Survivors' Rights


Call 911 in an Emergency or if You or Someone Else is in Imminent Danger

Caution: Please be aware that phone, tablet, computer and other device activity may be monitored. It can be safer for victims and survivors to obtain information using a device a perpetrator does not have potential access to. For more information, visit or contact the National Domestic Violence Hotline • 800.799.7233 or 800.787.3224 (TTY).

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Federal and state laws and CSU/Cal State LA policies prohibit dating and domestic violence, sexual violence, stalking, and other forms of misconduct. This prohibition applies to students, employees, and others; as well as to conduct both on and off-campus. Perpetrators can be subject to campus sanctions such as suspension, expulsion, and employment termination; as well as arrest, criminal prosecution, restitution, and civil justice. Victims and survivors have numerous rights granted by federal and state laws (see Survivors' Rights). Additionally, dating and domestic violence, sexual violence and sexually motivated stalking are also considered to be Title IX violations.

A selection of survivors' rights are outlined below. As you read through this page, please note that the descriptions of the various rights are for awareness purposes only. Detailed information and resources regarding survivors' rights and how they may apply to a specific situation may be obtained through the following resources:

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Alcohol and Other Drug Use by Victims

California Penal Code

California Penal Code §13823.11 states that if testing is done to determine if alcohol or other drugs were associated with an attempted or completed sexual assault as part of a forensic rape exam that "...Toxicology results obtained pursuant to this paragraph shall not be admissible in any criminal or civil action or proceeding against any victim who consents to the collection of physical evidence pursuant to this paragraph. Except for purposes of prosecuting or defending the crime or crimes necessitating the examination specified by this section, any toxicology results obtained pursuant to this paragraph shall be kept confidential, may not be further disclosed, and shall not be required to be disclosed by the victim for any purpose not specified in this paragraph. The victim shall specifically be informed of the immunity and confidentiality safeguards provided herein."

CSU/Cal State LA Policy

Per CSU Executive Order 1095rev:

The University’s primary concern is your safety and the safety of the Campus community. The use of alcohol or drugs never makes the victim at fault for sexual misconduct. If you have experienced sexual misconduct, dating or domestic violence, or stalking you should not be deterred from reporting the incident out of a concern that you might be disciplined for related violations of drug, alcohol or other University policies. Except in egregious circumstances, University students or employees who are victims of sexual misconduct will not be subject to discipline.

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Cal State LA-Based Rights

Survivors (whether student, faculty, or staff) of alleged dating violence, domestic violence, sexual misconduct and violence, and stalking have legal rights granted by the Clery Act (20 U.S.C. 1092(f)), California Education Code §67380-67385.7 and §67386, and Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 (34 CFR Part 106). These rights apply to both on- and off-campus victimizations and whether or not the crimes are reported to law enforcement; and include notification in writing of procedures survivors should follow if an incident occurs and related campus procedures; and other rights, such as the right to:

  • Assistance in notifying University Police or a local law enforcement agency, if requested.
  • Notification of which campus personnel should be notified.
  • The right to academic assistance; and living, transportation and work accommodations if requested and reasonably available.
  • Notification regarding the importance of preserving evidence.
  • Information regarding the University's legal reporting requirements.
  • Notification of procedures for confidential reporting.
  • Being informed of on-campus and community victim support services.
  • Notification of University case management procedures.
  • Being informed of the right to pursue criminal prosecution and civil litigation.
  • Information regarding campus judicial options and procedures.
  • Protection against retaliation.
  • The right to have the same opportunities as the accused individual to have others present during disciplinary proceedings.
  • The right to be informed of the results of disciplinary proceedings which relate to sexual assaults. The accused individual also has this right.

Details regarding these rights are described in the University's Title IX Notice of Non-Discrimination and CSU Executive Orders (refer to Cal State LA Policies and Procedures). For additional information, please contact Mariel Mulet, Cal State LA Title IX Coordinator, Office for Equity, Diversity and Inclusion. Location: Administration 606. Phone: 323.343.3040.

