U.S. SENATE — U.S. Senator Steve Daines today released the following statement after bipartisan legislation he co-sponsored, the Securing Urgent Resources Vital to Indian Victim Empowerment (SURVIVE) Act, passed out of the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs.
“I am committed to ensuring that tribal members’ public safety needs are met,” said Daines. “The SURVIVE Act will provide victims with greater access to the resources and support they need to heal.”
The SURVIVE Act will increase needed tribal victim assistance by creating a tribal grant program within the Department of Justice’s Office for Victims of Crime. The bill requires a five percent allocation from the Crime Victims Fund (CVF) be provided to Indian tribes.
Background: • In addition to extending CVF resources to Indian tribes through a fair and competitive grant program, the senator’s bill empowers tribes and Indian victims of crime by:
• Expanding the types of victim assistance, services and infrastructure for which the funds may be used, including domestic violence shelters, medical care, counseling, legal assistance and services, and child and elder abuse programs;
• Providing for significant confidentiality and privacy protections for crime victims to feel safe when receiving services;
• Enabling tribes to deliver critical, culturally tailored victim services; and
• Increasing the resources available to Indian crime victims from the CVF without increasing overall spending.
The Crime Victims Fund was created in 1984 by the Victims of Crime Act to support services for victims of crime. Under the current system, it is estimated that no more than 0.7 percent of the CVF reaches Indian tribes, despite federal data showing that American Indian and Alaska Native communities face some of the highest victimization rates in the country.