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

The National Center for Victims of Crime Announces Model Civil Statutory Provisions at Second Global Summit

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

June 16, 2016
Contact: 
Jane Lee  jlee@ncvc.org – 202-467-8749

Requests Comment on Statutory Provisions on Elder Financial Exploitation.

Washington, DC The Second Global Summit, in recognition of the 11th anniversary of World Elder Abuse Awareness Day (WEAAD), brought together global professionals to address and prevent elder financial exploitation. The Summit, convened by the National Adult Protective Services Association (NAPSA), the International Network for the Prevention of Elder Abuse (INPEA), and the National Center for Victims of Crime (National Center), was held Thursday, June 16, 2016 at the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) The purpose of the event was to raise awareness, highlight current initiatives and share progress, especially regarding the announcement of The Model Civil Statutory Provisions on Elder Financial Exploitation.

The Huguette Clark Family Fund for Protection of Elders, a donor advised fund of the New York Community Trust, awarded funds to the National Center, in consultation with the American Bar Association’s (ABA) Commission on Law and Aging, to develop the Model Civil Statutory Provisions on Elder Financial Exploitation. The Model is a product of the 2014 Roundtable convened by the National Center. The project was led by Jane Lee, Director of the Financial Crime Resource Center at the National Center; Lori Stiegel, Senior Attorney of the ABA Commission on Law and Aging; and Matthew Andres, Professor and Director of the Elder Financial Justice Clinic at the University of Illinois. Liz Loewy, who spoke at this year’s global summit, provided her perspective as a former prosecutor of elder abuse.

The Model Civil Statutory Provisions on Elder Financial Exploitation proffers suggested legislative language which may be used to better define and address the current realities of elder financial exploitation, hold perpetrators civilly accountable and enhance the remedies available to elderly victims. The statutory provisions incorporate key elements identified in the field as critical in advancing civil justice, including a broader definition of elder financial exploitation and the availability of enhanced remedies, such as treble damages. “The Clark Family is deeply gratified that the Model Civil Statutes will provide one of the most effective tools to fight the financial abuse of vulnerable elders,” commented Ian Clark Devine, an advisor to the Huguette Clark Family Fund for Protection of Elders. The Model was announced at the Global Summit with a request for elder justice professionals to provide comments on the draft which will be made available on the National Center’s website in the coming weeks.

Speakers at the event included, among others, Elizabeth Podnieks, founder of WEAAD, who called for increased funding to support elder abuse research and prevention; Silvia Perel-Levin, UN Representative for the International Longevity Centre Global Alliance who emphasized the importance of dispelling myths regarding elder abuse; and Kathy Greenlee, Assistant Secretary for Aging, Administration for Community Living, who called for the inclusion of elder victims’ voices, “We can’t talk about human rights if we don’t bring the victim’s forward. This is what’s missing from the elder justice movement.”

If you or someone you know has been a victim of elder abuse, please call the VictimConnect Resource, a program of the National Center, to speak with a senior services victim assistance specialist who is specifically trained to provide reporting options, prevention strategies, and community resources to victims of elder abuse. Services can be accessed by calling or texting 1-855-4-VICTIM (1-855-484-2846) or by visiting www.victimconnect.org to chat or access information online. VictimConnect can be accessed anywhere in the United States Monday through Friday, 9:00-7:00pm EST.

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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.