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Civil Law Suits • Compensation • Restitution

Civil Law Suits

Crime victims have the right to file a civil lawsuit against their perpetrators and other responsible parties. This is an important right because restitution and compensation (see descriptions below) may not fully cover a victim's financial losses or pay for emotional damages (i.e., pain and suffering). A civil lawsuit is an alternative or supplemental method for seeking full compensation. Civil Justice for Victims of Crime in California is a useful guide for those considering pursuing a civil lawsuit. Additional information and related legal assistance may be found through:

Compensation

The California Victim Compensation Program helps pay crime-related expenses for certain violent crimes. Qualifying crimes include assault, child abuse, domestic violence, hate crimes, and sexual assault. Depending on circumstances, the program may pay for expenses such as: home security, relocation, medical and dental treatment, mental health services, and income loss. For more information, including additional qualifying criteria (e.g., reporting crimes to law enforcement) or to apply for the program, visit the California Victim Compensation Program. For those survivors whose crimes occurred in another state, information is available through the National Association of Crime Victim Compensation Boards.

Restitution

California law grants crime survivors the right to restitution - financial compensation from convicted offenders for crime-related expenses. Important information about restitution may be found in Financial Recovery: A Victim's Guide to Restitution. Additional information is available through the California Victim Compensation and Government Claims Board.

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Confidentiality

General

Crime victims have confidentiality protections granted by the Victims’ Bill of Rights Act of 2008 (also known as Marsy’s Law) and other legislation.

California Penal Code (CPC) §293 grants victims of alleged sexual assault the right to protect her/his confidentiality by requesting that her/his name not become a matter of public record. CPC §293 requires law enforcement personnel to inform alleged victims of this right and to document the victim's response in the written incident report. This section of the Code also places restrictions on law enforcement agencies with regards to the disclosure of an alleged victim's name and address.

Confidential Address

Child abuse, domestic violence, sexual assault, stalking and other crime victims may qualify to have their addresses kept confidential and participate in the California Secretary of State’s Safe at Home confidential address program.

Campus-Related

When survivors disclose domestic and sexual violence and related incidents to CSU employees, the degree to which an employee is able to maintain confidentiality, and not report information to University Police or the University's Title IX Coordinator, is dependent on the employee's position and responsibilities. For information on Cal State LA confidentiality options, please read the University's Title IX Notice of Non-Discrimination. Further details are available through Mariel Mulet, Cal State LA Title IX Coordinator, Office for Equity, Diversity and Inclusion. Location: Administration 606. Phone: 323.343.3040.

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Disciplinary Sanctions

California Education Code §67386 states that individuals who participate as a complainant or witness in an investigation of sexual assault, domestic violence, dating violence, or stalking will not be subject to disciplinary sanctions for a violation of the institution’s student conduct policy at or near the time of the incident, unless the institution determines that the violation was egregious, including, but not limited to, an action that places the health or safety of any other person at risk or involves plagiarism, cheating, or academic dishonesty.

Note: Please also see Alcohol and Other Drug Use by Sexual Violence Victims.

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Discrimination and Harassment-Free Education Environment

Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 and other laws require the University to take "responsive action" to eliminate current and prevent future discrimination and harassment incidents. Additionally, it also requires institutions of higher education to address the negative impact these incidents have on victims and the campus community.

For additional information, visit the Office for Civil Rights, U.S. Department of Education.

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Employment Protections and Notifications (New Amendments!)

California Labor Code (LAB) §230 prohibits an employer from discharging or in any manner discriminating or retaliating against an employee:

  • Including, but not limited to, an employee who is a victim of a crime, for taking time off to appear in court to comply with a subpoena or other court order as a witness in any judicial proceeding.
  • Who is a victim of domestic violence, sexual assault, or stalking for taking time off from work to obtain or attempt to obtain any relief, including, but not limited to, a temporary restraining order, restraining order, or other injunctive relief, to help ensure the health, safety, or welfare of the victim of his or her child.
  • Because of the employee's status as a victim of domestic violence, sexual assault, or stalking, if the victim provides notice to the employer of the status or the employer has actual knowledge of the status.

LAB §230 also requires employers to provide reasonable accommodations for a victim of domestic violence, sexual assault, or stalking who requests an accommodation for the safety of the victim while at work.

