Update to VSS Programs and Services Due to Drastic Budget Cuts

Huge funding cuts have affected victim services agencies across the country that support crime survivors and victims, and Victim Support Services (VSS) is no exception. The funding cut is due to a dwindling balance in the national Crime Victims Fund (CVF), which was established in 1984 as part of the Victims of Crime Act, commonly known as VOCA.

Between 2017 and today, the amount of money in these funds has gone down 92 percent, which has resulted in a 70 percent reduction in victim assistance programs and grants.  This means that, for a lot of victims, the help they need isn’t there any longer.

Washington State has experienced three years of significant decreases in the federal VOCA award. This fiscal year, we have seen an even bigger decrease. While VSS has dealt with routine challenges to its funding in its 46-plus-year history, no cut has been as large as this one.

Unfortunately, with such drastic budget cuts, VSS is not able to sustain the same services in the 5-county area, as we have done for decades. Additionally, our statewide hotline (WA State Crime Victim Service Center Hotline) received decreased funding this year, and will be deactivated by July 1, 2022.  Further, we had to discontinue providing our free trauma-informed therapy services in Snohomish and Skagit counties. VSS will be reducing its services dramatically – to include ONLY virtual services (much different from what we have traditionally offered) mostly focused in Snohomish County with some limited virtual services in Whatcom and Skagit counties.  We are losing 3 FTE staff and are withdrawing services from King and Island counties, effective November 1. We have already closed two of our physical locations in King County and will be closing our Island and Skagit County offices in January, 2022.

The VOCA Fix Bill, a piece of legislation which is aimed at reducing the risk that victim service organizations will face similar issues again in the future, was passed and signed by the President in July. However, there is nothing they can do to reverse cuts in the next two years, leaving us with no other choice but to make these unfortunate decisions.

If you have any questions about funding, please contact VSS Executive Director, Dr. Michaela Weber at Michaela@victimsupportservices.org.

If you have any questions specific to our programs, please contact Programs Administrator, Leslie McPherson at Leslie@victimsupportservices.org.

If you would like to donate to Victim Support Services, please click here.

Call Our 24-Hour Crisis Line

Speak with a trained advocate who can provide assistance with needs resulting from victimization.  Call by clicking below! 


"With the help of VSS, you are empowered and encouraged to fight back and be pro-active. Then your conscience can be more at peace because you know you have taken some action to protest crimes inflicted on your loved one. It is sometimes your only consolation."

“The one takeaway for me in working with VSS is that it is a necessary organization. I know they are funded by grants and fundraisers but it’s something we need to make sure as a community that they have the funding needed because what they do for people in need doesn’t happen anywhere else. This is the only place that this happens and VSS helps with so many things.”

David Rose

Anchor, Q13 News and Host, Washington’s Most Wanted

“VSS is there when the unthinkable happens.  When a police officer knocks on your door and gives you tragic news, VSS helps navigate the court system, which can be very confusing. VSS is compassion, caring, and commitment. Commitment to once justice is done that victims and their families can move forward with their lives.”

Jennifer Gregerson

Mayor, City of Mukilteo

“VSS has been our partner in recovery and healing and a key part in what makes Mukilteo Strong. VSS has been a trusted advocate for the victims that have suffered so much in the community.  I’m so grateful to VSS as our partner in strength.”

Jon Nehring

Mayor, City of Marysville

“VSS is there for people in their darkest hour. At a time when they need an advocate and friend, VSS steps in to fill that gap and help them begin their journey back to some sense of normalcy.” 

Myrle Carner

Crime Stoppers of Puget Sound

“This thing about closure. There is never really closure in a victim’s life but VSS helps individuals to get closer to that and that’s critical because the cops and the judicial system just move on to another case because they don’t have time. Victims live with this trauma forever so VSS is with them for as long as they need the services. VSS takes the time, more importantly, they really care."

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