UPDATE (07/20/21): The Senate has passed the Victims of Crime Act. The legislation now heads to President Biden’s desk for his signature.
UPDATE (03/18/21): H.R. 1652, the VOCA Fix Act, passed the House 384-38 and has been sent to the Senate for consideration.
The Victims of Crime Act (VOCA) is a 1984 law that established non-taxpayer money from fines paid by federal criminals to compensate victims of a variety of crimes such as domestic violence and child abuse. Congress periodically adjusts the amount granted to states for victims services, but last year reduced VOCA grants to states by $600 million, around a 20% cut.
The cut plus the exacerbation of existing patterns due to the pandemic has worsened the effects of violence against women and children. There are many ways that Congress can address the issue such as restoring the previous funding level, adjusting rules to allow state administrators more discretion and providing more funding sources beyond federal fines, such as deferred prosecution and non-prosecution agreements in the VOCA fund.
You can read here for more details about the proposed fixes victim service providers are seeking. Demand Congress support a legislative fix to VOCA.