On Tuesday, U.S. Senator Joni Ernst (R-Iowa), a survivor of domestic violence and sexual assault and the first woman to serve in federal elected office from the State of Iowa, helped unanimously pass bipartisan legislation to provide urgently needed support for crime victims’ services, including organizations like the Domestic Violence Intervention Program in Iowa, sending the bill to the president’s desk.
“Having volunteered at a women’s shelter in college and as a survivor myself, this issue is deeply personal for me. With the Crime Victims Fund facing serious funding shortfalls, this bipartisan legislation will be a critical lifeline that will provide support for crime victims in Iowa and across the country,” said Senator Joni Ernst.
The VOCA Fix Act, of which Ernst is an original cosponsor, will re-direct new funds into the Crime Victims Fund (CVF), a reserve that provides support for state victim compensation and assistance programs in Iowa and across the country. The funds are used to support programs assisting victims of domestic violence, sexual assault, and child abuse, among other crimes.
The CVF, which is funded largely through the criminal fines and other penalties of offenders, has faced significant funding shortfalls in recent years.