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Government & Politics

Cuts to VOCA have Sexual Assault Survivors Struggling

photo of a sexual assault kit
Ohio Attorney General
A sexual assault kit is prepared following a crime. The decrease in funding for sexual assault victims through the Victims of Crime Act is leading to the overwhelm of organizations affiliated with the Ohio Alliance to End Sexual Violence. The group fears the funding cuts could result in a decrease in services it can provide victims.

Advocates for sexual assault survivors say they’re struggling because of a major funding decrease for crime victim services.

The federal Victims of Crime Act, or VOCA, has been cut by nearly 40 percent during the pandemic.

Taylr Ucker-Lauderman is the director of communications for the Ohio Alliance to End Sexual Violence. She says the cut is overloading their existing staff and could lead to a decrease in the services they can provide.

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Ucker-Lauderman: cuts stress resources

“We’re talking about things like crisis hotlines, counseling and therapy for survivors, court appointed advocates for children, support for child forensic interviews. So these are really, really important roles and not having people in these roles is harmful to our communities,” Ucker-Lauderman said.

She says they’re looking to the state legislature to help close the funding gap for rape crisis programs.