About Crime Victim Assistance in Michigan

The federal Victims of Crime Act of 1984 (VOCA) ushered in a new era in crime victim assistance in America. In response to findings and recommendations issued by the President's Task Force on Victims of Crime and the Attorney General's Task Force on Violent Crime, VOCA established the first significant national program in support of crime victim services. Under VOCA, federal funding is available to every state to support crime victim assistance and compensation programs. Support for the Crime Victims Fund created by VOCA is derived from federal criminal fines and forfeitures.

The Crime Victim Services Commission is empowered by statute to administer the annual formula based VOCA grant. The purpose is to increase and enhance victim assistance in local communities and neighborhoods. A minimum of forty percent of each grant (ten percent each) must be allocated to programs supporting services to victims of domestic violence, child abuse, sexual assault, and underserved victims of crime.

Agencies eligible to receive grant funding are public or private non-profit agencies that provide, or plan to provide, effective direct services to crime victims. Eligible applicants must meet the twenty percent cash or in-kind match requirement (five percent for Native American tribal programs), use volunteers, promote community efforts to aid crime victims, help victims apply for compensation benefits, provide services at no charge to the victim and maintain confidentiality of client-counselor and research information.

Allowable services under the grant include services that immediately respond to health and safety issues, that assist victims in understanding the dynamics of victimization, that assist victims participating in the criminal justice system and services that assist victims with managing practical problems created by the victimization.

In 2001, the Commission installed the state's first web-based, on-line grant application and reporting system for local agencies. To access this system, go to: https://sigma2web.mdch.state.mi.us/sigma2/. The link to request VOCA funds for an agency is only open during the annual application request and submittal period. A Notice of Funding will be posted when the submittal period is established. To access VOCA Grant Guidelines go to: Current VOCA Guidelines for the printable version of the VOCA Grant Guidelines.