|WASHINGTON, DC(July 22, 2021) – Today, Attorney General Mark Herring joined President Joe Biden, Vice President Kamala Harris, members of Congress, victims’ advocates, and others at the White House for the signing of the Victims of Crime Act (VOCA). Attorney General Herring has advocated for key changes to be made to VOCA that provide critical financial support to victims of violent crimes and their families.
“Crime victims and their families deserve the support they need to help them on their path towards healing, and I was proud to join President Biden for the signing of these important fixes to the Victims of Crime Act,” said Attorney General Herring. “As attorney general, I have made victim advocacy a top priority through outreach and implementing programs and other initiatives to protect victims of domestic violence, improving the way Virginia responds to sexual violence, and combating human trafficking. The increased funding and flexibility for VOCA-funded programs included in this legislation will greatly benefit victims and their families in Virginia and give them even more support and resources.”
Last summer, Attorney General Herring sent a letter to Congressional leadership calling on Congress to adopt changes to the Crime Victims Fund, a national fund that supports state victims’ services programs. These recommendations will stabilize the Fund’s finances and provide more flexibility to grantees who are providing services to victims and their families.
Attorney General Herring has made victim advocacy a top priority during his time in office. He and his team have worked hard to help victims of domestic violence by implementing grant programs and other initiatives including the Address Confidentiality Program and the Lethality Assessment Program.
Additionally, Attorney General Herring has worked hard to improve the way Virginia works to prevent and respond to sexual violence, including new laws to empower survivors; providing trainings for law enforcement trainings on survivor-centered, trauma-informed responses to sexual assault; eliminating Virginia’s rape kit backlog; and other significant new investments in training and infrastructure.
Attorney General Herring has also worked hard to combat human trafficking across the Commonwealth by launching numerous human trafficking awareness campaigns both statewide and in the Hampton Roads region, and launching the Hampton Roads Human Trafficking Task Force that has been incredibly effecting in combating human trafficking in the region. He also worked with the Richmond Regional Human Trafficking Collaborative to come up with new initiatives to combat human trafficking in the Richmond region.