crime today released "Bridging the Systems: Child Welfare, Trafficking, and Law Enforcement Working Together for Trafficked Children"--a set of recommendations for a new response to child victims of trafficking, who are often foster children, runaways, and other youth once under the care of child protective services. 

The recommendations emerged from a national roundtable of national, state, and local advocates, practitioners, and officials to consider the need 1) to incorporate a child welfare response into anti-trafficking efforts, and 2) to provide legal representation to the minor victims of foreign and domestic trafficking. With the support of the Annie E. Casey Foundation, advocates for adult and child human trafficking victims, child welfare administrators, law enforcement, prosecutors, researchers, and legal advocates shared their experiences and perspectives on the needs of child victims of human trafficking.

"The dangers now facing the nation’s at-risk children require new solutions, new partnerships, and a new way of addressing this serious problem," said Tracy Feild, director of the Child Welfare Strategy Group at the Annie E. Casey Foundation. "This roundtable and the resulting recommendations show that we can combine our knowledge to protect some of our nation’s most vulnerable children."

Despite their varied backgrounds, stakeholders reached a broad consensus on the 26 recommendations that the roundtable produced. They agreed on the need for legislative and policy changes, research priorities, required training, new resources, and steps to improve the legal representation of child trafficking victims.  

"We hope the release of these recommendations will spur collaborations across the country among advocates for trafficking victims, criminal justice officials, the child welfare community, and legal advocates," said Mai Fernandez, the National Center's executive director. "Child victims of trafficking require a complete response to escape their victimization and the circumstances that put them at risk."

Federal legislation being drafted by Representative Karen Bass (D-CA) would prompt child welfare agencies across the country to begin identifying and serving child victims of trafficking and those at risk. "These recommendations point to the need for a comprehensive response by child welfare agencies to these underserved and often unrecognized victims," stated Representative Bass. "Federal legislation must be part of that comprehensive solution."  

Read the recommendations here or more information about child sex trafficking here.



The National Center for Victims of Crime, established in 1985, is the nation's leading resource and advocacy organization for crime victims and those who serve them. For more than 25 years, the National Center has led this nation's struggle to provide crime victims with the rights, protections, and services they need to rebuild their lives. Visit www.victimsofcrime.org for more information.