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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.

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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

Justice shouldn't expire for child abuse victims

HBO’s screening of a courageous new documentary on child abuse within the Catholic Church—Mea Maxima Culpa: Silence in the House of God—highlights the need to reform the civil statute of limitations for child sex abuse. 

For Immediate Release
February 04, 2013
Contact: Liz Joyce 
              (202) 467-8729

Washington, DC--Tonight HBO will debut a documentary by Oscar-winning filmmaker Alex Gibney about the shocking two-decades-long sexual abuse of 200 boys at St. John’s School for the deaf in St. Francis, Wisconsin.

Mea Maxima Culpa tells the story of the four courageous men who, when they grew up, were among the first to seek justice from the Church that protected their abuser.

Their story highlights the need for legislators to reform the statute of limitations for child sex abuse so that victims who are now adults are not barred from seeking justice and holding institutions accountable.

The screening of Mea Maxima Culpa comes just after the court-ordered release this week of internal personnel files from the Los Angeles diocese of the Catholic Church.

These documents detail decades of abuse and show that warnings from parents were ignored by Church leaders, who intentionally misrepresented to parishioners the nature and extent of the sexual abuse crisis. The documents further show that Church leaders strategically used the statute of limitations (in this case by removing an abuser from the state until the statute of limitations had expired) to protect the Church and deny victims access to justice. A November 1989 memo (attached) from Monsignor Curry to Archbishop Mahony reads: “The young boy involved is now about eighteen, so [Rev.] Kevin [Barmasse] should certainly not return for another two years by which time the period for filing law suits will have passed."

The only reason these files are now being released is that California temporarily suspended the civil statute of limitations for child sex abuse cases in 2003. A civil lawsuit against the Archdiocese of Los Angeles filed during that “civil window” was settled in 2007. Although this settlement resolved the case, the Catholic Church then spent millions of dollars and more than five years fighting the public release of these documents. That these documents were discovered only because the statute of limitations was suspended shows the importance of eliminating statutes of limitation for child sexual abuse.   

The National Center for Victims of Crime is working in many states, including Minnesota, California, New York, and Pennsylvania to eliminate the civil statute of limitations to protect children in order to provide a means to obtain justice for adult survivors, and to expose the secret documents that protect the identity of abusers, whether those documents are held by religious groups, youth organizations or any other institution.

More information on this important reform effort can be found from the National Center for Victims of Crime and at Reform the Statute of Limitations on Child Sex Abuse.

Screening times and more information on HBO’s Mea Maxima Culpa.


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.