A letter signed by seven victim service organizations to Governor Lamont urged his support for victims of crime by offsetting a temporary but significant loss of funding to crime victims in Connecticut. The federal Victims of Crime Act (VOCA), administered in the state by the Connecticut Judicial Branch Office of Victim Services (OVS), supports victims of domestic violence, sexual violence, child abuse, stalking, human trafficking, driving under the influence, homicide, and other crimes. Grantees of the fund who work on the ground tirelessly supporting victims will see a nearly thirty-five percent loss of funds at a time when the need for these critical services is increasing as a consequence of the pandemic. Collectively, the organizations provide essential services to most crime victims through the state.
VOCA funding, generated from federal criminal fines and fees, is at an all-time low due to an issue that redirected those fines and fees to the General Treasury for the past few years. In July, President Biden signed into law a measure that will correct this problem, and national expert expect the VOCA Fund should replenish in approximately two years. VOCA funds ensure victims have access to support, counseling, advocacy, and help to navigate the complex criminal justice system and provide systems of care for victims and survivors of crime, including crisis interventions in the immediate aftermath of the crime.