Gov. Andy Beshear recently announced nearly $23 million in grant funding from the federal Victims of Crime Act Formula Victim Assistance Grant Program supporting victims of crime in the commonwealth. Several of those with local ties who will be receiving a portion of this funding include the Russell County Attorney’s Office with $50,698, Adanta Sexual Assault Resource Center with $123,760, the Lake Cumberland Children’s Advocacy Center with $145,600, and the Bethany House Abuse Shelter in Somerset with $159,112
The program gives priority to projects that offer services to victims of child abuse, sexual assault and domestic violence. Additionally, the VOCA program funds projects that serve other individuals such as victims of burglary or theft, survivors of victims of homicide, victims of drug and alcohol-related crime, elderly victims and adult survivors of childhood sexual abuse and/or assault.
Victims of crime in the commonwealth are eligible for VOCA-supported assistance services at no cost. These services respond to the emotional, psychological or physical needs of crime victims. VOCA programming provides critical supports and services for immediate and long-term healing and stability, as well as navigating the criminal justice process and restoring a measure of security and safety for survivors.
Since October 2015, 481,220 victims in the commonwealth have been served and 4,029,049 services have been provided through VOCA grant funds.
VOCA funds are replenished each year through fines, forfeited bail bonds, penalties and special assessments collected from federal offenders by U.S. Attorneys’ offices, federal U.S. courts and the Federal Bureau of Prisons. No tax money supports the Crime Victim’s Fund. VOCA funds are provided to states and U.S. territories as a formula grant.