National Crime Victim Organizations Contact Groups
720 7th St. N.W., #300
Washington D.C. 20001
(202) 448-1710


Honorable[ Name ]
Washington, D.C 20510

Dear Senator [Name]:

We, the undersigned members of the National Crime Victim Organizations Contact Group, represent the millions of citizens that become victims of crime every year in our nation and the agencies that provide supportive services to them. The Crime Victims Fund provides crucial support to thousands of nonprofit organizations and public agencies who help millions of crime victims. We have joined together to urge all members of Congress to oppose the Administration’s proposal to remove $1.2 billion from this essential and life-saving fund.

The Fund was created under the Victims of Crime Act in 1984 as a “separate account” meaning that the revenues in the Fund are intended to be used solely for financial support of victim services, primarily through State crime victim compensation and State victim assistance formula grants. The Fund comes from the collection of Federal criminal fines, forfeitures and assessments; it does not depend on general taxpayer appropriations. Since the Fund’s inception, Congress directed that all amounts deposited into the Fund would remain available to support victim services “without fiscal year limitation.”

Over 4,400 victim service agencies in every state and every district depend upon VOCA funding for essential victim services, such as emergency shelters, counseling, legal advocacy, and assistance participating in the criminal justice system. In FY 2003, 3.8 million crime victims received VOCA-funded assistance, including victims of domestic violence, sexual assault, child abuse, elder abuse, survivors of homicide victims and drunk driving crashes. Hundreds of thousands of victims were provided financial assistance through VOCA grants to State crime victim compensation programs.

Initially, the money collected every year was released to states the following year. When collections grew to nearly $1 billion in fines in FY 1999, Congress placed a cap on the amount that was distributed each year. Congress began limiting annual Fund obligations expressly “to ensure that a stable level of funding will remain available for these programs in future years" (Conference Report 106-479).

Capping annual Fund obligations created a Fund balance—a “rainy day” fund consisting of amounts that otherwise would have been used by States to support immediate victim assistance needs. The Fund balance was used to make up the difference between annual deposits and Congressional caps three times over the past six years.

Having recently recognized the 20th anniversary of this successful and effective program, we were shocked to learn that the Administration now proposes rescinding the entire Fund at the end of FY 2006, including the amounts that Congress promised and, in fact, needed to protect against Fund fluctuations and to ensure the Fund’s stability as well as deposits made during FY 2006. More stable long-term sources of funding are already required to maintain a sufficient amount in the Fund. Rescinding the Fund will zero out the Fund going into FY 2007 and unquestionably create a disastrous situation for victim service providers and their clients. The entire crime victims’ field stands united in its opposition to the proposed rescission.

We ask Congress to reject the Administration’s recommendation to rescind the Fund and to work with us to guarantee the Fund’s future viability and support for victim services.


David Beatty
Contact Group Coordinator
Justice Solutions, NPO

Jeanette Adkins
National Organization for Victim Assistance

Marybeth Carter
National Alliance to End Sexual Violence

Nancy Chandler
National Children’s Alliance

Steve Derene
National Association of VOCA Assistance Administrators

Dan Eddy
National Association of Crime Victim Compensation Boards

Wendy Hamilton
Mothers Against Drunk Driving

Mary Lou Leary
National Center for Victims of Crime

Dan Levey
National Organization for Parents of Murdered Children

Jill Morris
National Coalition Against Domestic Violence

Diane Moyer
Pennsylvania Coalition Against Rape

Lynn Rosenthal
National Network to End Domestic Violence



Voca Letter


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Last Modified:
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