President Biden on Thursday signed a bill to increase funding to the Crime Victims Fund, which supports victims of domestic violence, sexual assault, and other crimes.
In a ceremony in the East Room of the White House, Biden signed the VOCA Fix to Sustain the Crime Victims Fund Act of 2021, which requires that funds collected from deferred prosecution and non-prosecution agreements be deposited into the Crime Victims Fund.
“This bill is going to allow us to make sure that all of the fines and penalties that are from federal cases go to the victims, the Crime Victims Fund, to rebuild this fund, because it’s badly needed,” Biden said during the ceremony. “This is going to enable us to provide more help and support victims of domestic violence, sexual assault, child abuse, trafficking and other crimes all across America.”
Biden co-sponsored the 1984 bill that established the Crime Victims Fund but said it has become depleted in recent years, leading to cuts in victim’s services.
He said the new stream of revenue introduced by this latest measure would help restore support to victims.
“When someone commits a crime, it’s not enough to bring the predator to justice. We also need to support the victims,” he said. A bipartisan group of lawmakers, including Sens. Diane Feinstein, D-Calif., Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, and Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., along with Reps. Jerrold Nadler, D-N.Y., and Sheila Jackson Lee, D-Texas attended the ceremony.
“It’s long past time to reauthorize and strengthen the protections through the Violence Against Women Act — please, please,” he said. “We know from experience you all can come together in a bipartisan, bicameral way to pass this bill. We need to do the same thing to reauthorize the Violence Against Women Act without further delay.”