ACTION ALERT: Survivors deserve comprehensive victim services
Together, state and federal funds support Iowa programs serving victims of violent crime. Federal funds increase the capacity of programs to provide more comprehensive services, but state funds support staff and operational costs. Currently, federal Victims of Crime Act (VOCA) grants are the largest source of funds supporting crime victim services. However, a devastating 35 percent cut in federal funding in state grants through the Victims of Crime Act (VOCA) means a $6 million decrease in federal victim services funds to Iowa this year. This massive cut in federal funding for state grants through VOCA means 5,000 fewer crime victims will receive services from Iowa programs in the new fiscal year (FY22) and more than 23,000 fewer will be served the following year (FY23).
Iowa crime victims have long needed additional state funds to address significant unmet needs, but an increase of at least $2.5 million in state funds this year will protect against an immediate reduction in crime victim services. Crime victim service providers never stopped supporting victims throughout the pandemic, but service delivery continues to be more challenging and costly. COVID-19 introduced a crisis within the crisis of gender violence. Victims have more severe and comprehensive needs for food, housing, and employment in addition to enhanced trauma from violence they experienced from being isolated. Importantly, before COVID, local programs recruited volunteers to assist with supporting survivors and raised private funds to boost budgets - but since, these additional supports
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