Funding Cuts Loom for Victim Services
Iowa victim service providers have known for a while that looming funding cuts threaten their ability to provide support for the vulnerable Iowans who need it.
That’s why state officials and providers — bracing for the funding cuts — have united again to urge Congress to enact the “VOCA Legislative Fix.” Without action, victim service providers may have to cut programs, staff and services.
“We’re extremely worried,” said Lynn Hicks, Iowa Attorney General Chief of Staff, via email. “We will be issuing an 8.4% cut, or $1.5 million, for all funded programs for the grant year beginning, Oct. 1, 2021. Oct. 1, 2022, begins the first year of our next three-year grant cycle, and even if Congress passes the VOCA fix, we will likely have to implement an additional 27% cut, or $6 million, as we wait for the Crime Victim Fund (CVF) to recover financially.”
Iowa Coalition for Collective Change defines itself as the state’s leading voice for homicide prevention, response and support for Black, Indigenous and People of Color (BIPOC) communities experiencing violence. Its executive director is very concerned about how the funding cuts will affect all survivors who need services.
“This devastating cut will inevitably reduce access to crime victim support services, especially post-crisis services enhancing long-term stability, leaving victims and survivors without options for safety and vulnerable to further victimization,” wrote Luana Nelson-Brown, the coalition’s executive director, in the draft of an opinion piece about the cuts.