Victim Services Support Program
VOCA Fix 2021
CVAD Director Janelle Melohn's messaging regarding the VOCA Fix 2021 are below:
I’m excited to tell you that the Crime Victims Fund Sustainability Act of 2021: The VOCA Fix, or VOCA Fix Act of 2021 for short, is being introduced in the House with strong bipartisan support. The identical text will be introduced in the Senate, also with bipartisan cosponsors, in the next few days. I want to provide all of our programs with the information necessary to do any education, or advocacy on this bill.
Attached are the following:
- Iowa VOCA Factsheet
- Iowa FFY20 VOCA Impact Infographic
- Iowa VOCA Talking Points
- Iowa VOCA Talking Point updated March 2021
- VOCA Graphic 1 (for social media use)
- VOCA Graphic 2 (for social media use)
- VOCA Fix Act 2021 Final Bill Text
(Last two attachments are repurposed VOCA graphics from the first big push in late 2020)
House and Senate Press Releases:
National Resource Links and Info:
- Letter in support of VOCA bill signed by more than 1,680 national, regional, state, tribal, and local organizations and government agencies
- Letter in support of some of the provisions in the VOCA bill from the 56 State and Territorial Attorneys General
- VOCA fast facts
Social Media outreach and awareness:
Use these hashtags: #VOCAFix #Crisis4Victims
Twitter handles: To find the twitter handle of your representative and senators, visit this link.
As a reminder, the bill will do the following:
- direct federal criminal settlements from non-prosecution and deferred prosecution agreements, currently deposited into the General Treasury, into the Fund. This change could add $4-$7 billion to the Fund over the next few years, stabilizing not only VOCA-funded programs, but the other justice assistance grant programs that rely on the Fund to support the entire DOJ appropriations bill (VAWA, discretionary grants, etc.);
- increase the percentage that state compensation programs may be reimbursed from 60 percent to 75 percent;
- give the US Atty Gen. the power to offer no-cost extensions on VOCA awards;
- give states the ability to waive the local match for VOCA assistance grants for the duration of the pandemic;
- provide additional flexibility for compensation programs to provide support for victims even if they do not interact with law enforcement prior to providing assistance; and,
- eliminate the requirement for compensation programs to deduct restitution recoveries from state payouts for the purpose of calculating VOCA grants.
Follow up message:
The US Senate has just introduced the “VOCA Fix to Sustain the Crime Victims Fund Act” bill (aka – VOCA Fix bill). The whole field is beginning to flood Congress with education and advocacy on passing this bill as we speak so please pass along the information to anyone you think would benefit from seeing it.
Senator Grassley is one of the four Republican co-sponsors on the bill (others are: R’s-Cornyn, Graham, Murkowski; D’s-Durbin, Baldwin, Klobuchar, Feinstein), which is a really big deal. Outreach to Iowa’s congressional delegation is important and any messaging to Sen. Grassley’s office should really include some kudos for his leadership on this issue. The House ran into delays in introduction due to the unexpected cancellation of their session today due to possible threats. We expect the House to introduce it in the very near future as well and I’m told it will be the same language.
There are new social media graphics developed by one of the national victim service agencies to use to generate support. The social media toolkit can be found here.
If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to reach out to me at Janelle.Melohn@ag.iowa.gov or to any of the three coalitions. Thank you! - Janelle Melohn
General Grant Funding, Application and Review Process
The Crime Victim Assistance Division of the Iowa Attorney's Office generally awards their victim services grant funds for three-year grant cycles. CVAD's victim service funding is concentrated into two focus areas: criminal justice grants and victim services grants. CVAD anticipates releasing the next round of funding in two phases. The request for criminal justice funding applications/grant solicitation is expected to be released in November 2021. The request for victim services funding applications/grant solicitation is expected to be released in January 2022.
Criminal Justice Grants
Criminal justice grants are awarded to non profit organizations, law enforcement agencies, courts, victim witness coordinators and prosecutors. The majority of funding for criminal justice grant is STOP and VOCA; the projects funded include violence against women prosecutors, victim witness coordinators, DART and SART teams, violence against women law enforcement efforts and community coordinated response teams.
Victim Services Grants
Victim services grants are awarded to non profit organizations, govermental agencies and institutes of higher education. Victims services grants fund projects and programs designed to assist crime victims with healing after victimization. These grants are for comprehensive victim services agencies, culturally specific agencies and organizations who serve victims in specific capacity.
CVAD is transitioning to a new grants management system and will update this page as we complete our transition to the new system.
The submitted proposals are reviewed and evaluated by a volunteer grant review committee. The committee is made up of persons with expertise in victim services, grant management, and public policy.
The review committee and CVAD staff submit their recommendations for funding to the Crime Victim Assistance Board. The Board determines final grant awards to the extent funds are available and to the extent the applicants meet eligibility criteria.
Click here for more information on grant eligibility, required grant certificates, and required grant reports.
Click here for administrative rules governing the VSS Program.
The VSS Program administers grant funds that provide partial funding to local and statewide crime victim service programs in Iowa.
- Federal Victims of Crime Act (VOCA) Victim Assistance funds are awarded by the U.S. Department of Justice, Office for Victims of Crime. The funds come entirely from fines and penalties assessed against convicted federal criminals.
- Violence Against Women Act (VAWA or VW) funds are awarded by the U.S. Department of Justice, Office on Violence Against Women. Congress appropriates the funds annually. Iowa's VAWA Implementation Plan.
- Federal Family Violence Prevention & Services Act Grant (FVPSA) funds are awarded by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Community Services, Administration for Children and Families. Congress appropriates the funds annually.
- Federal Sexual Abuse Services Program (SASP) funds are awarded by the U.S. Department of Justice, Office on Violence Against Women. Congress appropriates the funds annually.
- Iowa’s Domestic Abuse (DA) and Sexual Abuse (SA) funds are appropriated by the Iowa General Assembly annually.
Office of the Attorney General of Iowa
Crime Victim Assistance Division
Lucas State Office Building
321 East 12th Street
Des Moines, IA 50319
For more information contact Victim Services Support Program Administrator Lori Miller.