NNEDV Celebrates Signing of the VOCA Fix
July 22, 2021
The Law Secures Billions in Victim Services Funding
For Immediate Release
Today, the National Network to End Domestic Violence (NNEDV) celebrates President Joseph R. Biden, Jr. signing the VOCA Fix to Sustain the Crime Victims Fund Act of 2021 (“VOCA Fix”). The law, which will secure billions in victim services funding, is one of NNEDV’s top legislative priorities.
“This has been an historic week for survivors. We are grateful to President Biden for taking swift action to sign the VOCA Fix,” said Deborah J. Vagins, NNEDV President and CEO. “This law advances and builds on the President’s legacy of more than 25 years moving the country forward on domestic violence issues. Today, we also celebrate the thousands of dedicated victim advocates who called, emailed, tweeted at, and met with their Members of Congress to urge them to pass this legislation. Their advocacy for survivors was instrumental to this victory.”
NNEDV was honored to attend the signing ceremony, along with members of the national VOCA stakeholder coalition, and Members of Congress and their dedicated staff. More than 1,700 victim rights organizations, government agencies, and 56 Attorneys General supported the legislation. NNEDV played a lead role in forming the coalition and worked closely with Members of Congress on the VOCA Fix. We are incredibly grateful to the bill’s lead sponsors, Senators Dick Durbin (D-IL), Lindsey Graham (R-SC), Tammy Baldwin (D-WI), Chuck Grassley (R-IA), Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), John Cornyn (R-TX), Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), and Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), as well as Representatives Jerry Nadler (D-NY), Brian Fitzpatrick (R-PA), Sheila Jackson Lee (D-TX), Ann Wagner (R-MO), Mary Gay Scanlon (D-PA), Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA), Debbie Dingell (D-MI), and John Moolenaar (R-MI), for their leadership and commitment to lifesaving services for victims of crime.
“The VOCA Fix saves and rebuilds a vital federal funding source. It will make a world of difference for more than 6,000 local domestic violence shelters, rape crisis centers, legal services programs, and child abuse treatment programs in every state and territory that were struggling to meet the growing demand for services in the wake of recent years of drastic cuts in VOCA grants,” said Vagins.
While the VOCA Fix addresses the ongoing financial crisis that put thousands of local programs in jeopardy and will help restore a critical source of funding for survivors who need housing, shelter, counseling, legal assistance, and more, reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) is still necessary to improve system-wide responses and eliminate barriers to safety and justice for all survivors. VAWA addresses many of the inequalities exposed by the pandemic by providing targeted resources to Communities of Color; creating additional pathways to justice beyond criminal responses; improving economic protections; providing safe, affordable housing options; and restoring tribal jurisdiction so tribes can hold non-native perpetrators accountable.
“Today, we celebrate the greatly needed resources that will come into the field because of the VOCA Fix, and look forward to what we hope will be swift passage of VAWA so that we can meet both the immediate and the long-term needs of survivors,” said Vagins.
The National Network to End Domestic Violence (NNEDV), a nonprofit charitable organization, is a leading voice against violence. NNEDV is dedicated to creating a social, political, and economic environment in which domestic violence no longer exists. NNEDV’s members include the 56 state and U.S. territorial coalitions against domestic violence, which have more than 2,000 local programs. NNEDV is a premiere national organization that has worked to advance the movement against domestic violence for over thirty years, having led efforts to pass the landmark Violence Against Women Act of 1994 and to reauthorize and strengthen countless laws and regulations to increase safety and end violence. To learn more about NNEDV, please visit NNEDV.org.