On July 20, with an extraordinary vote of 100 to 0, the U.S. Senate passed H.R. 1652, the VOCA Fix to Sustain the Crime Victims Fund Act of 2021 (“VOCA Fix”).
This bill, introduced by Senator Tammy Baldwin, is now headed to President Biden for his signature into law. It secures billions of federal dollars in victim services funding and will impact over 6,000 local domestic violence shelters, child abuse treatment programs, elder fraud and abuse services, rape crisis centers, and legal services in every U.S. state and territory.
“While there is still so much work remaining to disentangle the funding stream from the criminal legal apparatus, this is a necessary step in ensuring that funding is available at all for our critical services,” said Monique Minkens, Executive Director for End Domestic Abuse Wisconsin (End Abuse). The Crime Victims Fund (CVF) enables End Abuse to provide vital assistance to services that support survivors of domestic violence. The COVID-19 pandemic has isolated many survivors with abusive partners, and it is more important than ever we ensure they have access to services. Unfortunately, the CVF has faced declining deposits, threatening our ability to support survivors. We applaud Senator Baldwin for identifying a legislative fix to this problem. Senator Baldwin’s solution is the centerpiece of the bipartisan VOCA Fix to Sustain the Crime Victims Fund Act and we are so thankful that this important legislation will now be signed into law.”