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

National Center for Victims of Crime Launches National Helpline for Victims of All Crime

The VictimConnect Resource Center provides critical, confidential assistance through phone, text and chat
 
Join us for the public launch of the VictimConnect Resource Center. Joye Frost, Director of the Office for Victims of Crime, Department of Justice and Mai Fernandez, Executive Director of the National Center for Victims of Crime will be presenting the event.  

When: Tuesday, April 26, 2016 at 10:30 a.m.
Where: Google, 25 Massachusetts Ave, NW #900, Washington, D.C. 20001
RSVP to Katie Fidrych at kfidrych@ncvc.org . 
The event will be live-streamed at http://victimconnect.org/launch
.
 
WASHINGTON, DC – The VictimConnect Resource Center (1-855-4VICTIM and www.chat.victimconnect.org), in operation since the summer, is hosting the public launch of a new national resource for victims of all crime to learn about their rights and options – confidentially and compassionately.  Created through a partnership with the Office for Victims of Crime, Office of Justice Programs, Department of Justice and the National Center for Victims of Crime, the VictimConnect Resource Center connects victims of crime with local, national, and online referrals through trained victim assistance specialists.

VictimConnect has a special focus on populations, crimes, and topics that are generally underrepresented or underserved in victim services including a Senior Services Program, through the Elder Abuse Initiative at the Department of Justice, dedicated to assisting senior victims of abuse and crime.  Bilingual Spanish/English victim assistance specialists are available and have the ability to access translation services in more than 200 languages.  Additionally, the Resource Center maintains a searchable online directory for victim service providers.

“There are many national hotlines and resources in existence that are dedicated to a specific type of crime,” said Mai Fernandez, Executive Director of the National Center for Victims of Crime. “VictimConnect provides a point of entry for victims of ALL crime from anywhere in the United States. That is what makes this helpline so unique. Our priority is to serve those most in need and to support them as they heal on their own terms.”

The launch event will be held at Google in Washington, D.C. and includes information on how the services operate, the partnership, outreach efforts and the gaps in services with presentations from Joye Frost, Director of Office for Victims of Crime as well as Mai Fernandez and Victoria Hougham, Director of Victim Services at the National Center for Victims of Crime.

VictimConnect has already received over 3,000 calls and nearly 300 chats. Three-quarters of the inquiries to the helpline are directly from the victims who have experienced the crime. The majority of the calls to have included topics such as assault, harassment, homicide, stalking, domestic and intimate partner violence, and financial crimes. Calls have come in from across the country with the highest amount of calls coming from California, Florida, Texas, New York, Ohio and Texas. A victim assistance specialist fields each call individually and seeks to connect the victim with the most appropriate resource, which is most often case management, financial assistance, crime reporting and legal assistance.

The VictimConnect Resource Center telephone service operates Monday through Friday between the hours of 9 a.m. and 6 p.m. EST, with chat available from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. EST.  If you or someone you know is a victim of any crime, contact the VictimConnect Resource Center by phone and text at 1-855-4VICTIM (1-855-484-2846) and through chat at www.chat.victimconnect.org.

About the VictimConnect Resource Center:
The VictimConnect Resource Center is a resource for victims of all crime to learn about their rights and options—confidentially and compassionately. VictimConnect can be accessed anywhere in the United States through a traditional telephone-based helpline and innovative text and online chat services Monday through Friday. Services are available in English and Spanish and interpreters for more than 200 languages can be accessed. Victim assistance specialists help people who reach out find appropriate national, local, or online resources.  Additionally, victimconnect.org has information regarding types of crime, crime statistics, and maintains a searchable online directory for crime victim service providers.