Adult Survivors of Church Sexual Abuse in California

Deadline to File Abuse Childhood Sexual Abuse Claims in California Ends on December 31, 2022

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Child Victims Act

As a survivor of priest abuse, you deserve justice. In 2019, the California Legislature passed Assembly Bill 218, known as the Child Victims Act.

The bill opened a three-year window that began January 1, 2020, for adult survivors of church sexual abuse to file claims outside of the state’s statute of limitations (SOL). The window to file these claims ends on December 31, 2022.

If you were experienced priest sex abuse, contact our church abuse lawyer for a confidential case review.

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Seeking Justice through SOLs

Research shows that the average age for disclosure for childhood sexual abuse is 52. Childhood sexual abuse is traumatic and can have effects decades later.

Revival windows and extended statutes of limitations provide survivors with the additional time needed to file claims and seek justice against abusers and the institutions that protected them.


California Child Victims Act

The California Child Victims Act allows survivors of any age to file claims during this window, regardless of when the abuse occurred or if the abuser has died.

Once the window expires, the act extends the age limit to file claims for childhood sexual assault from 26 to 40 and allows for triple damages when the abuse was enabled by a cover-up of previous assaults.

State Bishops Challenge Law Extending Statute of Limitations

Following the passage of the bill, the San Francisco Archbishop and Southern and Northern California Roman Catholic bishops filed motions to challenge the constitutionality of the 2019 law to extend the statute of limitations to file lawsuits. On June 21, 2022, the U.S. Supreme Court announced the Court had decided against hearing the challenge.

What is a Statute of Limitations?

Statutes of limitations are deadlines by which a civil lawsuit may be filed, or criminal charges may be filed. California was among the trailblazers in passing legislation that provided what is known as a look-back window that tolls or temporarily pauses the statute of limitations on childhood sex abuse claims.

As of 2022, 27 U.S. states and territories have passed laws that provide a revival window to file childhood sexual abuse claims.


The deadline to file cases in California is December 31, 2022.


Our compassionate, trained team understands the needs of survivors. Share your story and seek justice.


“What do I do if I was abused by a priest?”

Sharing your story is an important step to healing from childhood sexual abuse. The clergy abuse attorneys at Mary Alexander & Associates have supported numerous survivors and their families as they sought justice from priests, staff, and the Church that enabled and protected abusers.

Share your story with the team at Mary Alexander & Associates. Your disclosure is completely confidential.


ProPublica Published List of Credibly Accused Priests

In 2020, the investigative online publication ProPublica published the names of credibly accused clergy throughout the United States.

The ProPublica report included lists from ten California dioceses, along with 757 clergy accused of abuse.


The accused clergy worked for the following dioceses:

The Archdiocese of Los Angeles

The Dioceses of:

  • Monterey
  • Oakland
  • Orange
  • Sacramento
  • San Bernardino
  • San Diego
  • San Jose
  • Santa Rosa
  • Stockton

Some clergy members worked for multiple dioceses.

Dozens of Priests in Northern California Face Child Sexual Abuse Charges for the First Time

In July 2022, NBC Bay Area reported on its investigation of court filings of childhood sexual abuse allegations against Catholic priests and institutions in Northern California. The investigation revealed that dozens of priests were facing allegations for the first time.

Hundreds of survivors have filed claims since the Court announced it would not be hearing arguments to overturn the California Child Victims Act.


If you or a loved one is a survivor of abuse by any member of the Catholic Church, the team Mary Alexander & Associates is here to listen to your story and support you to get the justice you deserve.

Contact the team today for a confidential case review.
The deadline to file cases in California is December 31, 2022.

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