Today, the California Victims Compensation and Government Claims Board (VCGCB) voted unanimously to eliminate Rule 649.56 that denied Victims Compensation benefits to rape survivors who are sex workers. This vote was taken following compelling testimony from several sexual assault survivors, sex workers, ACLU, and other victim advocacy groups. Prior to this vote, California remained the only state to have a regulation that discriminated and prohibited rape survivors who are sex workers from receiving any Victims Compensation benefits to assist with medical, counseling, or other expenses resulting from the sexual assault.
As a result of today’s vote, the VCGCB will move forward with the administrative process to eliminate this rule from government code. The VCGCB indicated that this process should be finalized by Spring 2014.