An Urgent Call For Action To Save Victims’ Services – #VOCAfix – Act On July 14th – Part 2 [UPDATED – SUCCESS]

UPDATE – – SUCCESS – – WE WON!

The VOCAfix Campaign Was Successful!

The VOCAfix legislation passed the United States Senate on 7/20 and then on to the White House for the President’s signature and enactment!

On July 20, with an extraordinary vote of 100 to 0, the U.S. Senate passed H.R. 1652, the VOCA Fix to Sustain the Crime Victims Fund Act of 2021 (“VOCA Fix”).

The Alliance of the 1,700 Nonprofits that joined together (including SCARSSCARS SCARS - Society of Citizens Against Relationship Scams Inc. A government registered crime victims' assistance & crime prevention nonprofit organization based in Miami, Florida, U.S.A. SCARS supports the victims of scams worldwide and through its partners in more than 60 countries around the world. Incorporated in 2015, its team has 30 years of continuous experience educating and supporting scam victims. Visit www.AgainstScams.org to learn more about SCARS.) to apply pressure on the U.S. Senate produced the needed result and the bill was passed. It was signed by President Biden on July 22, 2021

Save Victims’ Support Funding In The United States
An Urgent Call For Action #VOCAfix

SCARS Crime Victims’ Assistance

SCARS Is A Supporter Of This Important Cause!

We ask all U.S. resident crime victims to participate in the Day of Action July 14, 2021

Find Real ScammerScammer A Scammer or Fraudster is someone that engages in deception to obtain money or achieve another objective. They are criminals that attempt to deceive a victim into sending more or performing some other activity that benefits the scammer. & Fake Stolen Photos On ScamsONLINE.org
The SCARS Scammer Photo Gallery Website
Click Here To Donate To SCARS

VOCA Fix to Sustain the Crime Victims Fund Act of 2021

Senate Floor Vote Toolkit

Learn More About This Important Campaign Here!

Contacting U.S. Senate Majority Leader Schumer and Minority Leader McConnell

Contacting Majority Leader Schumer and Minority Leader McConnell is easy! See below for a step-by-step guide.

  1. Contact Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer by calling (202) 224-6542. If the line is busy, call one of his in-state offices (https://www.schumer.senate.gov/contact/office-locations). You can also email him at https://www.schumer.senate.gov/contact/email-chuck. If you only have time for one call, Leader Schumer is the top priority. 
  2. Contact Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell by calling (202) 224-2541. If the line is busy, call one of his in-state offices (https://www.mcconnell.senate.gov/public/). You can also email him at https://www.mcconnell.senate.gov/public/index.cfm/contact?p=ContactForm.  
  3. You can use the call script and sample email below, or you can use the talking points below to craft your own!

Talking points:

  • The ask: bring the House-passed VOCA Fix to Sustain the Crime Victims Fund Act of 2021 (“the VOCA Fix Act”) with no amendments to the floor immediately.
  • Victims of Crime Act (VOCA) grants are the largest source of federal funding for programs providing services for victims of all types of crimes. VOCA is also the only source of federal funding for victim compensation grants. 
  • VOCA is NOT funded by taxpayers. Instead, it is funded by monetary penalties associated with federal criminalCriminal A criminal is any person who through a decision or act engages in a crime. This can be complicated, as many people break laws unknowingly, however, in our context, it is a person who makes a decision to engage in unlawful acts or to place themselves with others who do this. A criminal always has the ability to decide not to break the law, or if they initially engage in crime to stop doing it, but instead continues. convictions (primarily white collar crime).
  • VOCA grants have decreased by two-thirds compared to four years ago, because DOJ is not prosecuting as many crimes and is instead entering into deferred prosecution and non-prosecution agreements. The monetary penalties from these agreements are deposited into the General Treasury rather than into the VOCA fund.
  • This decrease has led to significant cuts to victim service grants, and further catastrophic cuts are anticipated unless Congress acts NOW.
  • The solution is the VOCA Fix Act. This bill:
    • Deposits monetary penalties from deferred and non-prosecution agreements that would otherwise go into the General Treasury into the VOCA fund;
    • Increases the federal contribution to state victim compensation funds by 15%;
    • Includes other small but vital updates.
  • The VOCA Fix Act passed the House with more than 90% of the votes!
  • On June 8, 2021 more than 1,710 organizations and government agencies signed a letter to Congress to fix the Voca Act funding!

