Take Action to Protect the Crime Victims Fund - October 29,2015
For more than 30 years, the Crime Victims Fund has distributed more than $14 billion to help crime victims, including victims of domestic violence and sexual assault. For the first time since the passage of the Victims of Crime Act in 1984, that vital funding source is being threatened, and we need your help.
Congress recently proposed a federal budget agreement that would permanently remove $1.5 billion from the Crime Victims Fund, and allocate it to other federal spending programs. This fund is generated through fees and other penalties paid by perpetrators of crimes—not taxes—and is intended to support crime victims.
Losing this funding will make it harder for organizations like Saving Grace to serve victims of domestic violence, sexual assault, and human trafficking. Fortunately, it’s not yet a done deal. The budget agreement passed in the House on Wednesday, but it still has to go to the Senate. There’s still time to contact your senators and let them know that re-allocating funds from the Crime Victims Fund violates the intent of the Victims of Crime Act (VOCA) and the law, while making it harder for the most vulnerable victims to access life-saving services. For instance, at Saving Grace, VOCA funds support three full-time advocate positions.
Tell Congress these funds belong to crime victims, and shouldn’t be used to make up for budgetary shortfalls. Unlawfully taking from the Crime Victims Fund sets a dangerous precedent—one victims can’t afford.
WHAT YOU CAN DO
Call, write, email or walk-in to their local offices (you can do all four!) and encourage Senators Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley to retain these funds Congress promised would be used only for victim services.
Sen. Jeff Merkley’s Central Oregon Office
131 NW Hawthorne Ave # 208
Bend, OR 97701
Sen. Ron Wyden’s Central Oregon Office
131 NW Hawthorne Ave # 107
Bend, OR 97701