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Federal Grant to Fund Programs that Assist Crime Victims - KOAM TV 7

Federal Grant to Fund Programs that Assist Crime Victims

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JEFFERSON CITY - Missouri is receiving a federal grant to help crime victims that is more than four times larger than last year's funding, Gov. Jay Nixon announced today.

The grant of $36.7 million through the federal Victims of Crime Act (VOCA) - used to fund domestic violence shelters, crime victim advocates and other programs that assist the physical and emotional needs of crime victims in Missouri - compares to federal funding of less than $8.7 million in 2014.


"This is great news for our ongoing efforts to support victims of crime," Gov. Nixon said. "Through this increased funding, we can help provide greater assistance to domestic violence shelters, victim advocate programs and other efforts that help bring greater safety and stability to the lives of crime victims."


The federal grant from the U.S. Department of Justice's Office of Justice Programs was awarded to the Missouri Department of Public Safety, and is administered by the department's Crime Victim Services Unit. The funding can be spent through Sept. 30, 2018. Eligible direct services include rape crisis centers and intervention, domestic violence shelters and other emergency services, child abuse treatment centers, support and advocacy services and court-related services. Other states are receiving similar funding increases.  


During fiscal year 2015, Missouri VOCA grant awards assisted 54,990 victims through awards in areas that included crisis counseling, therapy, group treatment and support, shelters and safehouses, in-person and telephone referral, criminal justice support and advocacy; emergency financial assistance, emergency legal and personal advocacy, and assistance in filing compensation claims.  


In addition to administering grants to agencies that support crime victims, the Crime Victim Services Unit has responsibility for the state's Missouri Victim Automated Notification System (MOVANS), an automated system that immediately notifies registered users of changes in an offender's incarceration, court status or the status of protection orders.

Additional information about the Crime Victim Services Unit is available here ; information about the VOCA grants is available here .

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