Legislation We Follow

Victims of Crime Act

Victims of Crime Act (VOCA) Funding

Request: Raise the cap to $1 billion and provide $135 million in targeted funds for sexual assault and domestic violence services.

NAESV supports increasing the VOCA cap to $1 billion and the President’s budget proposal providing $135 million of targeted funding in VOCA for sexual assault and domestic violence services.

The VOCA Fund was created by Congress in 1984 to provide federal support to state and local programs that assist victims of crime and is administered by the U.S. Department of Justice. The VOCA Fund is derived entirely from fines and penalties paid by offenders at the federal level, not taxpayer revenue, and is largely distributed to the states through a formula grant. The state money funds both crime victim compensation funds and victim assistance grants.

More than 4,400 local agencies from all 50 states depend on VOCA assistance grants to serve over 3.8 million crime victims each year. VOCA assistance grants provide funding for crisis intervention, counseling, transportation, services for elder victims and victims with disabilities, volunteer coordinators, translation services, needs assessments and other support services that help victims deal with the trauma and aftermath of a crime.

VOCA is a critical funding source for local rape crisis services.
Fines and penalties paid by offenders at the federal level are deposited into the fund. Because the deposits vary from year to year, Congress decided to set a “cap” on the fund, limiting the amount of money that can be distributed from the fund in a given year. The cap is intended to ensure stable funding over time, despite fluctuation in deposits. There is at least $5.8 billion in the fund currently.

For more information, please contact: Terri Poore, Policy Chair, National Alliance to End Sexual Violence, (850) 363-2918 or tpoore@fcasv.org