The Washington State Coalition Against Domestic Violence (WSCADV) is the leading voice to end domestic violence in Washington State. We improve how communities respond to domestic violence and are working to create a world where all people can live and love without fear. We join the National Network to End Domestic Violence (NNEDV) in requesting the following legislation and appropriations from the 117th Congress.
The Victims of Crime Act (VOCA) is the largest source of federal funding for domestic and sexual violence services in the country. VOCA uses non-taxpayer money from the Crime Victims Fund (CVF). When deposits into the CVF are reduced, the amount allocated to states for victim services is reduced. The reduced FFY21 allocation has already made catastrophic impacts on survivors and victim service providers. Further drastic reductions will result in major cuts to domestic violence, sexual assault, child abuse, crime victims, victim-witness, and survivor civil legal services. Nationwide, VOCA funds 6,500 direct service providers, serving 6 million survivors annually. VOCA Assistance funds benefit up to 150 different organizations across Washington State at any point in time.
On March 4th, a bipartisan group of U.S. Senators and Representatives introduced the VOCA Fix to Sustain the Crime Victims Fund Act of 2021 (VOCA Fix Act). This bill helps stabilize the amount of VOCA funding for states. On March 17, the House passed the VOCA Fix! On July 20, the Senate passed the VOCA Fix Act (H.R. 1652) with a historic vote of 100-0. President Biden signed the bill into law on July 22.
Our VOCA asks:
- Stabilize the FFY22 VOCA allocation by releasing $2.65 billion with a set-aside for tribes
On March 17, the House passed the Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act of 2021 (VAWA 21) with a bipartisan vote of 244-172. VAWA 21 addresses the complex realities of survivors’ lives, maintains established protections, and addresses persistent gaps. It includes protections for Native survivors, restores Tribal jurisdiction, improves housing protections and provides safe housing options, and guarantees equal access for victims regardless of gender. It does not, however, include critical protections for immigrant survivors of abuse. Along with our partners and member programs, we are communicating with Members of Congress about the urgent need for vital provisions for immigrant survivors in VAWA or other immigration reform bills.
Our VAWA asks:
- Fully fund VAWA programs at $1 billion
- The Senate must introduce and pass H.R. 1620 with no rollbacks to key improvements
The Family Violence Prevention and Services Act (FVPSA) currently funds and supports local shelters and programs, Tribes, state and territory coalitions, prevention work, the National Domestic Violence Hotline, and more. The FVPSA Reauthorization Bill strengthens Tribal capacity to exercise their sovereign authority to respond to domestic violence, funds Tribal coalitions including in Washington, and authorizes the currently funded Alaska Native Women’s Resource Center. This bill also invests in domestic violence prevention by increasing support for evidence-informed community-based prevention projects and expanding to more communities across the country.
The most recent Domestic Violence Counts Washington State Report shows that 2,306 victims and children were served on September 10, 2020. Victims made 603 requests for services that could not be provided because programs lacked the resources. Approximately 62% of these unmet requests were for housing or emergency shelter. There is a clear gap between the needs of survivors and available resources.
Our FVPSA asks: