While VOCA, VAWA and FVPSA funds have been extremely successful, many victims still have unmet needs. We must continue to improve our responses to address the crisis of violence in many communities. Staff from NCCADV and NCCASA meet in Washington DC for Advocacy Day 2024 to address VOCA funding cuts and more.

Two white women and two Black women stand around a sign titled with the words "Advocacy Days 2024 in Washington DC, June 11-12.
(L-R) Carianne Fisher, Monika Johnson Hostler, Nisha G. Willians, Deanna Harrington in Washington DC for Advocacy Days

What is the Victims of Crime Act (VOCA) Fund and why is it important?

The Crime Victims fund was established by the Victims of Crime Act (VOCA). It is funded through the money paid by people convicted of federal crimes. The Crime Victims Fund supports essential services for victims and survivors of violence. Examples include medical care, mental health counseling, lost wages, courtroom advocacy, and temporary housing. In North Carolina, VOCA funds are administered by the Governor’s Crime Commission, a state agency.  These funds support direct service organizations. Examples include domestic violence shelters, rape crisis centers, and child abuse treatment programs. 

What Happened with VOCA Funding? 

Since 2019, the VOCA funds annual release have declined because of shrinking deposits and declines in the Crime Victims Fund End of Year Balance. In 2021, Congress enacted the VOCA Fix to Sustain the Crime Victims Fund Act that authorized new funding.   Funding for VOCA is slated for a major decrease in the fiscal year 2024. Current projections show a budget cut to VOCA of about $700 million (~40%).  

In 2024, North Carolina VOCA funding is projected to be $23 million, down from $42 million in 2023.  That is a $19 million cut that will immediately negatively impact domestic violence service providers.  

What is the future of VOCA funding? 

Due to a reduction in funds, it is likely organizations will not be able to pay their staff, which will likely lead to layoffs. This would also lead to programs and services assisting victims having to downsize or shut down. This has already been shown by the Orange County Rape Crisis Center reducing staffing and programming because of the decline in federal support.  

With the loss of funding, domestic violence programs are already seeing a drop in volunteers. The number of volunteer hours in domestic violence programs dropped from 290,393 in 2018-2019 to 186,180 three years later. Whereas the number of people who received help increased from 60,214 to 75,556 in the same time period. 

"GCC VOCA funds were reduced within the last 3 years and we received notification of funding being cut by 40%, that will cut a little under half our shelter staff.  We are a small rural nonprofit providing services to victims of abuse."

How can you take action? 

Contact your state and federal representatives and let them know you support funds being provided for victim safety. Ask your representatives to co-sponsor H.B. 8061 (Crime Victims Fund Stabilization Act) and H.R. 8061 (Crime Victims Fund Stabilization Act of 2024).  

Find your representatives at: https://www.congress.gov/members/find-your-member  

What action is NCCADV taking? 

NCCADV Legal and Policy team and Executive Director alongside the North Carolina Coalition Against Sexual Assault (NCCASA) are currently in Washington, D.C (June 12, 2024) participating in National Network to End Domestic Violence (NNEDV) federal lobby day in partnership with National Alliance to End Sexual Violence (NAESV) to spread awareness to Congress persons and their staff.  

Sources & More Information:  

  1. General Information about VOCA funds 
  1. NC Specific Information about VOCA Funds  
  1. Information about VOCA legislative fix 
  1. News Article about VOCA Funds 
  1. Crime Victims Fund Stabilization Act of 2024 

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