SB 375 Would Make California a National Leader by Extending Time Limit for Survivors to Apply for Victim Compensation Support

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

October 8, 2019

Will Matthews, Californians for Safety and Justice, (909) 261-1398; will@safeandjust.org

Sacramento, Calif.– Gov. Gavin Newsom on Tuesday signed into law a bill that gives survivors of crime more time to apply for key support from the California Victim Compensation Board. The bill, SB 375, authored by Sen. Maria Elena Durazo (D-Los Angeles) and sponsored by Californians for Safety and Justice and Crime Survivors for Safety and Justice, would allow people to apply for victim compensation up to seven years after becoming the victim of a crime. Current law requires crime victims to file an application within three years of the crime occurring to be eligible to receive victim compensation.

The three-year deadline has left many victims of crime without access to the victim compensation program that can provide them with the resources they need to attain recovery. Many crime victims are unaware of the victim compensation program, or are not ready to apply in the aftermath of an incident, especially when they are dealing with the trauma of it years afterwards.

According to a 2013 survey of California crime victims, nearly one in three victims reported that they were unaware of but interested in victim compensation. A recent April 2019 report on the experiences of crime survivors in California found that less than one in five victims received the various types of help that the victim compensation program can support, like financial help with medical costs, counseling and mental health support, and emergency housing.

Tinisch Hollins, California state director, Crime Survivors for Safety and Justice: “SB 375 ensures crime victims have ample time to access the victim compensation program, so they can recover from trauma and the other negative consequences of crime and violence. By changing the three-year time limit to apply for support, the state will help thousands of survivors in their healing process and ensure our communities are healthier and safer. On behalf of our thousands of California members, we applaud Gov. Newsom, Sen. Durazo, and Asm. Wicks for their leadership and commitment to survivors and safety.”