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Victim of Crime

If You Are the Victim of a Crime Overseas

  • Contact your nearest embassy or consulate.
  • Consular officers are available for emergency assistance 24 hours, 7 days a week.

Consular Assistance to Crime Victims

When a tourist is the victim of a crime overseas, he or she may suffer from physical, emotional, or financial injuries. It can be more difficult because the victim may be in unfamiliar surroundings and may not know the local language or customs. Consuls, consular agents, and local employees at overseas posts know local government agencies and resources in the country where they work.

The Embassy or Consulate Can Help:

  • Replace a stolen passport
  • Contact family, friends, or employers
  • Obtain appropriate medical care
  • Address emergency needs that arise as a result of the crime
  • Explain the local criminal justice process
  • Obtain information about your case
  • Connect you to local resources for victims of crime
  • Obtain information about local victim compensation programs
  • Provide a list of local lawyers who speak your language

What the Embassy or Consulate Cannot Do

  • Investigate crimes
  • Provide legal advice or represent you in court
  • Serve as official interpreters or translators
  • Pay legal, medical, or other fees for you

Resources

Victim Assistance On-Line, information about victim assistance programs in approximately 20 countries at www.vaonline.org

For U.S. Citizens Who Are Victims of Crime

  • Contact the nearest U.S. embassy or consulate; see www.usembassy.gov
  • Consular officers are available for emergency assistance 24 hours, 7 days a week
  • To contact the Department of State in the U.S., call [1] (888) 407-4747 during business hours and [1] (202) 647-5225 after hours

Resources and Information for Crime Victims upon Return to the United States

Some U.S. cities and communities offer programs to help residents who are victims of overseas crime. These include:

Sexual Assault

  • RAINN (Rape, Abuse, and Incest National Network), toll-free 24-hour hotline for sexual assault counseling and referrals, [1] (800) 656-HOPE, www.rainn.org
  • U.S. Department of Justice Violence Against Women Office

Domestic Violence

  • National Domestic Violence Hotline, toll-free 24-hour hotline for crisis counseling and referrals, [1] (800) 799-SAFE
  • U.S. Department of Justice Violence Against Women Office, information about local domestic violence victim assistance, www.ojp.usdoj.gov/vawo/help.htm

Families and Friends of Murder Victims

  • National Organization of Parents of Murdered Children, Inc. (POMC), toll-free 24-hour hotline for crisis counseling and referrals, [1] (888) 818-POMC, www.pomc.org

Victims and Families of Drunk Driving Crashes

  • Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD), information about local resources for victims and family members, www.madd.org

General Victim Assistance

The following organizations provide referrals to local programs:

  • U.S. Department of Justice Office for Victims of Crime, contact information for non-emergency services in communities throughout the U.S., ovc.ncjrs.org/findvictimservices/
  • National Crime Victim Center, information for crime victims on the impact of crime, safety planning, legal rights and civil legal remedies, and options for assistance and referrals to local programs, call toll free 8:30a.m.–8:30p.m. EST [1] (800) FYI-CALL, (TTY 8:30a.m.–8:30p.m. EST [1] (800) 211-7996), www.ncvc.org
  • National Organization for Victim Assistance (NOVA), toll-free 24-hour hotline for information and referral to victim assistance programs, [1] (800) TRY-NOVA, www.trynova.org

In the U.S., all states have victim compensation programs, and many offer benefits to residents who are victims of violent crime overseas. Most programs require the victim to file a report at the time of the incident and to provide a copy with the application.

Programs include financial assistance to pay for:

  • Medical costs
  • Funeral expenses
  • Lost income or loss of support

Information about each state’s compensation program and how to apply for benefits is available from the National Association of Crime Victim Compensation Boards at www.nacvcb.org