On Wednesday, September 30, 2020, Office for Victims of Crime Director Jessica Hart participated in a roundtable with anti-trafficking professionals, including Governor Brian Kemp; First Lady Marty Kemp; Lieutenant Governor Geoff Duncan; Georgia Attorney General Carr; GRACE Commission members; U.S. Attorneys BJay Pak, Charlie Peeler, and Bobby Christine; and Georgia Bureau of Investigation Director Vic Reynolds.
The panel was convened to discuss combating human trafficking through public/private partnerships, as well as the impact of the pandemic on service provision. Director Hart addressed some of the challenges she has heard from victim service providers, law enforcement agencies, and others in the field and highlighted nearly $100 million in Office for Victims of Crime funding that was announced on Monday, September 21, 2020, by Attorney General Barr and Advisor to the President Ivanka Trump.
This funding will go towards a broad range of victim services, including housing assistance; specialized responses for youth and minor victims; a catalogue of trainings to support all core multidisciplinary partners and operational topics; continued task force support; and prevention.
“With this announcement, the Office for Victims of Crime now manages grantees that provide services to victims of human trafficking in 46 states, one territory, and the District of Columbia, representing more than 400 awards totaling over $270 million dollars,” said Director Hart.
During the roundtable, First Lady Marty Kemp announced the launch of the Georgia Coalition to Combat Human Trafficking Hotline (1–866–ENDHTGA). This vital resource, funded by the Georgia Criminal Justice Coordinating Council through a Victims of Crime Act (VOCA) victim assistance formula award from OVC, provides Georgians with a one-stop-shop to answer questions, receive assistance, and provide information to law enforcement when there is suspicion of sexual or labor exploitation of minors or adults.
Each year, the Georgia Criminal Justice Coordinating Council is awarded VOCA victim assistance and compensation formula funding to administer throughout the state. In Fiscal Year 2020, they were awarded over $60 million in Office for Victims of Crime VOCA formula funding. Learn more.