As Federal VOCA Funding Decreases, North Carolinians Must Stand Up for Victims of Crime

Governor's Crime Commission Executive Director Caroline Farmer calls attention to the decline in Victim of Crime Act funding and suggests ways North Carolinians can help ensure our communities continue to support family members, neighbors, coworkers, friends and acquaintances who have been victims of crime.

Author: Caroline Farmer, Executive Director - GCC

In 2024, federal Victim of Crime Act funding for North Carolina dropped more than 42% to $24.6 million. The decline, felt in every state in the nation, continues a 6-year downward trend and serves as a wake-up call for crime victims’ rights advocates.

Line graph. Title: "North Carolina VOCA Funding ($Millions)

As executive director of the Governor’s Crime Commission, I hear firsthand about the hardship felt in North Carolina’s domestic violence shelters, rape crisis centers, child advocacy centers and other service organizations. The leaders of these organizations are weighing layoffs and struggling to maintain services, especially in rural areas.

I also hear from our law enforcement agencies. In 2022, reports from across the state indicate 149,219 people in our communities were victims of crimes that resulted in bodily harm -- such as rape, assault and domestic violence.  

National Crime Victims’ Rights Week, observed April 21-27, challenges us this year to ask ourselves: “How would you help?”  

North Carolinians must answer by finding new ways to fund services that support our family members, neighbors, coworkers, friends and acquaintances who have been victims of crime.

Why Is VOCA Funding Decreasing?

The federal Crime Victims Fund, established by the 1984 Victims of Crime Act, relies on monetary penalties from prosecutions led by U.S. attorneys. Since 2017, the federal government has distributed more money to states than it has taken in from these prosecutions.  

In 2021, the VOCA Fix to Sustain the Crime Victims Fund Act authorized a new funding stream that since enactment has flowed $1.3 billion into the fund. Even this influx of new cash, however, will not immediately fill the gap.  

In North Carolina, the Governor’s Crime Commission receives VOCA funds from the federal government every year, and our commissioners award those funds to organizations that support priority populations in our local communities. In 2018 we received $103 million in federal VOCA funding. Next year, we project North Carolina will receive less than $16.5 million.

How Would You Help?  

Visit to learn more about the organizations in your local community that provide services for victims of crime. Talk to your neighbors about these organizations. Educate your local leaders. Raise the profile of the essential services these groups provide.

Contact an organization and ask what they need. You may offer to volunteer or to make a monetary or in-kind donation. 

Make a Difference

  • Visit to view a map of local organizations.
  • Educate your neighbors and your elected officials.
  • Volunteer and donate. Both monetary and in-kind donations are needed.
  • Help organizations identify new philanthropic and community resources.
  • Explore new business partnerships.

Consider how your skill set or your network can support the organization. If you have a large social media following, for example, you might promote an organization’s annual fundraiser.  

You might use your entrepreneurial skills to help an organization develop a social enterprise that will serve as a sustainable funding stream.

If you own a business, you might consider a partnership in which proceeds from a sale or an event are donated to a local nonprofit.  

If you sit on the board of a philanthropic organization, you might consider reaching out to discuss alternative funding opportunities.

Victims of crime need our support.  Let’s join communities across the country this week who are answering the question: “How can you help?”  


Caroline Farmer is the Executive Director of the Governor's Crime Commission, a section under the NC Department of Public Safety. 

To learn more about VOCA funding and victim services in North Carolina, visit

If you have been a victim of violent crime and would like to apply for compensation for covered services, please visit 

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