President Joe Biden signed legislation on Thursday to increase funding for victims of domestic violence, sexual assault, and other crimes.
In a ceremony in the East Room of the White House, Biden signed the VOCA Fix to Sustain the Crime Victims Fund Act of 2021, which requires that funds collected from deferred prosecution and non-prosecution agreements be deposited into the Crime Victims Fund.
“This bill is going to allow us to make sure that all of the fines and penalties that are from federal cases go to the victims, the Crime Victims Fund, to rebuild this fund, because it’s badly needed,” Biden said during the ceremony. “This is going to enable us to provide more help and support victims of domestic violence, sexual assault, child abuse, trafficking and other crimes all across America.”
Biden co-sponsored the 1984 bill that established the Crime Victims Fund, but said it has become depleted in recent years, leading to cuts in victims services.
He said the new stream of revenue introduced by this latest measure would help to restore support to victims.
“When someone commits a crime it’s not enough to bring the predator to justice. We also need to support the victims,” he said.
The ceremony was attended by a bipartisan group of lawmakers, including Sens. Diane Feinstein, D-Calif., Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, and Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., as well as Reps. Jerrold Nadler, D-N.Y., and Sheila Jackson Lee, D-Texas.
Biden urged the lawmakers in attendance to push Congress to reauthorize the Violence Against Women Act.
“Please, please, reauthorize and strengthen the protections provided by the Violence Against Women Act,” he said. “We know from previous experience that you can work together in a bipartisan, bicameral manner to pass this bill. We must do the same thing to reauthorize the Violence Against Women Act as soon as possible.”