SALEM, Ore. - Last Friday, the Oregon Legislative Emergency Board took action to approve funding that will go towards supporting victims of domestic violence, sexual assault and other crimes.
The board’s action would support more than $35 million coming to Oregon through the Department of Justice’s Victims of Crime Act (VOCA) grant, which provides services to victims of domestic violence and sexual assault. This would be in addition to the $22.2 million approved by the Legislature through House Bill 5014 during the 2021 session.
VOCA grants fund many state-level direct advocacy services to Oregon crime victims. Inaction at the federal level by the previous administration cut VOCA funding levels in 2020 and led to looming program cuts in Oregon.
“Oregon Democrats are taking clear action to support public safety and violence prevention across the state,” said Rep. Jason Kropf (D-Bend). “We are stepping in to ensure the state is continuing life-saving services to crime survivors. This will support community, campus and tribal-based non-profit organizations assisting people at some of their hardest moments after domestic or sexual violence and child abuse.”
The board also approved more than $350,000 to establish three limited-duration positions for the Oregon Department of Justice’s Crime Victim and Survivor Services Division and community-based violence prevention grant program.
“Everyone deserves to be safe in their communities,”
Rep. David Gomberg (D-Central Coast) said. “Meeting that vision will require investments in proven solutions that reduce and prevent violence, while fostering safe communities built on trust.”
This past session Democrats made targeted investments in community-based violence prevention programs that will help address the root of the problem and reduce crime, providing funding to programs that will stop the cycle of violence. The Legislature also passed House Bill 4075 A, which will make it easier for victims of crime, including small businesses, to seek restitution and be repaid for economic damages.