Additionally, LAB §230.1 prohibits employers with 25 or more employees from discharging, or in any manner discriminating or retaliating against an employee who is a victim of domestic violence, sexual assault, or stalking for taking time off from work for purposes which include:

  • Seeking medical attention for injuries caused by domestic violence, sexual assault or stalking.
  • Obtaining services from a domestic violence shelter, program, or rape crisis center as a result of domestic violence, sexual assault or stalking.
  • Obtaining psychological counseling related to an experience of domestic violence, sexual assault or stalking.
  • Participating in safety planning and taking other actions to increase safety from future domestic violence, sexual assault or stalking, including temporary or permanent relocation.

The law also states that an employee who is discharged, threatened with discharge, demoted, suspended, or in any other manner discriminated or retaliated against in the terms and conditions of employment by his or her employer because the employee has taken time off for a purpose identified above is entitled to reinstatement and reimbursement for lost wages and work benefits caused by the acts of the employer, as well as appropriate equitable relief. An employer who willfully refuses to rehire, promote, or otherwise restore an employee or former employee who has been determined to be eligible for rehiring or promotion by a grievance procedure or hearing authorized by law is guilty of a misdemeanor.

Employees who have been discriminated against are legally entitled to file a complaint with the Division of Labor Standards Enforcement of the California Department of Industrial Relations.

New!AB 2337, signed into law on September 14, 2016, amends and expands the requirements of LAB §230.1. Once in effect, the amendment requires employers to provide their employees with written notification of their rights under this and related laws — new employees at hiring and other employees upon request.

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File Complaints Outside of the University

Survivors and others have the right to file complaints for Clery Act and Title IX violations with the Office for Civil Rights (OCR), U.S. Department of Education. For additional information, refer to the OCR Complaint Process. Note: complaints must be filed within 180 days of a violation occurrence.

Workplace discrimination complaints may be filed with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). As is the case with complaints filed with OCR, complaints generally must be filed with the EEOC within 180 days of the occurrence of the potential discriminatory act(s).

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HIV Testing of Sexual Assault Perpetrators

California Health and Safety Code §121055 grants victims of rape, spousal rape, unlawful intercourse with a minor, and other sex crimes with the right to request HIV testing of perpetrators charged with these crimes. If there is "probable cause" to believe that blood, semen, saliva, or other body fluids may have been transferred from a perpetrator to a victim the Court can order the perpetrator to be tested for HIV. This code also gives victims the right to receive the results of the perpetrator's HIV test.

In addition, California Penal Code §1202.1 requires HIV testing of persons convicted of unlawful sodomy (anal sex) and oral copulation (oral sex), the above and other sex crimes if there is "probable cause" to believe that blood, semen, saliva, or other body fluids may have been transferred from the perpetrator to the victim. Victims are granted the right to receive the results of these tests.

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Immigration Status Protection-U Visa

Immigrant survivors (and qualifying family members) of domestic violence, sexual assault, stalking, trafficking, and other qualifying crimes may be eligible for the U nonimmigrant status (U visa) which grants temporary U.S. legal status. The U Visa is set aside for victims of certain crimes who have suffered mental or physical abuse and are helpful to law enforcement or government officials in the investigation or prosecution of criminal activity.

According to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, the legislation related to the U visa (including the Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act of 2013) is intended to:

  • Strengthen the ability of law enforcement agencies to investigate and prosecute cases of domestic violence, sexual assault, trafficking of aliens and other crimes.
  • Protect victims of crimes who have suffered substantial mental or physical abuse due to the crime and are willing to help law enforcement authorities in the investigation or prosecution of the criminal activity.
  • Help law enforcement agencies to better serve victims of crimes.

For additional information and application forms,* visit the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.

*Please note: It's extremely important that victims and survivors applying for U Visas accurately complete and submit all applicable application forms and documents. Obtaining legal assistance with the application process is recommended. Some local domestic and sexual violence agencies offer no-cost or low-cost legal services to the survivors they serve to assist with this process. The Legal Aid Foundation of Los Angeles is one of the local law firms that provides assistance to immigrant victims. A partial listing of local agencies which provide legal assistance with the U Visa application process may also be found through the Los Angeles County District Attorney's Office.

