It makes us inhuman, non-helpable. They say sex workers often are coerced into their trade and so should not be denied benefits if they are harmed.
Such rules also bar reimbursement for those injured as a result of their involvement with illegal drugs, gang activities or consensual fights. The board acted after hearing what Batjer and fellow board member Michael Ramos called passionate and compelling testimony from several sex workers who said they have been assaulted. You allow predators to hone their skills. countty
It reimburses victims of violent crimes for expenses including medical care, counseling, lost income and increasing home security. The American Civil Liberties Union and organizations representing sex trade latnia asked for the regulation change. Last year, the board denied 28 claims because the victims were deemed to have been involved in prostitution-related activities.
The program gets its money from fines and restitution paid by criminals, along with federal matching funds. California created the nation's first victim compensation program inand formal rules barring payments to those involved in criminal activity have been in place since Kristen DiAngelo, who identified herself as a sex worker, testified that she was raped, beaten, repeatedly choked, robbed and held captive overnight in downtown Sacramento in The rapists know, and they see us as targets.
Changing the rule had the support of district attorneys in Alameda, Santa Clara and Sutter counties, along with the victim-witness program director for Santa Barbara Bernardkno district attorney's office. The men "took a knife to my throat and demanded sex and money," she told the board.
Marybel Batjer, chairwoman of the Victim Compensation and Government Claims Board, called the rule "repugnant," adding in a later interview that, "Rape is rape, period. Under the current system, those harmed in violent crimes can be paid for medical costs conty related expenses, but prostitutes are excluded because their activities are illegal.
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Carol Leigh, a representative of the Bay Area Sex Workers Advocacy Network, said she was raped by two men who entered the massage parlor where she worked. Jon Myers, the board's deputy executive officer, said the current rule was enacted in during an era when the state was generally getting tough on crime. Don Thompson, The Associated Press.
The change does not affect the illegality of prostitution. The conservative Criminal Justice Legal Foundation says its goal is to "assure that crime does not pay," but in this case agrees with changing the rules. It's a national issue," Ramos said ocunty an interview after the board's vote.