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Community Forum-REPEAL! Sex workers denied compensation in cases of rape

Tuesday, November 12, 2013
6:00 PM - 8:00 PM
Event Type:
Panel Discussion
Rachel West
Location Details:
Press Conference at 5:30; Community Forum at 6pm
SF Public Library, Latino/Hispanic room, lower level, 100 Larkin, SF

Sex Workers Groups Call for Removal of Discriminatory Regulations

Speakers from sex worker and other organizations are holding a press conference and community event to call for the removal of Regulation 649.56 Involvement in the Qualifying Crime of Prostitution which denies victims of rape who are sex workers from getting compensation in the California Victim Compensation Program (CalVCP). Other groups including All of Us or None and the ACLU will be also be speaking. Speakers are calling for Regulation 649.2 b which excludes formerly incarcerated people from getting compensation to be scrapped as well.

Rachel West of the US PROStitutes Collective says "Denying compensation based on involvement in the crime of prostitution is blaming the victims and dividing us into worthy and unworthy. Compensation for rape acknowledges that something happened to you. When a rape victim is not compensated, it sends a message that rape is tolerated or even encouraged. Victims are stigmatized and it leads to more violence."

Maxine Doogan of the Erotic Service Providers Union adds: "The Obama administration stated in a United Nations review of human rights that no one who faces violence should be denied access to public services on the basis of sexual orientation or status as a person in prostitution. Removing this discriminatory regulation will set a new standard in California in line with the Obama administration policy."

Kate Horton, a PhD student at UCSF and part of the working group organizing the event, says "As a woman I feel strongly that sexual violence should never be permissible. Regulation 649.56 not only discriminates against sex workers, but sends a message that rape is more serious for some than it is for others. To protect all women from sexual violence we need to remove these double-standards."

"The ACLU of Northern California has a strong desire to see this regulation repealed," says Kimberley Horiuchi, attorney with the ACLU of Northern California. "It is imperative that the Victim Compensation and Government Claims Board make victim compensation available to all victims of crime.”

The campaign to get rid of the regulations removed has got wide support around the state from church, veterans, legal, prisoner rights groups and others and is having an impact. After hearings and testimony from sex workers, the CalVCP's Board has called for a review of the regulation and a proposal on 649.56 will be presented at their December 12 meeting in Sacramento. Our community forum November 12 aims to build further public support.
Event Planning group: BAYSWAN; Elisa Eoceguera; Erotic Service Providers Union; F*WORD; In Defense of Prostitute Women's Safety Project; Kate Horton; Legal Action for Women; Queer Strike; Sex Workers Outreach Project; Sin Barras: US PROStitutes Collective.

Event Endorsers: ACLU of Northern California; All of Us or None; California Coalition for Women Prisoners; Children of the Night; Coalition on Homelessness; Critical Resistance, Oakland; Harvey Milk LGBT Democratic Club; Jeff Adachi, Public Defender; National Lawyers Guild, SF; POOR Magazine/Prensa POBRE; San Francisco for Democracy; San Francisco Green Party.
Added to the calendar on Fri, Nov 8, 2013 8:54AM
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SF Main Library
100 Larkin St, San Francisco

Community informational event to remove California Victims Compensation Fund Discriminatory regulation 649.56. Speaker Panel to inform and rally statewide to demand the VCF Board remove regulation 649.56. This regulation discriminates against those who were injured in the course of a prostitution transaction or those who are perceived to be involved in a prostitution transaction from receiving compensation.

Help us demand the removal of this regulation because it discriminates against prostitutes.

Current selection§ 649.56. Involvement in the Qualifying Crime of Prostitution.

(a) Involvement in the events leading to the qualifying crime of prostitution by the victim or derivative victim may be found if the victim or derivative victim was:

(1) engaged in activity related to prostitution; and

(2) the crime occurred as a direct result of the activity related to prostitution.

(b) Activity related to prostitution includes, but is not limited to the following:

(1) soliciting or participating in the solicitation of an act of prostitution;

(2) purchasing or participating in the purchase of an act of prostitution;

(3) engaging in an act of prostitution;

(4) pimping as defined in Penal Code section 266h;

(5) pandering as defined in Penal Code section 266i.

(c) For the purpose of this section, prostitution has the same meaning as defined in Penal Code section 647(b).

(d) This section shall not be applied to cases involving human trafficking pursuant to Penal Code section 236.1.

Note: Authority cited: Sections 13920 and 13974, Government Code. Reference: Section 13956, Government Code.


1. Change without regulatory effect renumbering former section 656.5 to section Previous Term649Next Term.Previous Term56Next Term, including amendment of Note, filed 12-6-2007 pursuant to section 100, title 1, California Code of Regulations (Register 2007, No. 49).

2. New subsection (d) filed 9-9-2013; operative 9-9-2013 pursuant to Government Code section 11343.4(b)(3) (Register 2013, No. 37).

2 CCR § Previous Term649Next Term.Previous Term56Next Term, 2 CA ADC § Previous Term649Next Term.Previous Term56 Next Term
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