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Law Enforcement and Judicial System Rights

Victims' Bill of Rights and Marsy's Law

California Penal Code §679-80 establishes the statutory rights of all crime victims and witnesses. Marsy's Law expands and strengthens the originally granted rights. Rights granted under Marsy's Law include the right to:

  • Be treated with fairness and respect.
  • Be reasonably protected from the defendant.
  • Prevent the disclosure of confidential information or records to the defendant.
  • A speedy trial and a prompt and final conclusion of the case.
  • Be informed, upon request, of the conviction, sentence, place and time of incarceration, or other disposition of the defendant
  • Participate in the parole process.
  • Have the safety of the victim, the victim’s family, and the general public considered before any parole or other post-judgment release decision is made.

According to the Office of the Attorney General, California Department of Justice, California Penal Code section 679.026 (c)(1) mandates that every law enforcement agency investigating a criminal act and every agency prosecuting a criminal act shall, as provided herein, at the time of initial contact with a crime victim, during a follow-up investigation, or as soon thereafter as deemed appropriate by investigating officers or prosecuting attorneys, provide or make available to each victim of the criminal act without cost or charge a "Marsy's Rights" card. This card provides an overview of rights under Marsy's Law and includes related resources.

  • Marsy's Card is available in the following languages: Armenian, Cambodian, Chinese, English, Hindi, Hmong, Italian, Japanese, Polish, Portuguese (Brazilian), Punjabi, Romanian, Russian, Tagalog, and Vietnamese.

Sexual Assault Victims' Rights

California Penal Code §679.04 grants sexual assault victims the right to have an advocate and other support person of their choice with her/him during investigative interviews conducted by law enforcement, members of the office of the district attorney, and by the defense attorneys and investigators or others acting for the defense. In addition, the law contains the Sexual Assault Victims' DNA Bill of Rights, California Penal Code §680.

Domestic Violence Victims' Rights

California Penal Code §679.05 grants victims of domestic violence or abuse the right to have a domestic violence advocate and a support person of the victim's choosing present at any interview by law enforcement authorities, prosecutors, or defense attorneys.

Federal Crimes

Victims of federal crimes also have legally entitled rights. Visit the Office of the Attorney General for information.

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Notifications

Release of Convicted Perpetrators

Crime victims and witnesses have the right to receive hearing notifications and prior notice of the release of convicted perpetrators per CPC §646.92 and other laws. Information and registration details are available through VINELink (Victim Information and Notification Everyday).

Sex Offenders and the Campus Community

In addition to the requirements of the Sex Offender Registration Act, California Penal Code §290.01 requires registered sex offenders (students, employees, others) to register with University Police. In addition, this law confers all University community members with the right to receive information about sex offenders. For additional information, contact University Police (323.343.3700; 911 in case of emergency) or visit:

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Protective/Restraining Orders

Protective/restraining orders are court orders that can help protect victims from abuse, stalking, serious harassment, threats of violence, and other crimes. Restraining orders can be an important component of a safety plan. Crime victims have the right to request a restraining order from a superior court. Available restraining orders include:

  • Emergency protection orders: victims should call 911 when in imminent danger. Responding law enforcement can issue emergency protective orders 24-hours a day. Note: these orders are valid only for a few days. A different type of restraining order is needed for longer term protection.

The Orange County Superior Court describes other types of restraining orders which may be helpful (note: assistance resources listed in these pages are for Orange County). To find the superior court in your county click on Find a Superior Court).

Additional orders which may be requested from a superior court, as a right granted by California Penal Code §13701, include orders:

  • Directing the attacker to leave the household.
  • Preventing the attacker from entering the residence, school, business, or place of employment of the victim.
  • Awarding the victim or the other parent custody of or visitation with a minor child or children.
  • Restraining the attacker from molesting or interfering with minor children in the custody of the victim.
  • Directing the party not granted custody to pay support of minor children, if that party has a legal obligation to do so.
  • Directing the defendant to make specified debit payments coming due while the order is in effect.
  • Directing that either or both parties participate in counseling

Information on protective/restraining and other orders can be found through California Courts Self-Help Center. Free local legal assistance for obtaining restraining orders is available through the Los Angeles County Bar Association's Domestic Violence Legal Services Project at the Los Angeles Superior Court. Local domestic and sexual violence agencies which provide legal services to victims can also assist with the protective/restraining order application process. The California Courts also has an Attorney Locator Resource available.

