Hawaii will receive $2,035,344 to help crime victims with counseling, education and other support services, Senator Daniel K. Inouye, Senator Daniel K. Akaka, U.S. Representative Mazie K. Hirono and U.S. Representative Colleen Hanabusa announced today.
The money comes through a Victim's Assistance formula grant created by the Victims of Crime Act (VOCA) and administered by the U.S. Department of Justice. The money will be used by the Hawaii Department of the Attorney General, the agency responsible for crime victims assistance in Hawaii.
"Hawaii is among the safest states in the nation but we do have our issues with property crimes, drug offenses and a violent crime rate that has inched up 3.9 percent over the last decade. It is the responsibility of government to protect our residents and visitors while caring for those who are the unfortunate victims of crime. I would like to thank the administration for investing in programs that will help crime victims recover," said Senator Inouye.
"I am pleased that over two million dollars will be made available to assist crime victims in Hawaii," said Senator Akaka. "I have fought to ensure that all of the money in the Crime Victims Fund is used only to help victims of crime in Hawaii and across the nation and not diverted for other purposes. While we live in an age of budgetary constraints, it is important to remember that the needs of victims remain real and urgent."
Senator Akaka and 23 of his colleagues sent a letter to the Commerce, Science, and Justice appropriations subcommittee on March 23 insisting that the full Crime Victims Fund be used to assist victims, opposing efforts to use part of the fund to cover other expenses.
"We must do everything we can to protect Hawaii's families from the threat of domestic violence, sexual assault, child abuse, and violent crimes. But once a crime has occurred, we must also ensure that victims are provided the services necessary to help them recover from the traumatic event. This federal investment helps island organizations that provide crisis intervention and counseling to victims of physical and sexual abuse, and assist victims as they navigate their way through our justice system. We owe a debt of thanks to all victim service organizations across the state that help meet these needs," said Congresswoman Hirono.
"For victims, the crime itself is just the beginning of a long and difficult process of dealing with a variety of stresses, questions, and personal challenges. This grant will help Hawaii residents cope, which a vital step in keeping our community secure and healthy. I am glad the Obama administration and the Justice Department are supporting Hawaii in this way," said Congresswoman Colleen Hanabusa.
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