Survivors' Rights


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

Caution: Please take care when searching for resources. Phone, tablet, computer, and other device activity may be monitored. Visited websites may be tracked or viewed by another person. It may be safer for victims and survivors to obtain information using a device a perpetrator does not have potential access to. 

For more information, review the National Domestic Violence Hotline page on Tech and Social Media Safety. The Hotline can also be contacted at 800.799.7233 or 800.787.3224 (TTY) for assistance.


Federal and California laws and CSU/Cal State LA policies prohibit dating and domestic violence, sexual violence, and stalking. This prohibition applies to students, employees, and others. These laws and policies apply to conduct both on and off-campus.

Campus sanctions include suspension, expulsion, and employment termination. Perpetrators may face arrest and criminal prosecution. Offenders may have to compensate victims for crime and misconduct-related expenses.

Survivors and victims have numerous rights granted by federal and state laws. A selection of these rights is outlined below. Visit one of the following resources to obtain information on eligibility criteria and how a particular right may apply to a specific situation:


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 Interim CSU Policy Prohibiting Discrimination, Harassment, Sexual Misconduct, Sexual Exploitation, Dating Violence, Domestic Violence, Stalking, and Retaliation (Effective 1.1.22), available at CSU Policies:

Survivors and victims should not be reluctant to report incidents of sexual misconduct and violence because they are concerned they might be disciplined for violating University policies. As described in the interim CSU policy, Cal State LA's primary concern is the safety of the campus community. Students will not be disciplined for related Student Conduct Code violations that occur at or near the time of incidents "unless the campus determines the conduct places the health and safety of another person at risk or is otherwise egregious. The campus may; however, have an education discussion with the person or pursue other educational remedies regarding alcohol or other drugs."

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 or misconduct 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 policies (refer to Cal State LA Policies and Procedures). For additional information, please contact Mariel Mulet, Director of Human Resources Equity and Diversity Policies and Procedures: ADM 606 • 323.343.3040 • [email protected].

Childhood Sexual Assault

On October 13, 2019, Assembly Bill 218 was approved. This bill amends the California Code of Civil Procedure §340.1 to:

  • Expand the definition of childhood sexual abuse, now referred to as childhood sexual assault.
  • Grant childhood sexual assault survivors additional time to recover damages (e.g., file civil lawsuits against their assailants and other responsible parties). Survivors may now recover damages:
    • 22 years from the date they reach the age of majority (currently 18) or
    • Within 5 years of discovering an adulthood psychological illness that resulted from childhood sexual assault, whichever is later
  • Action may be pursued against:
    • Any person for committing childhood sexual assault
    • Any person or entity whose wrongful or negligent acts were a legal cause of the childhood sexual assault that resulted in injury
    • Any person or entity whose intentional acts were a legal cause of the childhood sexual assault that resulted in injury
  • A person who is sexually assaulted and proves it was as the result of a cover-up may recover up to treble damages against a defendant who is found to have covered up the sexual assault of a minor unless prohibited by law.
    • Cover-up is defined as a concerted effort to hide evidence relating to childhood sexual assault

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 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 Board. 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 Restitution for Victims of Crime and Collecting and Requesting Restitution.

Confidentiality

General

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

California Penal Code (CPC) §293 grants victims of alleged sexual assault the right to protect their confidentiality by requesting that their 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 regard to the disclosure of an alleged victim's name and address.

Confidential Address

Child abuse, domestic violence, elder and dependent abuse, human trafficking, 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 Officer, is dependent on the employee's position and responsibilities. For information on Cal State LA reporting and confidentiality options, please visit the Office for Equity, Diversity and Inclusion.

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...

Note: Also see Alcohol and Other Drug Use by Sexual Violence Victims above.

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.

Employment Protections and Notifications

California Labor Code (LAB) §230 prohibits an employer from discharging or in any manner discriminating or retaliating against 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 or 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 victims of domestic violence, sexual assault, or stalking who request safety-related accommodations 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 that 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.

Employees who are discharged, threatened with discharge, demoted, suspended, or in any other manner discriminated, against, or retaliated against by their employer because they have taken time off for a purpose identified above are entitled to reinstatement and reimbursement for lost wages and work benefits, 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.

LAB §230.1 also requires employers to provide employees with written notification of their rights under this and related laws (new employees at hiring; other employees upon request).

File Complaints Outside 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)-Filing A Charge. 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).

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 the right to request, in writing, HIV testing of the 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.

In addition, California Penal Code §1202.1 requires HIV testing of persons convicted of unlawful sodomy (anal sex) and oral copulation (oral sex), 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.

In each case, victims are granted the right to receive the results of these tests.

