Funding Direct Assistance to Victims of Crimes
Victims of Crime Act (VOCA) is the only federal grant program supporting direct assistance services to victims of all types of crimes. The primary purpose of the VOCA grant program is to extend and enhance services to crime victims.
VOCA Federal Guidelines
VOCA funds are allocated annually to the Oregon Department of Justice Crime Victims’ Services Division and are sub-granted to victim service organizations throughout the state (PDF) ».
VOCA federal guidelines state that services are defined as those that:
- respond to the emotional and physical needs of crime victims.
- assist primary and secondary victims to stabilize their lives after a victimization.
- assist victims to understand and participate in the criminal justice system.
- provide victims with a measure of safety and security such as boarding-up broken windows and replacing or repairing locks.
An agency must meet all of the following federal requirements to receive VOCA funds:
- Demonstrate a record of effective and direct services to crime victims
- Meet program match requirement
- Utilize volunteers to provide or support direct services
- Promote coordinated public and private efforts to assist victims
- Assist victims seeking crime victim compensation benefits
- Provide services to crime victims, at no charge, through the VOCA funded project
- Maintain confidentiality
- Provide services to victims of federal crime on the same basis as victims of state crime
- Maintain required civil rights information
- Meet the terms of the certified assurances, special conditions and other federal rules regulating grants
OVP PMT Information
Subgrantees are required to use the new OVC PMT system » to submit VOCA statistical information quarterly.
Resources for completion of Subgrantee Data Report in OVC PMT:
- Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) (PDF) »
- Tips and Error Checks (PDF) »
- Simplified Tips »
- Definitions »
- Webinar Training #1 – Navigation »
- Webinar Training #2 – Victims Served »
- Webinar Training #3 – Services Provided »
History of VOCA: Supporting Crime Victims Since 1984
The Victims of Crime Act (VOCA) was passed by Congress and signed into law by President Ronald Reagan on October 12, 1984. It serves as the central source of federal financial support for direct services to crime victims.
VOCA is administered at the federal level through the U.S. Department of Justice Office for Victims of Crime, which annually awards a grant to each state, the District of Columbia and U.S. Territories. Those state agencies, in turn, subgrant to organizations providing direct services to crime victims.
The money for these grants comes from the Crime Victims Fund, a special fund into which fines, penalty assessments, bond forfeitures collected from convicted federal offenders and certain other collections are deposited. Taxpayers do not fund VOCA grants.
Each state has a designated VOCA assistance agency to administer VOCA grants. While minimal federal requirements must be met, each state is given great discretion in awarding specific subgrants.
VOCA in Oregon
In Oregon, the Oregon Department of Justice (DOJ) is the designated agency for the administration of VOCA funds. The Crime Victims’ Services Division (CVSD) of the Oregon DOJ has specific program responsibility for VOCA. The newly formed Competitive and Non-Competitive Advisory Committees serve as a review body to the Oregon DOJ and CVSD.
Congress took an unprecedented step forward in meeting the critical needs of our nation’s crime victims by increasing the VOCA cap for FY 2015. As part of the 2015 appropriations bill, Congress more than tripled the annual amount of non-taxpayer money released from the Crime Victims fund by raising the annual cap.
With this unexpected increase to Oregon’s VOCA allocation, CVSD has the opportunity to make significant improvements in victim assistance services as well as the responsibility to do so in an accountable and transparent manner.
Cathy Relang, VOCA Fund Coordinator
1162 Court Street NE
Salem, OR 97301-4096
Additional VOCA Resources
- VOCA Competitive Grant Awards (PDF) »
- VOCA Non-Competitive Grant Awards (PDF) »
- 2012 VOCA Grant Management Handbook (PDF) »
- CVSD E-Grants Information
- VOCA Annual Report (2014-2015) (PDF) »
- Sample VOCA Grant Agreements
- National Association of VOCA Assistance Administrators (NAVAA) »
- Office of Justice Programs – Office for Victims of Crime »
- Ten Things You Should Know About VOCA (PDF) »
- VOCA Briefing Background 2017 (PDF) »
- VOCA Federal Guidelines »
- Office of Justice Federal Financial Guideline »