Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator Pat Toomey (R-Pa.) today announced that the Crime Victim Center of Erie County has been awarded a $1,858,965 Victims of Crime Act (VOCA) Grant. Senator Toomey wrote a letter supporting the organization's grant application in May.

“Since joining the Senate, a top priority of mine has been ensuring that those working with victims of crime and abuse have the resources necessary to do their important work, and that the federal Crime Victims Fund is used appropriately instead of as a budget gimmick,” said Senator Toomey. “The work done by the Crime Victim Center of Erie County is invaluable to those it serves, as well as the community as a whole. I applaud the Crime Victim Center of Erie County, and others like it across Pennsylvania, for the important work they do every day and was glad to support its application.”

“Especially in these times, it's important that we continue to be advocates for these victims groups,” said Paul Lukach, Executive Director of Crimes Victim Services. “Senator Toomey has always been fighting for these victims and I appreciate his efforts.”

The awarded funds will be used to provide legal services and counseling to victims of crime throughout Erie County. Additionally, the Crime Victim Center will work with Erie DAWN to provide crime victims with transitional housing.

Background:

  • Senator Toomey has long fought to ensure victims are getting support that they are entitled to by law.
  • The Crime Victims Fund was established by Congress in 1984 to collect and redistribute criminal fines and fees to victims of horrific crimes such as sexual assault, domestic violence, and child abuse.
  • In 2015, Senator Toomey successfully fought to stop Congress from using a budget gimmick to wrongfully decrease the amount of compensation going to victims. As a result of his efforts, Pennsylvania groups that assist victims saw funding quadruple within two years. 
  • Senator Toomey has introduced legislation to protect the Crime Victims Fund and make this reform permanent so every crime victim can be supported.