Immigration Status Protection — U Visa & T Visa

U Nonimmigrant Status (U Visa)

Immigrant victims and survivors (and qualifying family members) of domestic violence, sexual assault, stalking, trafficking, and certain other crimes may be eligible for the U Nonimmigrant Status (U Visa). The U Visa grants eligible individuals temporary U.S. legal status.

The U Visa is set aside for victims of qualifying 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.

T Nonimmigrant Status (T Visa)

Immigrant victims and survivors of labor and sex trafficking may be eligible for the T Nonimmigrant Status (T Visa). Like the U Visa, the T Visa also grants temporary U.S. legal status to eligible individuals.

The T Visa is set aside for victims of severe trafficking (i.e., labor and sex) who have suffered mental or physical abuse and are helpful to law enforcement or government officials in the investigation or prosecution of criminal activity. Qualifying immediate family members may be eligible for derivative nonimmigrant status.

Additional Information and Qualifying Criteria

It's extremely important when applying for U Nonimmigrant Status or T Nonimmigrant Status to obtain required certifications and accurately complete and submit all applicable application forms and documentation. Obtaining legal assistance with the application process is recommended. Some local hotline agencies offer related no-cost or low-cost legal services to their clients.

The Legal Aid Foundation of Los Angeles is a local law firm that provides assistance to immigrant victims and survivors. A directory of other local agencies that provide legal assistance with the U Visa and T Visa application process may be found on the Los Angeles County District Attorney's Office-U Visas/T-Visas page.

Law Enforcement and Judicial System Rights

Victims' Bill of Rights and Marsy's Law

California Penal Code §679-80 establishes the rights of all crime victims and witnesses. Marsy's Law expands and strengthens these 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.

California Penal Code section 679.026 (c)(1) mandates that law enforcement agencies investigating criminal acts and prosecuting agencies provide (or make available) crime victims with a "Marsy's Rights" card, at no cost to the victim. 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.

Additional information on victims' rights is available through the Office of the Attorney General's Victims' Services Unit.

Sexual Assault Victims' Rights

California Penal Code §679.04 grants sexual assault victims the right to have an advocate and other support people of their choice with them during investigative interviews conducted by law enforcement, district attorney's offices, and defense attorneys or others acting for the defense.

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's Resources - If You are a Victim of a Federal Crime for information.

Release of Convicted Perpetrators

Domestic violence, stalking and other 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 on this confidential service is available through VINELink (Victim Information and Notification Everyday).

Restraining Orders

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. Depending on circumstances, a survivor may need more than one type of restraining order (e.g., domestic violence restraining order and a gun violence restraining order).

Crime victims have the right to request a restraining order from a superior court (Find Your Court). Available restraining orders include:

  • Emergency protection orders: Call 911 when in imminent danger. Responding law enforcement can request emergency protective orders 24 hours a day. These orders are valid only for a few days. Different types of restraining orders are needed for longer-term protection.
  • Gun violence restraining orders prohibit individuals who are a threat to themselves or others from having firearms and ammunition. The gun violence restraining order can require these individuals to surrender weapons and ammunition to law enforcement. Emergency gun violence restraining orders may be requested from law enforcement.
  • Workplace violence restraining orders are orders that an employer may request when there are credible threats of violence against an employee that would be carried out in the workplace.

The Los Angeles County Bar Association's Domestic Violence Legal Services Project offers document preparation assistance for temporary restraining orders. Some local domestic and sexual violence agencies also assist with the protective/restraining order application process.

Resources for legal assistance are also available through the California Courts Attorney Locator Resource. Click on Find Your Court to locate the nearest superior court.

Right Not to be Threatened, Intimidated, or Retaliated Against

Crime Victims

Crime victims have the right to report criminal acts against them to law enforcement and to participate in the judicial process. Witnesses also have the right to report crimes and 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
  • 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.

CSU Policy

Interim CSU Policy Prohibiting Discrimination, Harassment, Sexual Misconduct, Sexual Exploitation, Dating Violence, Domestic Violence, Stalking, and Retaliation (Effective 1.1.22), available at CSU Policies expressly prohibits retaliation.

Per the interim policy, Retaliation means that a substantial motivating reason for an Adverse Action taken against a person was because the person has or is believed to have:

  • Exercised their rights under this policy
  • Reported or opposed conduct which was reasonably and in good faith believed to be in violation of this policy
  • Assisted or participated in an investigation/proceeding under this policy, regardless of whether the Complainant was substantiated
  • Assisted someone in reporting or opposing a violation of this policy or assisted someone in reporting or opposing Retaliation under this policy

Adverse Action means an action engaged in by the Respondent that has a substantial and material adverse effect on the Complainant's ability to participate in a university program, activity, or employment. Minor or trial actions or conduct not reasonably likely to do more than anger or upset a Complainant does not constitute an Adverse Action. Retaliation may occur whether or not there is a power or authority differential between the individuals involved.

