President Joe Biden on Thursday signed a bill to add money to a fund for victims of domestic violence, sexual assault and other crimes, The Hill reported.
Biden signed the bill at a White House ceremony attended by a bipartisan group of lawmakers after it passed 100-0 in the Senate.
The Crime Victims Fund was established in 1984 when Biden was a senator from Delaware. He was one of the bill's cosponsors at the time.
The bill supports victim services from funds collected from deferred prosecution and non-prosecution agreements. Criminal penalties and fines currently provide its funding.
"This bill is going to allow us to make sure that all the fines and penalties that are from federal cases go into the crime victims fund to rebuild this fund, because it's badly needed," Biden said during the ceremony.
"This is going to enable us to provide more help and support to victims of domestic violence, sexual assault, child abuse, trafficking and other crimes all across America," he added.
The fund has been drastically depleted in recent years, which has caused cuts in victim services, Biden said. The new action would give more support to victims who have undergone physical and emotional abuse, suffered economic costs and had mental health problems, he said.
"When someone commits a crime it’s not enough to bring the predator to justice," Biden said. "We also need to support the victims."
Biden took occasion of the event to urge Congress to take similar bipartisan action "without further delay" on a piece of legislation to reauthorize and strengthen protections in the Violence Against Women Act. That law, passed in 1994, also was cosponsored by then-Sen. Biden.
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