On Thursday, President Biden delivered remarks and signed the H.R. 1652, the VOCA Fix to Sustain the Crime Victims Fund Act of 2021, into law. Joined with him was Vice President Kamala Harris.
The purpose of this bill is to help support victims of heinous crimes. The President stated that not only do victims suffer from the physical pain of an attack but also suffer from emotional trauma.
“It’s not enough to bring the predator to justice. We also need to support the victims,” said Biden.
“There are economic costs for survivors as well. Medical costs, lost productivity from work, and navigating the court system. That’s why victims’ compensations programs help victims and their families cover the cost they’ve suffered from the crime. There can be counseling and medical bills, lost wages because you couldn’t work, paying for temporary housing for a family fleeing abuse,” said Biden.
The President added that “The vast majority of children out in the street are the children who are in fact, the children of abused women.”
The President ensures that the fund will also be a “Long term support survivors need to heal.”
Biden stated that in 2019, these victims’ compensation funds went directly to 230,000 victims. The fund also went to states, territories, and tribes to support thousands of victims’ service organizations. The President stated that these organizations have provided services and support for over 30 million survivors.
In the wake of Biden’s Town Hall, he revisited his comments on cops from last night. “And by the way last night, some of you heard me talk about the need for more policing that understands the need for communities and citizens. These funds are also going to law enforcement agencies for training on how to respond to victims who have experienced trauma,” said Biden.
Biden ensured the American people that this fund doesn’t take a “dime” of taxpayers’ money. The fund uses fines and penalties paid by convicted federal criminals. The President added however, fines from what are called non-prosecutorial agreements or defended or deferred prosecution agreements did not go into this victim’s crime fund in the past.
The President reminded Americans that this bill will help “Enable us to provide more help and support to victims of domestic violence, sexual assault, child abuse, trafficking and other crimes all across America.”
Biden thanked all the advocates who mobilized and helped “bring together these important changes in the law.”
Biden invited all sponsors of the bill to join him on stage to sign the bill into law. He passed out pens with the help of Sen. Feinstein, who ironically ended up without one. Aide Stephen Goepfert, at Biden’s request, brought another pen to the stage. President then gave it to Feinstein.
“In 1984, I was proud to support the passage of the Victims of Crime Act that created this fund. I’m also proud to sign the law that significantly strengthens it today,” expressed Biden.