Many news sources have reported on cuts to the federal Victims of Crime Act (VOCA), but few have explained the practical implications. Let’s start with some background to help contextualize our current situation. First, what is VOCA? VOCA is a law passed in 1984 establishing the Crime Victims’ Fund. VOCA is one of the largest sources for federal funding for victim needs from court fees and fines. Over the last few years, VOCA funds have decreased significantly due to legislative and federal judicial outcome changes. That has resulted in cuts upwards of 81% for Victim Assistance on which most victim services rely.
For CDP, this reduction resulted in being denied $50,000 in grant money to support client services, crisis line operations, support services, legal assistance, housing services, and most of our other intervention programs we use to best serve our community.
Waiting on a federal or state legislative fix simply is not possible. Victims need support now! So, what can you do? We need your support to bridge the gap while we wait for federal VOCA money to return. Here are the ways in which you can help:
- Donate using the enclosed envelope or through our online portal.
- Especially consider making a recurring donation which is simple to do online!
- Volunteer your time. Call us to talk about how you can help.
- Contact both your state and federal representatives and let them know you support funds being provided for victim safety.
This item is excerpted from our July, 2021 newsletter. To subscribe to future newsletters click here.