Survivor services are at risk.
April 8, 2021
On April 1, community-based victim services agencies received a memo from the Council on Domestic Violence & Sexual Assault (CDVSA) stating that the State of Alaska’s FFY2021 VOCA (Victims of Crime Act) funds would be reduced by $4.1 million and that all victim services should expect a 30% reduction in their grants starting in FY2022, or July 1, 2021. This massive cut to funding for victim services agencies will be devastating to communities throughout Alaska.
We appreciate Governor Dunleavy’s recognition of April as Sexual Assault Awareness Month and for recognizing the need for more prosecuting attorneys in the Department of Law’s budget to respond to sexual assault backlog cases. We echo his call to “make Alaska the safest state in the country, especially for our most vulnerable, our women and children.” We are also grateful to Representative Kelly Merrick and the Department of Public Safety subcommittee for their work to fully fund victim services through the CDVSA. Unfortunately, because of decreased funds at the federal level, services for domestic violence and sexual assault survivors and their families are now at risk.
Many programs will be unable to absorb the loss of funding without substantially reducing their services. Alaska continues to have some of the highest rates of sexual and domestic violence, including violence against children. Now is not the time to cut lifesaving services to victims and survivors of domestic and sexual violence. We are bringing this crisis to the attention of the Alaska State Legislature and asking for their help to protect these essential services.
We’re asking everyone who is committed to safety and justice to consider what these cuts would look like in your community. Reach out to your local domestic violence/sexual assault program to hear from them what a 30% loss in funding could mean – the difficult choices they will need to make. You can voice your concern to your legislators by contacting them directly or call-in to provide public testimony to the House Finance Committee (details below).
We are grateful that Governor Dunleavy and the state legislature are committed to protecting survivors of violence. We’re asking them to act now to help protect these critical services.
If you’d like to voice your concerns, contact your legislator directly.
Call or email your legislators to let share your concerns and let them know what these cuts would mean in your community. Information about finding and contacting your representatives is available on the Alaska State Legislature’s website.
This page will be updated with additional opportunities to provide input.