SB 107 Supports Victims of Sexual Assault

On August 26, 2013, Governor Jerry Brown signed SB 107. This important bipartisan legislation authored by Senate Majority Leader Ellen M. Corbett (D-East Bay) and sponsored by Alameda County District Attorney Nancy E. O’Malley ensuring that local law enforcement entities within California continue receiving reimbursement from federal Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) funding for costs of sexual assault medical examinations.

The newly signed law, SB 107, authorizes state agencies’ use of federal grant monies to reimburse local law enforcement for the costs incurred in administering “rape kits” to victims of sexual assault. Under VAWA, CalEMA / Office of Emergency Services received approximately $12 million from the federal government last year.

"In 2011, California passed significant legislation that marked a victory for victims of sexual assault by guaranteeing a forensic sexual assault exam at no cost to the victim. Without the passage of SB 107, this vitally important law would have sunset on January 1, 2014. I applaud Senator Corbett for her tireless work on this important legislation and Governor Brown for signing SB 107. ” states D.A. Nancy E. O’Malley. “The current law ensures that law enforcement can capture critical evidence of the sexual assault crime, such as biological fluid that produces a DNA profile of the perpetrator(s). Senator Corbett is a leader in carrying legislation that brings awareness and effective solutions to combating violence against women and children. I am honored to have worked with Senator Corbett and California Coalition Against Sexual Assault to eliminate the sunset date and give victims the protections they deserve.”

“I am pleased that Governor Brown has signed SB 107, a vital bill that will ensure that free forensic medical exams continue to be provided to rape victims in California,” Senator Corbett said. “This legislation earned strong bipartisan support in both the Senate and the Assembly, as well as law enforcement and crime victim support groups that are on the front lines of fighting against sexual assault and domestic violence. SB 107 reaffirms California’s commitment to protecting victim’s rights and bolsters the ability to hold accountable those that would commit these horrible crimes.”

California Coalition Against Sexual Assault (CALCASA), an additional sponsor of the bill, offered its appreciation for this vitally needed legislation. "On behalf of all rape crisis centers and prevention programs in the state, CALCASA is thrilled that SB 107 has been signed into law. We thank Senate Majority Leader Ellen Corbett for her leadership in authoring SB 107 and the Governor for reinforcing the importance of this bill with his signature. SB 107 ensures California's continued compliance with the federal Violence Against Women Act (VAWA), which mandates that all victims of sexual assault who want a forensic exam will receive one," said Sandra Henriquez, CALCASA Executive Director.

Law enforcement officials throughout the state have also noted the importance of the Governor’s signature. The bill was supported by the California District Attorneys Association, California State Sheriffs’ Association, California Police Chiefs Association, Peace Officers Research Association of California, Crime Victims United of California, California Partnership to End Domestic Violence, Alameda County Board of Supervisors and the American College of Emergency Physicians / California Chapter.

Posted on Aug 27, 2013