List of Current U.S. Senate Sponsors

Last updated 6/8/2021

Alphabetical by STATE NAME (not state abbreviation)

Co-Sponsors

Those Who DID NOT Sponsor

Murkowski, Lisa (AK) Shelby, Richard (AL)
Sullivan, Dan (AK) Tuberville, Tommy (AL)
Kelly, Mark (AZ) Sinema, Kyrsten (AZ)
Boozman, John (AR) Cotton, Tom (AR)
Feinstein, Dianne (CA) Padilla, Alex (CA)
Blumenthal, Richard (CT) Bennet, Michael (CO)
Murphy, Christopher (CT) Hickenlooper, John (CO)
Coons, Chris (DE) Carper, Thomas (DE)
Rubio, Marco (FL) Braun, Mike (IN)
Scott, Rick (FL) Moran, Jerry (KS)
Ossoff, Jon (GA) Marshall, Roger (KS)
Warnock, Raphael (GA) McConnell, Mitch (KY)
Hirono, Mazie (HI) Paul, Rand (KY)
Schatz, Brian (HI) Cassidy, Bill (LA)
Crapo, Mike (ID) Kennedy, John (LA)
Risch, Jim (ID) Hyde-Smith, Cindy (MS)
Duckworth, Tammy (IL) Wicker, Roger (MS)
Durbin, Richard (IL) Hawley, Josh (MO)
Young, Todd (IN) Daines, Steve (MT)
Ernst, Joni (IA) Sasse, Ben (NE)
Grassley, Chuck (IA) Rosen, Jacky (NV)
Collins, Susan (ME) Heinrich, Martin (NM)
King, Angus (ME) Lujan, Ben Ray (NM)
Cardin, Benjamin (MD) Hoeven, John (ND)
Van Hollen, Chris (MD) Cramer, Kevin (ND)
Markey, Edward (MA) Inhofe, James (OK)
Warren, Elizabeth (MA) Lankford, James (OK)
Peters, Gary (MI) Merkley, Jeff (OR)
Stabenow, Debbie (MI) Toomey, Patrick (PA)
Klobuchar, Amy (MN) Rounds, Mike (SD)
Smith, Tina (MN) Thune, John (SD)
Blunt, Roy (MO) Blackburn, Marsha (TN)
Tester, Jon (MT) Hagerty, Bill (TN)
Fischer, Deb (NE) Cruz, Ted (TX)
Cortez Masto, Catherine (NV) Lee, Mike (UT)
Hassan, Maggie (NH) Romney, Mitt (UT)
Shaheen, Jeanne (NH) Sanders, Bernie (VT)
Booker, Cory (NJ) Kaine, Tim (VA)
Menendez, Robert (NJ) Warner, Mark (VA)
Gillibrand, Kirsten (NY) Cantwell, Maria (WA)
Schumer, Charles (NY) Manchin, Joe III (WV)
Burr, Richard (NC) Johnson, Ron (WI)
Tillis, Thom (NC) Barrasso, John (WY)
Brown, Sherrod (OH) Lummis, Cynthia (WY)
Portman, Rob (OH)
Wyden, Ron (OR)
Casey, Robert (PA)
Reed, Jack (RI)
Whitehouse, Sheldon (RI)
Graham, Lindsay (SC)
Scott, Tim (SC)
Cornyn, John (TX)
Leahy, Patrick (VT)
Murray, Patty (WA)
Capito, Shelley Moore (WV)
Baldwin, Tammy (WI)

Phone Call Scripts

Majority Leader Schumer:

My name is [your name and location and, if applicable, your organization], and I am calling to tell Leader Schumer to bring the House-passed VOCA Fix to Sustain the Crime Victims Fund Act of 2021 with no amendments to the floor immediately. The VOCA fix is critical legislation that will prevent catastrophic cuts to victim services grants. Victims of Crime Act (or VOCA) grants are the largest source of federal funding for victim services. They also supplement state victim compensation programs.

The money available for VOCA grants has dropped dramatically over the last few years, because the Department of Justice is entering into deferred prosecution and non-prosecution agreements instead of convicting offenders. The money from those agreements goes into the Treasury instead of going to VOCA grants. As a result, grants for victim services have been cut by two-thirds compared to three years ago, and victim service providers are facing further potentially catastrophic cuts in their VOCA grants! 

[If applicable, explain how cuts to victim services and victim compensation grants will impact your community].

The VOCA fix solves this crisis by redirecting monetary penalties from deferred and non-prosecution agreements to the VOCA fund and makes other small changes, including increasing the federal contribution to state victim compensation funds. The House bill passed overwhelmingly, on a vote of 384 – 38. 

Victims have already lost $500 million this year, and they lose more every day. Passing the VOCA fix cannot wait. Leader Schumer must bring the House-passed bill with no changes to the floor immediately.

Minority Leader McConnell:

“My name is [your name and location and, if applicable, your organization], and I am calling to tell Leader McConnell to work with Leader Schumer to bring the House-passed VOCA Fix to Sustain the Crime Victims Fund Act of 2021 with no amendments to the floor immediately. The VOCA fix is critical legislation that will prevent catastrophic cuts to victim services grants. Victims of Crime Act (or VOCA) grants are the largest source of federal funding for victim services. They also supplement state victim compensation programs.

The money available for VOCA grants has dropped dramatically over the last few years, because the Department of Justice is entering into deferred prosecution and non-prosecution agreements instead of convicting offenders. The money from those agreements goes into the Treasury instead of going to VOCA grants. As a result, grants for victim services have been cut by two-thirds compared to three years ago, and victim service providers are facing further potentially catastrophic cuts in their VOCA grants! 

[If applicable, explain how cuts to victim services and victim compensation grants will impact your community].

The VOCA fix solves this crisis by redirecting monetary penalties from deferred and non-prosecution agreements to the VOCA fund and makes other small changes, including increasing the federal contribution to state victim compensation funds. The House bill passed overwhelmingly, on a vote of 384 – 38. 

Victims have already lost $500 million this year, and they lose more every day. Passing the VOCA fix cannot wait. Leader McConnell needs to work with Leader Schumer to bring the House-passed bill with no changes to the floor immediately.

Email Scripts

Majority Leader Schumer:

Dear Majority Leader Schumer,

My name is [your name and, if applicable, your organization], and I am writing you from [your location] to tell you to bring the House-passed bipartisan VOCA Fix to Sustain the Crime Victims Fund Act of 2021 (“the VOCA Fix Act”) to the floor for a vote immediately, with no changes. Victim service providers, including programs serving survivorsSurvivor A Scam Survivor is a victim who has been able to fully accept the reality of their situation. That they were the victim of a crime and are not to blame. They are working on their emotional recovery and reduction of any trauma either on their own, through a qualified support organization, or through counseling or therapy. And has done their duty and reported the crime to their local police, national police, and on Anyscam.com of child abuse, domestic violence, sexual assault, trafficking, drunk driving, homicide, and other crimes rely heavily on Victims of Crime Act (VOCA) grants. VOCA also supplements state victim compensation funds. VOCA grants are not taxpayer-funded; instead, VOCA is funded by monetary penalties from federal criminal convictions. 

As the Department of Justice is entering into more deferred prosecution and non-prosecution agreements, the money available for VOCA grants has dropped dramatically. As a result, victim assistance grants have been cut by two-thirds compared to three years ago, and victim service providers are facing further potentially catastrophic cuts in their VOCA grants! Moreover, state victim compensation programs are struggling and are unable to reimburse medical bills, lost wages, and funeral costs.

[If applicable, explain how cuts to victim services and victim compensation grants will impact your community].

The VOCA Fix Act solves this crisis by redirecting monetary penalties from deferred and non-prosecution agreements to the VOCA fund and increasing the federal government’s contribution to state victim compensation funds. More than 1,710 organizations and government agencies have signed onto a letter in support of the VOCA Fix Act, which can be found at https://tinyurl.com/23drue5v

The House VOCA Fix Act passed more than two-and-a-half months ago by a vote of 384 – 38, and the bill is expected to pass by a similar margin in the Senate, but you have not brought it to the floor for a vote. Victims have already lost $500 million this year, and they lose more every day that passes. 

As the Majority Leader, you decide the fate of the VOCA Fix Act. Make survivors a priority and bring the House-passed VOCA Fix Act without amendments to the floor immediately up for a vote. 

If you have any questions, please contact Rachel Graber (rgraber@ncadv.org), Denise Edwards (dedwards@nca-online.org), Terri Poore (terri@endsexualviolence.org), Monica McLaughlin (mmclaughlin@nnedv.org), Daisy Pagan (daisy@navaa.org), and Dan Eddy (dan.eddy@nacvcb.org), Dr. Tim McGuinness (contact@AgainstScams.org). 

Yours truly,

[your name, location]

[organization and title, if applicable]

Minority Leader McConnell:

Dear Minority Leader McConnell,

My name is [your name and, if applicable, your organization], and I am writing you from [your location] to tell you to work with Leader Schumer to bring the House-passed bipartisan VOCA Fix to Sustain the Crime Victims Fund Act of 2021 (“the VOCA Fix Act”) to the floor for a vote immediately, with no changes. Victim service providers, including programs serving survivors of child abuse, domestic violence, sexual assault, trafficking, drunk driving, homicide, and other crimes rely heavily on Victims of Crime Act (VOCA) grants. VOCA also supplements state victim compensation funds. VOCA grants are not taxpayer-funded; instead, VOCA is funded by monetary penalties from federal criminal convictions. 

As the Department of Justice is entering into more deferred prosecution and non-prosecution agreements, the money available for VOCA grants has dropped dramatically. As a result, victim assistance grants have been cut by two-thirds compared to three years ago, and victim service providers are facing further potentially catastrophic cuts in their VOCA grants! Moreover, state victim compensation programs are struggling and are unable to reimburse medical bills, lost wages, and funeral costs.

[If applicable, explain how cuts to victim services and victim compensation grants will impact your community].

The VOCA Fix Act solves this crisis by redirecting monetary penalties from deferred and non-prosecution agreements to the VOCA fund and increasing the federal government’s contribution to state victim compensation funds. More than 1,710 organizations and government agencies have signed onto a letter in support of the VOCA Fix Act, which can be found at https://tinyurl.com/23drue5v

The House VOCA Fix Act passed more than two-and-a-half months ago by a vote of 384 – 38. The bill is expected to pass by a similar margin in the Senate, but it has not been brought to the floor for a vote. Victims have already lost $500 million this year, and they lose more every day that passes. It is time to prove your commitment to supporting victims by working with Leader Schumer to bring the House-passed VOCA Fix Act without amendments to the floor immediately.

If you have any questions, please contact Rachel Graber (rgraber@ncadv.org), Denise Edwards (dedwards@nca-online.org), Terri Poore (terri@endsexualviolence.org), Monica McLaughlin (mmclaughlin@nnedv.org), Daisy Pagan (daisy@navaa.org), and Dan Eddy (dan.eddy@nacvcb.org), Dr. Tim McGuinness (contact@AgainstScams.org). 

