Washington, DC — Today, President Biden signed into law H.R. 1652, the bipartisan VOCA Fix to Sustain the Crime Victims Fund Act (VOCA Fix Act) of 2021, of which McBath is an original co-sponsor. This bill addresses an ongoing crisis for survivors and supports vital victim service programs by preventing cuts to programs funded by diminished federal victim service grants. The VOCA Fix Act directs federal criminal settlements from non-prosecution and deferred prosecution agreements into the Crime Victims Fund and increases the percentage that state compensation programs may be reimbursed from 60 percent to 75 percent. This legislation is supported locally by SafePath Children’s Advocacy Center and the Cobb Domestic Violence Taskforce in Marietta.       

“Congress has an obligation to support survivors and equip their advocates with vital resources to support their recovery. This bipartisan bill will help keep victims safe, provide necessary health services, and prosecute criminals,” McBath said. “As a survivor myself, it was deeply personal to me to join the President today and represent all those who have lost loved ones to violence. I was honored to stand with President Biden as he signed this legislation into law, and I look forward to seeing the positive impact this will have on local advocacy organizations in Georgia’s Sixth District.”

The Crime Victims Fund (CVF), established through the Crime Victims Act of 1984, is the primary funding source for victim services nationwide. The fund provides direct services to victims, including paying for rape kit and other forensic medical examinations; physical, mental, and emotional health and safety services; victim advocacy; housing and legal costs; as well as myriad other costs sustained after victimized by crime. Georgia’s FY2021 award will be at a 5-year low, meaning less funding to support critical services for crime victims The VOCA Fix Act will redirect monetary penalties from federal deferred prosecution and non-prosecution agreements, which would otherwise be deposited into the General Treasury, to the CVF. For more information on the bill, see this press release from McBath’s office in March. 

This law is supported by over 1,000 national, state, and local organizations including the National Children’s Alliance, the National Criminal Justice Association, the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence, the National District Attorneys Association, the National Association of Victim Assistance Administrators, Casa de Esperanza: the National Latin@ Network, the Association of Prosecuting Attorneys, Futures Without Violence, the Council of State Governments Justice Center, the National Alliance to End Sexual Violence, the National Association of Victim Compensation Board Administrators, and the National Network to End Domestic Violence.