Saying that victims often receive the least attention and support in the aftermath of violent crime, Attorney General Lisa Madigan recently visited Rockford to announce a series of grants. These will be awarded to programs and agencies that provide critical services to violent crime victims, including programs that teach women how to file for an order of protection and a 24-hour hotline at a domestic violence shelter.
Joined by service providers, law enforcement leaders and local officials at a news conference, Madigan said victims of violent crime need support and services through all phases of the judicial process.
When a violent crime is committed, the defendant may go to trial and end up in jail, Madigan said. Where do the victims go as they try to recover from the crime and move on with their lives? The answer is that the victims can go get help, information and comfort from the programs represented here today. While the grants we are announcing today are measured in dollars, their impact in helping victims regain control of their lives is limitless.
The grants are funded by the Attorney Generals Violent Crime Victims Assistance (VCVA) Program, created in 1984 by the VCVA Act. The VCVA Program is funded by fines collected from people convicted of violent felonies and misdemeanors, not from taxpayers.
Our Violent Crime Victims Assistance Program is paid for by the offenders who harm victims, Madigan said. Criminals must pay their debts to society, but under our states laws, they also must pay so that victims have the help they need to recover and rebuild.
Madigan held the news conference in Rockford at the Childrens Advocacy Center of Winnebago County, which received a grant to fund programs serving victims of child sexual abuse who are under the age of 18 and their families.
At the news conference, Madigan announced that a total of 20 programs in DeKalb, Lee, McHenry, Ogle, Stephenson and Winnebago counties would receive VCVA grants.