Senator Steve Daines has just 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 as it is called will increase tribal victim assistance by creating a tribal grant program with the Department of Justice’s Office for Victims of Crime. The bill is asking for a five percent allocation from the Crime Victims Fund 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.

In 1984 the Crime Victims Fund was created by the Victims of Crime Act to support services for victims of crime. It is estimated that no more than 0.7% of the CVF reaches Indian tribes, despite data showing American Indian and Alaska Native communities face some of the highest victimization rates in the United States

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Dominick