Interfaith Coalition Against Domestic and Sexual Violence urges Congress to support Victims of Crime Act grants

    January 29, 2024

    Dear Member of Congress,

    We, the undersigned sixty-two faith-based organizations, come together to express our strong support for bridge funding to bolster Victims of Crime Act (VOCA) grants. Our faith traditions teach us the importance of standing with those who are vulnerable, offering solace to the afflicted and working towards the restoration of individuals and communities. VOCA grants are the primary source of federal funding for victim services, including programs supporting victims and survivors of domestic violence, sexual assault, child abuse, stalking, human trafficking, elder abuse, community violence, homicide and other crimes.

    VOCA grants are funded by monetary penalties associated with federal criminal cases. Unusually low annual deposits into VOCA’s Crime Victim’s Fund (CVF) led Congress to pass the VOCA Fix to Sustain the Crime Victims Fund Act of 2021 (VOCA Fix), which directed monetary penalties associated with deferred- and non-prosecution agreements into the Crime Victims Fund, supplementing the statute’s original deposit of monetary penalties resulting exclusively from criminal convictions. While the VOCA Fix has increased annual deposits substantially, they have been insufficient to fully make up for the shortfall.

    In our work, we witness the far-reaching impact of experiencing interpersonal violence and the urgent need for compassionate assistance. VOCA-funded programs are critical to the healing process. By extending a helping hand, VOCA aligns with the core tenets common to all our faiths that call us to love our neighbors, seek justice and bring comfort to those in need. However, due to continued below-average deposits, VOCA grants will be cut by a staggering $700 million next year.

    Victim service providers cannot absorb a cut of this magnitude. FY2023 VOCA grants were already the lowest since 2014, and an additional decrease of $700 million would be nothing short of devastating. Many programs will be forced to close, and others will have to cut services and turn away victims in need. Victims and survivors will not have access to safety and healing, and staff who have dedicated their lives to the well-being of others will lose their livelihoods. These cuts will fall hardest on the communities that already have the least — rural communities, low-income communities, communities of color and other underserved communities. The services supported by VOCA not only aid individual victims but also contribute to the health and resilience of our entire community.

    We urge Congress to maintain the annual VOCA cap at $1.9 billion for FY2024 while not cutting other critical programs that support victims and survivors. This bridge funding will provide much-needed stability for victims and for victim service providers while Congress, the Administration and stakeholders investigate the cause of the continued shortfalls and identify and implement longer-term solutions.

    As faith-based organizations, we recognize the importance of government initiatives that complement our efforts, working together to build a society where compassion, justice and faith converge for the betterment of our communities. Thank you for your attention to this matter and for your service to our community. May your efforts be guided by wisdom, compassion and a steadfast commitment to the well-being of all. Please direct any questions to


    National and international organizations
    Catholic Charities USA
    Catholics for Family Peace
    Congregation of Our Lady of Charity of the Good Shepherd, U.S. Provinces
    Dominican Sisters of Sinsinawa
    ECC Love Mercy Do Justice
    Faith in Public Life Action
    Faith Leaders for Ending Gun Violence
    Franciscan Action Network
    Holy Spirit Missionary Sisters, USA-JPIC
    Jewish Women International
    John J. Brunetti Human Trafficking Academy, The
    Living Waters of Hope
    Maryknoll Sisters Eastern Region
    Mennonite Church USA
    National Advocacy Center of the Sisters of the Good Shepherd
    National Council of Jewish Women
    Nuns Against Gun Violence
    Office of Peace, Justice, and Ecological Integrity/Sisters of Charity of Saint Elizabeth
    Pax Christi USA
    Presbyterian Church USA Office of Public Witness
    Safe Havens Interfaith Partnership Against Domestic Violence and Elder Abuse
    Sisters of St. Francis of Philadelphia
    Sisters of Mercy of the Americas Justice Team
    Texas Impact
    Union for Reform Judaism
    United Methodist Church, The — General Board of Church and Society
    Women of Reform Judaism

    Regional (multi-state), state, and local organizations
    Advocacy and Action Board of the BWCUMC, The
    Asbury United Methodist Church, DC
    Board of Church in Society of First Congregational Church of Houston, TX
    Bound for Better, advocates for Domestic Violence, MD
    Calvary Church, UM, MA
    Congregation Beth Israel, Social Justice Committee, TX
    Church of St. Andrew, Episcopal, MA
    Divine Redeemer Presbyterian Church, TX
    Earth Care, St Andrews Presbyterian, Austin
    First Parish in Wayland, MA
    Franciscan Peace Center, IA
    Good Shepherd Shelter, CA
    Grace United Church of Christ, TX
    JCFS Chicago, IL
    Jewish Family & Children’s Service, MA
    Jewish Family Service Association of Cleveland, OH
    Living Word Lutheran Church, TX
    Methodist Action Program, DE
    Sisters of Charity of New York, NY
    Sisters of Charity Office of Justice, Peace, and Integrity of Creation
    Social Justice Committee, Congregation Beth Israel, TX
    St Elizabeth’s Episcopal Church, MA
    St. John’s Episcopal Church, MA
    Temple B’nai Abraham, MA
    Temple Emeth, MA
    Temple Ner Tamid of the North Shore, MA
    Temple Sinai (DC) Gun Violence Prevention Group, DC
    Texas Unitarian Universalist Justice Ministry, TX
    University Presbyterian Church Austin, TX
    University United Methodist Church, TX
    Wilshire Baptist Church, TX

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