We are working with our national partners to educate Members of Congress about the impact COVID-19 is having on communities across our state, and urging them to support survivors and their children. Thanks to all of you who responded to our calls for action. We’ve had some big wins!
The COVID-19 relief package passed by Congress on December 21, 2020 provides stimulus payments including access for families with mixed immigration status, modest increases to victim service funding, rental assistance, an eviction moratorium, and nutrition aid. Learn more from this summary by the National Network to End Domestic Violence.
The Victims of Crime Act (VOCA) is the largest source of federal funding for domestic and sexual violence services in the country. VOCA has faced cuts over the last few years and is facing even more cuts now. 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 will help stabilize the amount of VOCA funding for states. On March 17, the House passed the VOCA Fix! We now need your help get the Senate to take this up to restore victim services funding and ensure survivors in crisis get the support they need! Please take action today and urge your Senators to support the VOCA Fix.
On March 17, the House also 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, provides housing vouchers for survivor households, funds legal services, and more. It does not, however, include critical protections for immigrant survivors of abuse. We will be urging the Senate to strengthen the final bill to include provisions for immigrant survivors and then reauthorize VAWA with these important improvements.