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Right Not to be Threatened or Intimidated

Victims have the right to report criminal acts against them to law enforcement and to participate in the judicial process. Witnesseses to crimes also have the right to report the crimes they have witnessed to law enforcement. Witnesses also have the right to participate in the judicial system. Per California Penal Code §136.1, it is a crime for anyone to prevent or dissuade (or make attempts to do so) crime victims and witnesses from making crime reports to law enforcement officers, prosecuting agencies, judges, and other officials. It is also a crime for anyone to prevent or dissuade (or attempt to do so) victims and witnesses from attending or giving testimony at trials and other legal proceedings. Threats and intimidation that include the threat of or actual use of force or violence, or are for monetary gain are felony acts.

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Safely Surrender Baby

The Safely Surrendered Baby Law allows a parent or person with lawful custody to confidentially and safely give up an unwanted infant with no fear of arrest or prosecution for abandonment as long as the baby has not been abused or neglected, with no questions asked. The law does not require that names be given when the baby is surrendered. Parents and lawful custodians are permitted to bring a baby within 3 days of birth to designated safe surrender sites. The baby will be placed in a pre-adoptive home while the adoption process gets underway. A parent or person with lawful custody has up to 14 days from the time of surrender to reclaim their baby.

Information on the law is available in Chinese, English, Russian, and Spanish.

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Sex Crimes Statutes of Limitations (New Amendments!)

New! Signed into law on September 28, 2016, the "Justice for Victims Act" (SB-813) eliminates the statute of limitations for certain sex crimes. The law does not modify the burden of proof, but it provides victims and survivors extended opportunities to seek justice for the crimes committed against them.

Under the Justice for Victims Act, criminal prosecution can now be initiated at any time, depending on circumstances, for acts of rape, sodomy, lewd or lascivious acts, continuous sexual abuse of a child, oral copulation, and sexual penetration committed after January 1, 2017, or for earlier acts for which the statutes of limitations are still in effect on January 1, 2017.

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Sexual Assault Forensic Exam

General Rights

The rights granted victims of attempted and completed sexual assault by California Penal Code §13823.11 include the right to: obtain and consent to forensic and medical exams. Victims also have the right to refuse consent for any portion of these exams without losing the right to receive care and treatment for injuries and potential sexually transmitted infection and pregnancy resulting from the assault.

No-Cost Forensic Exam Without Requirement to Participate in the Criminal Justice System

The Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act of 2013 and CPC §13823.95 give sexual assault victims the right to receive the forensic exam at no cost to the victim, without a requirement to participate in the criminal justice system. This right enables immediate evidence collection while at the same time giving victims time to begin to process what has occurred and to consider how they want to proceed. These laws also give victims the right to remain anonymous and not provide any identifying information. Local hospitals which offer no-cost anonymous exams may be found through the National Sexual Assault Hotline, (800) 656-HOPE (4673).

Presence of Sexual Assault Counselor (Advocate) and Support Person

California Penal Code §264.2 grants sexual assault victims the right to have an advocate and at least one other support person of their choice present at sexual assault forensic exams. Advocates may be requested by calling a national or local domestic and sexual violence 24-hour hotline or by requesting an advocate at the medical facility performing the exam.

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Tenancy Termination

California Assembly Bill 418 (signed into law on July 13, 2015) makes it easier for individuals who are victims, or household members of victims, of domestic violence, sexual assault, stalking, human trafficking, elder abuse, and dependent adult abuse to terminate tenancy because of the victimization — potentially allowing victims/household members of victims to move to safer locations sooner than they would otherwise been able. The bill:

  • Reduces the time limit for a tenant to give a notice of intent to vacate to the landlord under these provisions from 30 days to 14 days.
  • Now allows supporting documentation by qualified third parties (i.e., health practitioner, domestic violence counselor, sexual assault counselor, or human trafficking case worker).

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