Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator Catherine Cortez Masto (D-Nev.), a member of the U.S. Senate Committee on Indian Affairs, released the following statement on the committee approval of the Securing Urgent Resources Vital to Indian Victim Empowerment (SURVIVE) Act. This legislation, cosponsored by Senator Cortez Masto, will improve public safety in tribal communities and secure vital resources for Native American victims of crime.
“American Indian and Alaska Native communities face some of the highest crime victimization rates in the country, yet they continue to lack adequate access to funding from the Crime Victims Fund. This legislation will help the federal government live up to its important trust relationship with tribal communities and ensures Native American victims of crime are receiving the support and federal assistance they need to heal and thrive.”
The SURVIVE Act, which is sponsored by Indian Affairs Committee Chairman John Hoeven (R-N.D.), will increase needed tribal victim assistance by creating a tribal grant program within the U.S. Department of Justice’s Office for Victims of Crime. The Crime Victims Fund was created in 1984 by the Victims of Crime Act to support services for victims of crime. This bill requires a five percent allocation from the Crime Victims Fund (CVF) be provided to Indian tribes.
In addition to extending Crime Victims Fund resources to Indian tribes through a fair and competitive grant program, this legislation empowers tribes and Indian victims of crime by:
- Expanding the types of victim assistance, services and infrastructure for which the funds may be used, including domestic violence shelters, medical care, counseling, legal assistance and services, and child and elder abuse programs;
- Providing for significant confidentiality and privacy protections for crime victims to feel safe when receiving services; and
- Enabling tribes to deliver critical, culturally tailored victim services.