DearColleague.us

Letter

 

Sending Office: Honorable Tom O’Halleran
Sent By:
Maggie.Farry@mail.house.gov

Support Victims of Crime Across Indian Country

Co-Sponsor Bipartisan SURVIVE Act

Dear Colleague,

As a former law enforcement officer, ensuring victims of domestic violence and crime have the resources they need to seek justice has always been a critical priority. Today, too many victims in vulnerable communities struggle to access vital services and
supports they need. Nowhere is the need for increased access to services greater than across Indian Country.

According to federal data, American Indian and Alaska Native (AIAN) communities face some of the highest victimization rates in the country. Unfortunately, less than 0.7% of the Crime Victim’s Fund (CVF) established by the Victims of Crime Act reaches Indian
tribes. This important funding provides victim services including crisis intervention, emergency shelter, medical costs, and counseling.

Currently, VOCA does not incorporate tribal governments for victim assistance and victim compensation formula grant programs. If we want to tackle the unacceptable disparities facing these communities, we need to make sure victims have equitable access to
the critical resources VOCA funds support.

That is why I have introduced the bipartisan Securing Urgent Resources Vital to Indian Victim Empowerment (SURVIVE) Act. This bill would create a tribal grant program within the Department of Justice’s Office for Victims of Crime and require a 5% allocation
from the CVF be provided to Indian tribes. It would expand the use of CVF funds for domestic violence shelters, medical care, counseling, legal assistance and services, and child and elder abuse programs to enable tribes to deliver critical services to their
communities.

My legislation is the House companion to the bipartisan SURVIVE Act in the Senate, S. 1870, sponsored by Sen. Hoeven. These identical bills are supported by
the Navajo Nation, National Congress of American Indians (NCAI), United Tribes of North Dakota, Confederated Tribes of Colville Reservation, and the Sisseton Wahpeton Oyate Tribe.

For questions or to co-sponsor this important legislation, please contact Maggie Farry (maggie.farry@mail.house.gov) in my office.

Sincerely,

 

TOM O’HALLERAN

Member of Congress

Related Legislative Issues
Selected legislative information: Family Issues, Judiciary, Natural Resources
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