The National Coalition Against Domestic Violence (NCADV) celebrates the bicameral introduction of the bipartisan VOCA Fix to Sustain the Crime Victims Fund Act of 2021 (the VOCA Fix Act). We applaud the leadership of Senators Richard Durbin (D-IL), Lindsey Graham (R-SC), Tammy Baldwin (D-WI), Charles Grassley (R-IA), Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), John Cornyn (R-TX), Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), and Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) and Representatives Jerrold Nadler (D-NY-10), Brian Fitzpatrick (R-PA-1), Sheila Jackson Lee (D-TX-18), Ann Wagner (R-MO-2), Mary Gay Scanlon (D-PA-5), Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA-5), Debbie Dingell (D-MI-12), and John Moolenaar (R-MI-4) in championing this critical bill to prevent additional catastrophic cuts to the already significantly diminished Victims of Crime Act (VOCA) grants to domestic violence shelters and programs and other victims services.
Says NCADV’s President and CEO, Ruth M. Glenn, “Domestic violence shelters and programs provide life-saving services to their communities. Drastically cutting their funding when the need for services is higher than ever has forced programs to cut their services and puts the safety and lives of survivors at risk. If Congress fails to act immediately to pass the VOCA Fix Act, some shelters and programs will have to close their doors, which will put victims and survivors of domestic violence at further risk of harm.’
VOCA grants are the main federal funding source for programs serving victims of all crimes and for victim compensation. Over the past several years, VOCA grants have decreased precipitously; victim assistance grants for Fiscal Year 2021 are two-thirds lower than they were just three years ago. VOCA grants are paid for out of the Crime Victims Fund (CVF), which comprises monetary penalties associated with federal convictions, primarily convictions for white collar crime. The CVF is shrinking rapidly, because the Department of Justice is increasingly entering into deferred prosecution and non-prosecution agreements instead of prosecuting these cases, and monetary penalties associated with these agreements are deposited into the Treasury instead of into the CVF.
The VOCA Fix Act fixes this by ensuring that monetary penalties associated with deferred and non-prosecution agreements go into the CVF instead of into the Treasury. The crimes from which these penalties are derived are the same, whether they are prosecuted or settled, and the funding should likewise be going to serve victims. The VOCA Fix Act also makes the important structural improvements included in this letter to Congress, signed by more than 1,680 organizations and government agencies.
Take Action Now!
Your Members of Congress need to hear from you TODAY!!!!
Use this toolkit to contact your Members of Congress and tell them to co-sponsor and vote for The VOCA Fix to Sustain the Crime Victims Fund Act of 2021. The toolkit contains: