Crime victims assistance
On average, more than 28 million Americans are victims of crime each year. Violent crimes including assault, rape, robbery and murder account for about 25% of all crime. In addition to the offense itself, the costs to most victims are great. These costs include medical and psychological injuries that may require surgery, rehabilitation and therapy, as well as lost property and wages. The financial cost to society of all crimes has been estimated to be about $350 billion each year. Every state now has a crime victim compensation fund to provide financial assistance to victims and their families, as does our federal government. As of Sept. 2013, the balance of our Crime Victims Fund was nearly $9 billion – financed by federal criminal fines, forfeited bail bonds and other penalties. However, victim advocates wish to ensure these funds are used for their intended purpose. They say that each year the federal government takes hundreds of millions of dollars that are required to go to victims and diverts those funds to other programs. At times, this results in some rape victims being unable to get preventative HIV medication, and domestic abuse victims being unable to find safe housing for themselves and their children. Between 2010 and 2014, the Crime Victims Fund collected $12 billion, but only $3.6 billion was dispersed to victims.

Pending Resolution:
S.1495 - Fairness for Crime Victims Act of 2015
H.J.RES.45 - Proposing an amendment to the Constitution of the United States to protect the rights of crime victims

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Poll Opening Date
May 21, 2020
Poll Closing Date
May 27, 2020

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