November 6, 2015
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Keep telling Congress we need the VOCA funds!
Thanks to all of you who have contacted your U.S. Senators and Representative about the importance of keeping VOCA Fund disbursements at their current level for FY 2016. Your voices are being heard, and you are making a difference! But this is no time to rest.
The appropriations committees in the House and Senate now have TWO WEEKS to rewrite the spending bills for FY 2016. Unless we continue to make the case, VOCA spending may be cut from last year's $2.36 billion to $1.2 billion for FY 2016, in part because members of Congress "don't think states can spend the money!" Wake up Congress!
5 WAYS YOU CAN HELP:
1. Call or email today. Key points to highlight in your messages:
- VOCA's Positive Impact: What has last year's increase meant for victims, service providers, your community and your state? Mention any new programs and services offered in your community, as well as gaps filled to provide services to traditionally underserved populations.
- The Impact of Cuts: Currently, the fund barely covers the needs for programs and services for victims; Illustrate what a cut in funds would mean to your program, your community, and your state.
- THE BOTTOM LINE: Urge your Member to speak to leadership and the members of the appropriations committees to stress the importance of keeping the VOCA cap high.
Please protect the Victims of Crime Act. Rape Crisis Centers need to help victims on waiting lists. #DontCutVOCA
Domestic violence victims need VOCA to stay safe. Too many are turned away. #DontCutVOCA
#DontCutVOCA when the FY 15 increase is just starting to help hurting victims.
#DontCutVOCA just when survivors of sexual assault are finding courage to seek services.
Key Appropriations contacts:
3. Congress is in recess and will be home next week. Invite your Member of Congress (and/or their staff) for a site visit - show them how you're putting VOCA funds to good use through a tour of your facility and the various victim services programs you offer.
4. Already reached out to your Member of Congress? Call again! Ask if they'd like more information about the how you're using VOCA Funds and why the cap must stay high.
5. Don't receive VOCA grants? Reach out to your Member of Congress and share how you would use it at your program if funds were available. OR if you're an ardent advocate but not a program or service provider, simply insist that Congress stand with victims and does not cut VOCA. Currently, the fund barely covers the needs for programs and services for victims. There is a desperate need for counselors, legal help, temporary housing, modernization of software in order to streamline reporting and documenting "outcomes" to name a few examples.
To reach your Representative and Senator:
Find your Senators and Representative; enter your full nine-digit zip code for the best results. You will be taken to their contact info, including phone number. Tell them you are a constituent!
You can also call the Capitol switchboard: (202) 224-3121. Choose Representative and then enter your zip code to be transferred. When you are done leaving a message for your Representative, call back and follow the same process to leave messages for your Senators.
For more information, fact sheets, press coverage, support letters and updates visit www.4vawa.org. Follow us on Twitter at @NTFVAWA.
If you aren't on one of this email list or want to add members of your staff or state/community leaders to our grassroots alerts e-mail list, send names and contact information including email to firstname.lastname@example.org.