September 18, 2023

Cortez Masto Leads Push to Protect Support Services for Domestic Violence Survivors

Washington, D.C. – Today, U.S. Senator Catherine Cortez Masto (D-Nev.) led Senator Jacky Rosen (D-Nev.) and Representatives Dina Titus (D-Nev.-01), Susie Lee (D-Nev.-03), and Steven Horsford (D-Nev.-04) in calling on congressional leadership to fully fund the Victims of Crime Act (VOCA), which provides essential services for victims of violent crime, including domestic violence and sexual assault, in Nevada and across the country. In 2021, Cortez Masto helped pass the VOCA Fix to Sustain the Crime Victims Fund Act to stabilize funding for these victim support services, but the program is now facing cuts that could threaten services for vulnerable Nevadans.

In the letter, Cortez Masto and her colleagues stress that a significant reduction in VOCA funding would diminish the ability of service providers to continue offering life-saving services to the victims and survivors who need it most.

“We are writing to alert you to an urgent need facing victim service providers across the country and to request that supplemental funding be provided to Victims of Crime Act (VOCA) programs,” wrote the lawmakers. “Without access to additional funding, the availability of victim services across the country will significantly decrease, and smaller providers that target rural, underserved, and low-income communities will suffer the most.”

“The significant reduction in funding currently being proposed will diminish the ability of victim service providers across the nation to maintain programs and resources,” continued the lawmakers. “We therefore ask that you work to provide supplemental funding for VOCA, in conjunction with annually appropriated funds. We cannot afford to lose critical funding for victim services.”

The full text of the letter is available HERE.

Senator Cortez Masto has been a longtime advocate or victims of domestic violencesexual assault, and human trafficking. She successfully pushed the Department of Justice (DOJ) to release almost $40 million in federal dollars she secured to support victims of crimes, including funding for VOCA programs and fought to reauthorize the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA), which included her bipartisan legislation to allow sexual assault victims to file for compensation without being unfairly punished for delays due to rape kit backlogs.