Rates of domestic violence and sexual abuse have increased during COVID-19, meanwhile funding for treatment and prevention have actually declined. The bill S.611 VOCA Fix to Sustain the Crime Victims Fund Act of 2021 would increase funding by redirecting revenues made from deferred prosecution and non-prosecution agreements into the Crime Victims Fund. The Crimes Victims Fund provides non-taxpayer funding for victim services. S.611 also offers pandemic relief by waiving state requirements for state victim assistance formula grants up to a year after the pandemic. This bill was recently introduced to the Senate and has 50 co-sponsors, but it needs more.
Another bill that could help provide essential services to victims is the H.R.1620 – Violence Against Women Act Reauthorization Act of 2021. The Violence Against Women Act requires reauthorization every 5 years, but has yet to receive reauthorization since 2013 due to disagreements in the house. The failure to reauthorize the bill in a timely manner has led to large concerns by essential service providers during the pandemic. It is of utmost importance that VAWA gets reauthorized this year so grant funding doesn’t run out. H.R. 1620 has passed the House and needs your help to pass in the Senate.
You can write to your senator below to request that they co-sponsor S. 611 if they haven’t already and to demand support for H.R. 1620.