Victims of Crime Act awards $27M in grant money

Published 11:46 am Wednesday, September 6, 2023

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Kentucky Today

Gov. Andy Beshear announced that $27.2 million in grant funding has been awarded to assist victims of violent crime in the state, with this year’s federal Victims of Crime Act (VOCA) grant funding awarded to 114 organizations across Kentucky.

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VOCA funding prioritizes services to victims of child abuse, sexual assault and domestic violence, but can also serve survivors of homicide and victims of burglary, theft, drug and alcohol-related crime and elderly victims and adult survivors of childhood sexual abuse or assault.

“Since day one of my administration, we have done everything we can to support crime victims and survivors of violent crimes,” Beshear said. “We take another step forward on our mission to do just that, by making sure critical funding reaches every corner of the Commonwealth.”

The last several years have seen significant decreases in federal funding for VOCA grants. The state Justice and Public Safety Cabinet’s 2023-2024 biennial budget included an additional $10 million of funding in each fiscal year from the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 (ARPA) to help offset the reduction. This year’s VOCA funding includes $17 million from the Office for Victims of Crime and an additional $10 million in ARPA funds, bringing the total awarded amount to $27 million.

One of the recipients is Maryhurst, who received $495,826 to ensure therapeutic treatment and clinical care are available to adolescent girls who are victims of child abuse requiring the highest level of specialized care in Kentucky, including security and facility enhancements.

Maryhurst President and CEO Christine Laster said VOCA funding has been a critical source of support over the years.

“The administration has invested in so many important needs for our children and families, from strengthening our infrastructure to supporting critical technology that makes our organization run effectively,” Laster said. “We are grateful for our committed partnership and look forward to continuing to work together to ensure that youth and families impacted by violence have the resources they need to recover and thrive.”