Iowa organizations working to support victims of crime will have access to more federal funding as President Biden has signed the VOCA Fix Act into law.

Under the previous administration, dollars were directed away from the crime victims fund. Alta Medea-Peters, director of community engagement for Iowa’s Domestic Violence Intervention Program, says survivor support organizations still need to recover from those cuts before they can focus on the increased funding that’s coming.

“There is still plenty of work to be done,” Medea-Peters says. “A lot of programs are facing catastrophic changes over the next two years to remedy the damage that’s already been done, but there is hope on the horizon.” The bill received bipartisan support including from Iowa’s Republican Senators Chuck Grassley and Joni Ernst.

Medea-Peters says they’re thankful to have access to more federal funding, but it won’t be available for two more years.
She says, “The good news of the VOCA Fix Act being signed into law is that in two years time, we will not be facing the same cuts that we’re facing now.”

Medea-Peters says before they can apply for funding, the program will see a 35-percent cut in federal funding from the previous administration. Leadership will focus on how to fill those gaps before planning use for the future funding options.

(By Kassidy Arena, Iowa Public Radio)