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 118th 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. Recent allocation reductions have had catastrophic impacts on survivors and victim service providers. VOCA funds benefit up to 150 different organizations across Washington State at any point in time.
In 2021, Congress passed the VOCA Fix to Sustain the Crime Victims Fund Act of 2021 , or VOCA Fix Act, (H.R. 1652) with bipartisan support. While the VOCA Fix has been working, it has not been sufficient to completely replenish the Crime Victims Fund. Further drastic reductions will result in major cuts to essential crime victim services.
Our VOCA asks:
- Maintain level funding in FY24 by releasing $1.9 billion from the CVF
VAWA addresses the complex realities of survivors’ lives, maintains established protections, and addresses persistent gaps. It includes protections for Native survivors, expands Tribal jurisdiction, increases support for culturally specific services and services in rural communities, and guarantees equal access for victims regardless of gender. However, it does not 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 $1.17 billion
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. This year, the Family Violence Prevention and Services Improvement Act of 2023 (H.R. 2604/S. 2693) was introduced in both chambers. The FVPSA Improvement Act includes key enhancements to increase the funding authorization level, expand support for and access to culturally specific programs, strengthen the capacity of Indian tribes, and meaningfully invest in prevention.
The most recent Domestic Violence Counts Washington State Report shows that 1,774 victims and children were served on September 7, 2022. Victims made 574 requests for services that could not be provided because programs lacked the resources. Approximately 80% 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: