Victims’ programs need funding source

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, May 17, 2005

A measure now before Congress would cut funding for the Victims of Crime Act &045;&045; legislation that funds a variety of programs across the country, including several in the Miss-Lou.

Both the Sunshine Shelter and the Guardian Shelter, which care for abused and neglected children and abused women and their children, respectively, would lose a major funding source if the measure goes through. Catholic Charities, which runs the Guardian Shelter, also uses VOCA funding for its sexual assault crisis line.

At a time when so much of our attention &045;&045; and our resources &045;&045; are constantly going toward the perpetrators of crime, we need Congress to continue funding programs for victims.

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Over and over again our country bends over backwards to protect the rights of criminals and those charged with crimes.

But this one piece of legislation will affect thousands of victims across the country &045;&045; effectively taking away their right to aid for the crimes committed against them. The $1.2 billion that would be saved by cutting the VOCA funds is a drop in the bucket compared to the rest of the nation’s budget. Surely cuts could be made in other areas to make up for it.

We’re glad to see that U.S. Rep. Chip Pickering of the Third Congressional District, which includes Adams County, is against the cuts, and we hope more lawmakers will follow suit and help protect victims of crime.