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.

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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

Response to Charles Lane's Editorial on the VOCA Fund

Charles Lane’s opinion piece, Congress finds a slush fund in money marked for crime victims is misinformed and disingenuous.  He appears to be arguing that because crime rates seem to be declining, the Crime Victims Fund should not be used only for crime victim service programs. 

It’s important to emphasize that the Crime Victims Fund comes entirely from fines and other monetary penalties paid by those convicted of violating Federal criminal laws; none of the money in the Fund comes from taxpayers. 

Mr. Lane suggests that there is some relationship between crime rate statistics and the need for crime victim services when, in fact, there is virtually no link. The impact on individual victims and their families and their need for assistance cannot be easily measured by whether crime rates happen to be going up or down.  Parents whose children were murdered, adult survivors of child sexual abuse, and battered women and their children seeking safe shelter are not statistics who evaporate with the next year’s crime report.  Their needs are personal, pervasive and long lasting regardless of what this year’s Uniform Crime Reports say. 

Before 2000, the amounts deposited into the Crime Victims Fund were, as required by the law, distributed for victim services.  In 2000, however, Congress began limiting the amount distributed each year in order, “to ensure that a stable source of funds will remain available for the program.”  Despite that intent, as the amounts in the Fund began to grow, the amounts made available were not enough to even keep pace with inflation let alone meet the ongoing needs of crime victims.  The amount distributed in 2014 was 12 percent less in real dollars than the amount distributed in 2000.

Congress finally recognized the need to better support crime victims last year by significantly raising the amount distributed from the Fund. This increase is enabling victim service programs to not only catch up, but to reach out to additional populations of crime victims, such as urban youth, victims with disabilities, human trafficking victims, and many more as well as make critically needed investments in technology and physical infrastructure. 

Now is not the time to retrench.


Steve Derene is the Executive Director of the National Association of VOCA Assistance Administrators

Mai Fernandez is the Executive Director of the National Center for Victims of Crime