Senator Kelly Seyarto (R-Murrieta) has introduced his 2023 Crime Victims’ Rights bill package to provide survivors with support and resources to recover.
The first bill, SB 86, would build on Marsy’s Law, passed by voters in 2008, that ensures that victims of crime have equal rights on the same level as those accused and convicted of crimes.
SB 86 would expand the resources available to crime victims by mandating a website where they can easily access information about their constitutional rights and connect to an attorney who can guide them through the complex legal process involved in criminal cases.
“While California has some of the broadest crime victims’ rights in the United States, without guidance, many victims struggle to understand these rights and the complicated legal process which they often face alone,” said Senator Seyarto. “This bill will make the information easier to access, providing clarity and relief to those dealing with trauma.”
A second bill, SB 221, will grant a tax credit to those who provide housing at below-market rates to nonprofits that assist survivors of domestic violence.
According to the National Network to End Domestic Violence, between 22 and 57 percent of women and children are homeless due to domestic violence. On average, women wait more than ten years to access stable housing, and while the California Office of Emergency Services Domestic Violence Assistance Program provided over 600,000 nights in shelters in 2019-20, nearly 28,000 requests for shelters went unmet.
“With nonprofits struggling to provide housing for domestic violence survivors, creating an incentive structure for these partnerships will help close the gap,” said Senator Seyarto. “Our state’s high cost rental markets are a barrier to getting survivors into secure housing, and this bill will be an important piece of starting to rectify that.”
For information on resources, notification of an appeal, or notification on a case the Attorney General's Office is prosecuting, the California Victims’ Service Unit can be contacted at (877) 433-9069 or by email at VictimServices@doj.ca.gov.