ANNAPOLIS, MD – The Governor’s Office of Crime Prevention, Youth, and Victim Services today announced that approximately $44 million in Victims of Crime Act (VOCA) funding will support operations for 122 victim service providers, as Maryland continues to face challenges from the ongoing Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic. The Governor’s Office of Crime Prevention, Youth, and Victim Services has awarded more than $203 million in VOCA funding to strengthen the network of services and resources for more than 900,000 victims of crime since 2015.
“Victim services are an essential part of our work to make Maryland a safer place to live, work, and visit, and raise a family. Our support of these organizations is unwavering,” said Executive Director Glenn Fueston of the Governor’s Office of Crime Prevention, Youth, and Victim Services. “These advocates continue to push through challenges presented by the pandemic, and we are pleased to support them as they connect with and support victims of crime in Maryland in innovative ways. We applaud their commitment to providing much needed help to people confronting their trauma, and reminding them that they are not alone.”
VOCA recipients provide a range of services to survivors of homicide victims, victims of domestic violence, sexual assault, child abuse, elder abuse, and other violent crimes. This third year of continuation funding supports programs that provide victims of crimes with tools and resources needed to achieve safety, self-sufficiency, and awareness of the help available to them.
The Governor’s Office of Crime Prevention, Youth, and Victim Services continues to build upon its comprehensive, three-pronged crime reduction strategy to make Maryland safer through support of law enforcement efforts, youth development programs, and victim services organizations. This strategy is reflected in the distribution of state and federal funding to provide support to organizations serving these populations during the coronavirus pandemic.
Since March, the Office has allocated more than $13 million to directly addressing challenges presented by the COVID-19 pandemic, including nearly $6 million supporting victim service providers, and two public service announcements highlighting the continued availability of services during the pandemic, as well as emphasizing the need for each person to report suspected child abuse and neglect.