Yours truly,

[your name, location]

[organization and title, if applicable]

Social Media Action

Twitter handles: Tweet at @SenSchumer and @LeaderMcConnell

Hashtags: #VOCAFIX #Crisis4Victims

Sample Tweets:

  • @SenSchumer The #VOCAFix passed the House with a huge majority and there’s a  #Crisis4Victims. Bring the House-passed bill with no amendments to the floor for a vote right away! https://tinyurl.com/23drue5v
  • @SenSchumer, victim services have already lost $500 million this year due to inaction on the #VOCAFix. Join >1,710 organizations, all 56 state/territorial AGs, & 90% of the House in prioritizing addressing the #Crisis4Victims by bringing the House-passed bill for a vote.
  • @SenSchumer Bring the #VOCAFix to the Senate floor. It MUST be passed to prevent even further cuts to victim assistance grants. It is URGENT the Senate pass the House-passed bill with no amendments. https://tinyurl.com/23drue5v
  • @SenSchumer The #VOCAFix bill is essential to supporting victims’ services and lifesaving resources. Each day the Senate delays increases the #Crisis4Victims. Bring the House-passed bill to the floor. https://tinyurl.com/23drue5v
  • @LeaderMcConnell The #VOCAFix passed the House with more than 90% of votes. It’s time for the Senate to address the #Crisis4Victims by passing the House-passed bill with no amendments. https://tinyurl.com/23drue5v
  • @LeaderMcConnell Lifesaving victim service programs are experiencing cuts. There is a #Crisis4Victims and I urge you to support bringing the House-passed #VOCAFix bill to the floor for a vote. There is no time to waste. https://tinyurl.com/23drue5v 

Letters of Support:

On social media, you can link to the national stakeholder letter in support of the VOCA Fix using this shortened url: https://tinyurl.com/23drue5v

The national stakeholder letter above signed by more than 1,710 victim rights organizations and government agencies also links to another letter by all 56 Attorneys General (https://dojmt.gov/wp-content/uploads/VOCA-Amendments-NAAG-Final-.pdf).

Graphics can be found at https://tinyurl.com/65pfssmc

Letter to the Editor Template (To News Media)

Dear New Media,

Due to dramatic cuts in Victims of Crime Act (VOCA) grants, victim services in our community are facing serious funding cuts. VOCA grants fund services for victims of all types of crime and are the largest source of federal grant funding for victim service providers. VOCA is not funded by taxpayers; instead, it is funded by monetary penalties associated with federal criminal convictions, particularly for white-collar crimes. As DOJ decreases prosecution in favor of deferred prosecution agreements and non-prosecution agreements – the penalties from which go into the General Treasury – VOCA grants are similarly decreasing. The bipartisan, bicameral VOCA Fix to Sustain the Crime Victims Fund Act of 2021 fixes this by redirecting penalties from deferred prosecution and non-prosecution agreements into the VOCA fund. The House passed the VOCA Fix with overwhelming bipartisan support. I call on Senators [your Senators] to tell Leader Schumer to bring the House-passed VOCA Fix to the floor for a vote to ensure critical victim services do not see further, catastrophic cuts. A letter explaining the VOCA Fix, signed by more than 1,710 organizations and government agencies, can be found at https://tinyurl.com/23drue5v.

Action Alert for Your Own Organizations

VOCA Day of Action: Tuesday, July 14

Contact Senate Majority Leader Schumer and Senate Minority Leader McConnell, and tell them to bring VOCAfix to the floor for a vote!

Please share with your lists and partners!!!

On March 17, the House of Representatives passed the VOCA Fix to Sustain the Crime Victims Fund Act of 2021 (“the VOCA Fix Act”) with overwhelming bipartisan support. This critical legislation will prevent devastating cuts to federal funding for victim service programs through the Victims of Crime Act (“VOCA”). However, we have yet to see movement in the Senate.

The situation is dire! Federal grants to victim services through the Victims of Crime Act have been cut by two-thirds in the last four years. Congress can fix this by ensuring federal financial penalties from deferred prosecution and non-prosecution agreements are treated the same way as penalties resulting from criminal convictions – that they go to serve and compensate crime victims.

It has been two-and-a-half months since the VOCA Fix Act passed the House. IT’S TIME FOR THE SENATE TO ACT! 

On July 14th, call and/or email  Senate Majority Leader Schumer and Senate Minority Leader McConnell and tell them to prioritize victims and bring the House-passed VOCA Fix Act with no amendments to the floor for a vote immediately. Victims have already missed out on approximately $500 million this year, and every day the Senate delays is a day that victims lose out on money.