Safely Surrender Baby

The Safely Surrendered Baby Law allows a parent or person with lawful custody of a newborn to legally, confidentially, and safely give up the infant when they "find themselves in difficult circumstances." No questions are asked. Names don't have to be given. There is no prosecution for abandonment as long as the baby is not abused or neglected.

  • Babies must be surrendered to an employee of a fire station or hospital within 3 days of birth
  • Advance notice is not required and babies may be surrendered at any time of day or night (24/7)
  • After medical exams, surrendered infants are placed in pre-adoptive homes and an adoption process is started
  • Parents or persons with lawful custody have up to 14 days from the time of surrender to reclaim their babies

For those who are unsure what they should do, the 24-hour Baby SAFE helpline can be contacted at 877.222.9723. The hotline can provide assistance in more than 140 different languages.

For additional details, visit Safely Surrendered Baby Law. The website is available in Arabic, Armenian, Chinese (simplified), English, Farsi, Hindi, Japanese, Khmer, Korean, Russian, Spanish, Tagalog, Thai, and Vietnamese.

Sex Crimes Statutes of Limitations

Crimes Committed On or After January 1, 2017, or Statute of Limitations for Prior Crime Was in Effect on January 1, 2017

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 time to seek justice for the crimes committed against them.

Under the Act, criminal prosecution can be initiated at any time for crimes such as rape, sodomy, lewd or lascivious acts, continuous sexual abuse of a child, oral copulation, and sexual penetration. The law applies to crimes committed on January 1, 2017, or later. The law also applies to earlier crimes for which the statutes of limitations were still in effect on January 1, 2017.

Crimes Committed On or After January 1, 2015, or Statute of Limitations for Prior Crime Was in Effect on January 1, 2015

Various statutes of limitations apply. Depending on the specific crime, sex crimes must be prosecuted within 3-10 years after the crime was committed. Prosecution for sex crimes against minors (under 18 years of age) must be initiated before the victim turns 40 years of age.

Additional Information

The Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network's Statutes of Limitations provides information on statutes of limitations for California and other states. Crime victims are encouraged to seek assistance and information from 24-hour hotlines.

Sex Offenders and the Campus Community

The Sex Offender Registration Act requires individuals convicted of sex crimes to register with local law enforcement where they live. This law also requires Cal State LA students, employees, volunteers, and others who are registered sex offenders to register with the University Police Chief of Police.

California Penal Code §290.01 further requires registration with University Police to occur within 5 days of enrollment, employment, volunteering, etc. The law also confers University community members with the right to receive information about sex offenders on campus. For additional information, contact University Police (323.343.3700; 911 in case of emergency).

Information about registered sex offenders is also available through:

Sexual Assault Forensic Exam

General Rights

The rights granted to victims and survivors of attempted and completed sexual assault by California Penal Code §13823.11 include the right to obtain and consent to forensic and medical exams. Survivors 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

Sexual assault survivors have the right to receive the forensic exam at no cost to the victim, without a requirement to participate in the criminal justice system (California Penal Code §13823.95). This right enables prompt evidence collection while at the same time giving survivors time to begin to process what has occurred and to consider how they want to proceed. Survivors have the right to remain anonymous and not provide any identifying information. Local hospitals that 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 survivors the right to have a sexual assault counselor and a support person of their choice present at evidence or physical exams. Counselors 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.

Tenancy Termination

California Civil Code §1946.7 makes it easier for tenants to terminate tenancy because of qualifying victimization. This law allows tenants to terminate tenancy if the tenant, a household member, or an immediate family member was the victim of a qualifying crime. This right allows tenants to move to safer locations sooner than they would otherwise be able to.

Qualifying crimes include:

  • Dependent adult abuse

  • Domestic violence
  • Elder abuse

  • Human trafficking

  • Sexual assault
  • Stalking

The law:

  • Reduces the time limit for a tenant to give notice of intent to vacate to a landlord.
  • Allows required supporting documentation to also be provided by qualified third parties (i.e., health practitioner, domestic violence counselor, sexual assault counselor, or human trafficking case worker).

Help 24/7 ► |  1in6 for Men Who Have Experienced Sexual Abuse or Assault  |  National Domestic Violence Hotline  |  National Human Trafficking Hotline  |  National Sexual Assault Hotline  |  National Suicide Prevention Lifeline  |  National Teen Dating Abuse Helpline  |  Safe Helpline - Sexual Assault Support for the DoD Community  |  The Trevor Project Helpline for LGBT Youth (Ages 13-24)