New Hampshire is getting $5 million in federal funding for critical crime victim services as the needs across the state increase.
“Without these funds, many of the services available to victims of crime would be reduced dramatically or cease to exist,” said Attorney General John Formella.
The Executive Council approved the funding, which allows the Department of Justice to make sure the victim service programs can continue helping Granite Staters in sometimes dire circumstances.
“These approvals will allow the Department of Justice to continue to address the need for crime victim services across New Hampshire by sub-granting funds to the amazing organizations that provide these services throughout our state.”
New Hampshire uses the Victims of Crime Act (VOCA) grant to fund the needed services, but the VOCA has been losing its regular source of funding—fines paid by those convicted of federal crimes.
Fines are getting reduced at the federal level, and the United States Department of Justice3 is pursuing non-prosecution agreements with some people which has resulted in the money not getting deposited into VOCA.
According to Formella’s office, it is happening at the same time more people are becoming crime victims. Last year in New Hampshire, calls to domestic violence and sexual assault crisis lines increased by approximately 63 percent, and the need for emergency shelters for domestic violence victims increased by approximately 30 percent from 2019.
VOCA funds are used to support services for victims through direct service organizations such as domestic violence shelters, rape crisis centers, and child abuse treatment programs. In New Hampshire, more than 40 victim services organizations receive VOCA funds including the New Hampshire Coalition Against Domestic and Sexual Violence (NHCADSV) as well as the state’s 13 Crisis Centers, Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA), Granite State Children’s Alliance (OSCA) and New Hampshire Legal Assistance (NHLA). VOCA funding is also used to fund advocates at the state’s County Attorney Offices, several Police Departments, Granite State Child Advocacy Centers, the Granite United Way, and Victims, Inc.
Some of these organizations would not be able to continue without the VOCA funding, the Attorney General’s Office said Wednesday.