  • Senate Majority Leader Schumer’s office number is (202) 224-6542. If the line is busy, you can call one of his in-state offices. Click here to email him.
  • Senate Minority Leader McConnell’s office number is (202) 224-2541. If the line is busy, you can call one of his in-state offices. Click here to email him.
  • A toolkit with a phone scripts and email templates can be found here.

In addition to contacting your Senators directly, join the Twitter storm Tuesday, July 14 from 2:00 – 3:00 ET. Find graphics and sample tweets in the Google Drive toolkit.

The hashtags are #VOCAFix and #Crisis4Victims. Twitter handles are @SenSchumer and @LeaderMcConnell

Graphics You Can Use And Post

State Specific Fact Sheets (Stored on Google Drive):

Always Report All ScamsScams A Scam is a confidence trick - a crime -  is an attempt to defraud a person or group after first gaining their trust through deception. Scams or confidence tricks exploit victims using their credulity, naïveté, compassion, vanity, irresponsibility, or greed and exploiting that. Researchers have defined confidence tricks as "a distinctive species of fraudulent conduct ... intending to further voluntary exchanges that are not mutually beneficial", as they "benefit con operators ('con men' - criminals) at the expense of their victims (the 'marks')". A scam is a crime even if no money was lost. – Anywhere In The World To:

U.S. FTCFTC The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is an independent agency of the United States government whose principal mission is the enforcement of civil (non-criminal) U.S. antitrust law and the promotion of consumer protection. The FTC can also act as a clearinghouse for criminal reports sent to other agencies for investigation and prosecution. To learn more visit www.FTC.gov or to report fraud visit ReportFraud.FTC.gov at https://reportfraud.ftc.gov/#/?orgcode=SCARS and SCARS at www.Anyscams.com

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SCARS the Society of Citizens Against Relationship Scams Incorporated

By the SCARS™ Editorial Team
Society of Citizens Against Relationship ScamsSCARS SCARS - Society of Citizens Against Relationship Scams Inc. A government registered crime victims' assistance & crime prevention nonprofit organization based in Miami, Florida, U.S.A. SCARS supports the victims of scams worldwide and through its partners in more than 60 countries around the world. Incorporated in 2015, its team has 30 years of continuous experience educating and supporting scam victims. Visit www.AgainstScams.org to learn more about SCARS. Inc.

A Worldwide Crime Victims Assistance & Crime Prevention Nonprofit Organization Headquartered In Miami Florida USA & Monterrey NL Mexico, with Partners In More Than 60 Countries
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IN MANY SCARS ARTICLES, WE MENTION TOPICS INCLUDING TRAUMATrauma Emotional and psychological trauma is the result of extraordinarily stressful events that shatter your sense of security, making you feel helpless in a dangerous world. Psychological trauma can leave you struggling with upsetting emotions, memories, and anxiety that won’t go away. It can also leave you feeling numb, disconnected, and unable to trust other people. Traumatic experiences often involve a threat to life or safety or other emotional shocks, but any situation that leaves you feeling overwhelmed and isolated can result in trauma, even if it doesn’t involve physical harm. It’s not the objective circumstances that determine whether an event is traumatic, but your subjective emotional experience of the event. The more frightened and helpless you feel, the more likely you are to be traumatized. Trauma requires treatment, either through counseling or therapy or through trauma-oriented support programs, such as those offered by SCARS., ABUSE, SELF-HARM, SUICIDALITY, RISKY BEHAVIORBehavior   Behavior / Behavioral Actions Otherwise known as habits, behavior or behavioral actions are strategies to help prevent online exploitation that target behavior, such as social engineering of victims. Changing your behavior is the ONLY effective means to reduce or prevent scams., DISORDERS, ADDICTION, AND OTHER PSYCHOLOGICAL CONDITIONS. THE INFORMATION IS NOT A SUBSTITUTE FOR PROFESSIONAL MEDICAL ADVICE. ALWAYS SEEK THE ADVICE OF YOUR PHYSICIAN OR OTHER QUALIFIED HEALTH PROVIDERS WITH ANY QUESTIONS YOU MAY HAVE.

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