South Carolina Appleseed is alarmed with the proposed radical decrease (approx. 40%) in the VOCA (Violence Against Crimes Act) cap proposed in the Senate’s FY21 spending bill and coinciding lack of an urgently-needed VOCA legislative fix.
The proposed cuts would be devastating for agencies that serve the needs for communities of color, immigrant communities, and communities living in poverty. Specifically, agencies or organizations that provide services for victims of sexual and domestic violence this year have already experienced:
- An 18% cut in VOCA funding
- A huge decrease in ability to fundraise from private and business donors due to the cancellation of events and economic impacts of the community health crisis
- A decrease in state appropriations of $800,000 to domestic violence programs
- The additional costs incurred in the necessity of shifting shelter services from communal living facilities to hotels to allow social distancing of clients
- The need to transform services almost overnight from in-person to remote while still observing confidentiality within effective advocacy and support
Further reductions in VOCA funding will create enormous hardship to the sustainability of these vital organizations, severely impact the provision of critical, lifesaving services, and lead to the lay-off of potentially hundreds of advocates across the state.
We must stop these cuts from happening. You can help! To do so:
- Reach out to Senator Scott and Senator Graham.
- Reach out to your member in the U.S. Congressman.
- Share this information with your friends and family. Encourage them to contact their Members of Congress.
- Share on social media, with your connections in the media and encourage your friends & family to do the same. Visit SCCADVASA’s social media pages for messaging (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram) or download our VOCA FY21 Social Media Starter Guide w/ sample social media posts.
- Reach out to your state legislators to ask them to be leaders and contact their Members of Congress.
- Follow up with a telephone call to congressional staff, reference the email you sent and offer to send the information again if it appears they are not familiar with this issue. Follow up with the information and a thank you.