ARIZONA NEWS

Arizona Gov. Katie Hobbs grants $19 million to help victims of crime

Jul 11, 2023, 4:15 AM | Updated: 5:36 am

Governor Katie Hobbs $19 million grant to help crime victims...

(Arizona Governor's Office Photo)

(Arizona Governor's Office Photo)

PHOENIX — A new injection of government cash is set to revive a dwindling crime victims fund, officials announced Monday.

The $19 million grant will go to the Victim of Crime Act’s Crime Victims Fund, or VOCA for short, Arizona Gov. Katie Hobbs announced in a press release.

“For years, the VOCA Crime Victims Fund balance has been in decline, falling from $70.8 million in 2018 to $31 million in 2022,” Hobbs said.

The money came from the American Rescue Plan Act, as well as state and local fiscal recovery funds.

The federal government will disburse the VOCA funds to the Arizona Department of Public Safety, which will then share pieces of the pie with state agencies, nonprofits and local government agencies.

That means local domestic violence shelters, child abuse programs and other services will get a much-needed payout.

How this $19 million grant to help crime victims will work

Gov. Hobbs said these funds will keep shelters, legal services, housing services and other helplines strong.

“As a social worker, I know how critical it is that we provide these essential services to crime victims,” Hobbs said. “I’m proud of the lifesaving work happening across the state to help crime victims and I’m glad the State of Arizona can support their important work.”

She credited the Arizona Coalition to End Sexual and Domestic Violence as a leader in advocating for grants to help crime victims.

The statewide organization is designed to help survivors of sexual and domestic violence. It releases yearly reports calculating Arizona’s crime statistics.

According to its most recent findings, 101 Arizonans died from incidents related to domestic violence in 2022. The Copper State consistently has one of the top homicide rates of men murdering women, the report found. Seventy-six percent of last year’s domestic violence deaths involved gun violence, according to the report.

Jenna Panas, Chief Executive Officer for the Arizona Coalition to End Sexual and Domestic Violence, thanked Gov. Hobbs for supporting the grant to help crime victims.

“With this funding, vital programs for victims will remain open and operational, preventing a shutdown or reduction of essential services,” Panas said in the release.

“Her decisive action in providing essential funding for services for over 250,000 victims of crime signifies a profound dedication to healing and justice.”

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Arizona Gov. Katie Hobbs grants $19 million to help victims of crime