An open letter to State Governors & Legislatures (IA only)

Stand up for victim-survivors by filling in the funding gaps!

93 so far! Let’s get to 100 signers!

The pandemic has affected victim-survivors and the programs that serve them in a magnitude of ways including increased isolation, reduced resources, and forced quarantine with their abuser. Programs like the Domestic Violence Intervention Program (DVIP) have met the increased need, but now with an approximate 10% budget cut to the Federal VOCA grants, they need your help to fill in the gaps. The Victims of Crime Act of 1984 (VOCA) Crime Victims Fund (CVF), was established as the primary funding source for victim services throughout the nation. Deposits to the CVF originate from criminal fines, forfeited bail bonds, penalties, and special assessments collected by U.S. Attorneys' Offices, federal U.S. courts, and the Federal Bureau of Prisons. The CVF supports state-administered victim assistance programs and crime victim compensation programs. Congressional leadership understands this vital issue and I am grateful to our US Senators for working on this critical bicameral, bipartisan bill to prevent additional catastrophic cuts to the already significantly diminished VOCA grants to domestic violence shelters, programs and other victims services. But the VOCA Fix Act will not stop the catastrophic cuts programs are facing in FY21 or FY22. Currently, Iowa’s FY21 award will be at a 5 year low. Reduced available dollars will mean lost services that impact all victims of crime including domestic violence programs, rape crisis services, child victims, human trafficking, homicide survivors and others. DVIP and other programs in Iowa are expecting a 10% cut to their VOCA funding - For my local program that is $82,624.00 this year alone with an additional 25% cut next year and our rural communities will suffer the most. Victim-survivors will not be able to find or receive life-saving services if something is not done. At a time when we have continued to see the effects of the pandemic on victims, we know that these programs are vital to individuals finding safety and resources.  Placing this burden on victim-survivors who already face increased isolation and lack of resources is unacceptable when a solution is possible and within reach. Since 2000 the state of Iowa has withheld or level-funded victim services at the burden of the Federal Government. It is time for Iowa to stand up for survivors and fill the gap.  Programs like DVIP’s provide much-needed support to victim-survivors. Through extensive training and with expert problem-solving skills advocates are able to meet victims where they are. Advocates work to build trust by providing free and confidential trauma-informed care to anyone in need. DVIP will not be able to provide these vital services unless you vote YES for the additional funding of 2.5 million this year and next. While it is too late to prevent the 35% cuts to Federal grant awards over the next two years we can fill the gap to keep victim services funded until the bi-partisan supported VOCA Fix can do its job in FY23.

First sent on March 30 by Domestic Violence Intervention Program · 2 signers in the past 24 hours

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