Critical Fund For Domestic Violence Sees Major Cuts

( – A major funding cut is coming to a source of support for survivors of domestic violence, child abuse, and sexual assault.

Thirty-seven percent of seven hundred million dollars will be pulled from the funding for the National Crime Victims Fund. This fund is helpful for local and state services such as domestic abuse hotlines or legal assistance.

Monica McLaughlin, senior director of public policy at the National Network to End Domestic Violence said, “The consequences of not being able to access services are so dire and we worry, of course, that it is deadly.”

Congress passed the Victims of Crime Act in the eighties and funding for it was at an all-time high in 2018 at over four billion dollars, but this year it’s just over one billion dollars. The fund has been depleted mainly by government budgeting changes that slowly depleted it over time.

In previous years, the Department of Justice dealt with federal cases without prosecution and the money from settlements used in these cases was given to the Treasury instead of the Crime Victims Fund. This, mixed with the fact that they were transferring money from the Crime Victims Fund to the Violence Against Women Act, made for just a transfer of debt that didn’t get paid off.

In the United States, more than six million people are being denied Voca services. In September, during a 24-hour period, there were over thirteen thousand domestic violence service requests that could not be fulfilled.

Many service providers have said that they’ll need to lay off staff or that they will not be replacing people who are resigning. Kristin Dubrowski, chief executive officer of Hopeful Horizons in South Carolina, spoke out saying, “We already have a couple of staff who have resigned whose positions we are not filling. And then we’d be looking at potentially cutting six more full-time positions that are currently funded under Voca.”

Funding cuts will affect Voca everywhere and every state may see this effect differently, based on certain factors that relate to domestic violence.

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