If you were sexually abused as a child in California, no matter how old you were, no matter when the abuse occurred, you still have rights and can still take action, but time is running out. Survivors of sexual abuse in California have until December 31 to file a lawsuit. 

The California Child Victims Act

On September 14, 2019, the California Legislature passed California Assembly Bill 218 (also known as the California Child Victims Act) which gave survivors of childhood sexual abuse a chance at justice and healing denied to them for so long due. On October 14, 2019, it passed into law. A revolutionary step forward for the Child Protection Movement. A three-year window has given California childhood sexual abuse survivors a chance to seek justice but action needs to be taken soon as the filing deadline is on December 31st.

 

What is The California Child Victims Act?:

  • Opened a three-year window, beginning January 1, 2020, for survivors of any age to pursue justice, no matter how old they are, when the abuse occurred, or if their abuser is alive or dead.
  • Expands the definition of childhood sexual abuse, which will now be recognized and referred to as childhood sexual assault.
  • Increases the time limit for commencing an action for recovery of damages suffered as a result of childhood sexual assault to the age of 40 or within 5 years of the date the survivor discovers that psychological injury or illness occurring after the age of 18 was caused by sexual assault (whichever is later).

For more details, you can visit our blog or you can read the complete Assembly Bill 218.

If you were sexually abused by a priest, Scout leader, counselor, teacher, coach or other trusted adult in California, you still have rights. We want to help you. Contact our California office confidentially at 1-800-ITS-TIME today.

What’s Classified as Childhood Sexual Abuse or Assault?

Child sexual assault survivors may wonder if what happened to them would be considered an act of sexual abuse, leading many survivors to not seek justice or inherit self-blame. The California Child Victims Act helps answer those questions for survivors and victims of sexual assault. Childhood sexual abuse can be described as:

  • Communicating or sexual contact with a child through phone or internet (methods like text messages, social media, or email)
  • Exhibitionism – performing or engaging sexual activity in front of a child, even if non-direct
  • Exposing the child to pornography
  • Creating child pornography with the use of child sexual abuse material found online or first-hand

This list is not extensive but more examples of childhood sexual abuse can be found on our Survivor FAQ page. Children are not of legal age to consent to sexual activity so any sexual engagement with or sexual act performed towards a child constitutes as sexual abuse or assault.

We’re Here to Help Sexual Abuse Survivors and Victims

Civil lawsuits, civil claims and California law can be intimidating. Coming forward can be hard. Let us provide insight and reasonable steps to help you or a family member move forward in life, knowing justice has been served and perpetrators have been held accountable. 

You Are Not Alone. We Are Here to Help You.

Every survivor of child sexual abuse should be allowed to come forward when he or she is ready. If you decide to contact us and share your story, we want you to know that your privacy will be respected and protected. We have worked with child sexual abuse survivors for over 30 years and understand how difficult it is to take this step. Your identity will remain confidential throughout the entire process. Contact us today.