Legislation We Follow
Victims of Crime Act
Victims of Crime Act (VOCA) Fund
Request: Release $1 billion from the VOCA Fund and ensure that administrative expenses are taken above the cap.
The VOCA Fund was created by Congress in 1984 to provide federal support to state and local programs that assist victims of crime. The VOCA Fund is derived entirely from fines and penalties paid by offenders at the federal level, not taxpayer revenues. VOCA funds are largely distributed to states through formula grants.
Rape crisis centers rely on VOCA funds to provide direct services to victims of sexual assault. Over 4,000 agencies rely on continued VOCA assistance grants to provide critical direct services for over 4 million victims a year. Vital and lifesaving services supported by VOCA include crisis intervention, assistance with the criminal justice process, counseling, court accompaniment, and much more. There are still far too few services available to many populations including disabled victims, rural victims, teen victims, elder victims, and non-English speaking victims, among others.
Additional VOCA funds are needed. A 2012 NAESV survey of rape crisis centers revealed that:
• 60% of programs have a waiting list for counseling and 30% for support groups.
• 50% of programs reduced staff in the past year. Over 100 advocates were laid off while 120 positions were left vacant.
• 25% of programs have 1 FTE or fewer to provide direct services.
Release $1 billion from the VOCA Fund to meet the growing demand for services.
Each year, Congress sets the dollar amount to be released from the VOCA fund for distribution. Deposits into the Crime Victims Fund have increased, ensuring that there will be enough money in the Fund to sustain adequate funding for many years.
Administrative costs should never mean decreased grant amounts to states for direct victim services.
Congress must ensure that management and administrative (M&A) costs are taken from the VOCA Fund balance “above the cap” and not from assistance grants.
HAVE ADDITIONAL QUESTIONS?
Contact Terri Poore, Policy Chair at (850) 363-2918 or firstname.lastname@example.org.