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Frequently Asked Questions

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Information about PTSD and other mental health issues is available from the Sidran Institute. For additional information, visit the Physical and Mental Health section of our site.

Visit our Help for Victims microsite to learn about resources and services for victims of crime. Assistance may come in the form of financial reimbursement or victim services. Funding support for state assistance and compensation programs comes from the Crime Victims Fund administered by the OVC as authorized by the Victim of Crime Act.

Another source of help is your local victim/witness assistance program. You may contact the VictimConnect helpline by phone at 855–484–2846 or online chat for a referral in your area.

Find out more in this brochure, What You Can Do If You Are a Victim of Crime, which includes a brief overview of OVC, your rights, and where you can get help.

Visit our International Terrorism to learn about programs that provide funding and assistance to victims in the aftermath of a terrorism event outside the United States.

According to 2019 data, the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children assisted law enforcement in 29,000 cases of missing children and less than 1 percent of those cases were nonfamily abductions.

Also see these resources:

Information on the phenomenon known as the "cycle of violence," in which a childhood history of physical abuse may lead the survivor to be more likely to commit violence in later years, is available in the National Institute of Justice resources:

To learn more, visit the National Survey of Children's Exposure to Violence, a series of publications funded by the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention.

If you have not yet contacted law enforcement officials to report your missing child, please do so immediately. Ask them about the issuance of an AMBER Alert. Through AMBER Alert, law enforcement agencies and broadcasters activate an urgent bulletin in the most serious child abduction cases. Request that law enforcement put out a Be On the Look Out (BOLO) bulletin. Ask them about involving the Federal Bureau of Investigation in the search for your child.

Additional helpful information for families about what to do when a child is missing is available in the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention report, When Your Child is Missing: A Family Survival Guide and the Missing and Exploited Children page. Also contact the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children at 800–843–5678 and view their Missing-Child, Emergency-Response, Quick-Reference Guide for Families.

Also visit the National Missing and Unidentified Persons System (NamUs) website. NamUs is a clearinghouse for missing persons and unidentified decedent records. This free online system can be searched by law enforcement officials, other allied professionals, and the general public to solve these cases. To enter a missing persons report into the NamUs database, visit the registration page.

Information on children found at methamphetamine labs can be found in the OVC publication, Children at Clandestine Methamphetamine Labs: Helping Meth's Youngest Victims.

For additional information, visit the National Alliance for Drug Endangered Children site.

For a complete listing of OVC’s online trainings, visit the Online Training section of the OVC Training and Technical Assistance Center site.

Visit the Training and Technical Assistance section of the OVC Training and Technical Assistance Center website for specific eligibility requirements and application information for training and technical assistance or requesting an event speaker.  

Requests for assistance must be submitted at least 90 days prior to the date of the event.

The United States uses two national data collection systems to track detailed information on homicides.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation annual Crime in the United States report provides homicide data from thousands law enforcement agencies across the Nation.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention also publishes annual homicide data in its National Vital Statistics System, Fatal Injury Reports. Mortality data are produced from standardized death certificates filed throughout the United States.

Read the Bureau of Justice Statistics report, The Nation's Two Measures of Homicide for information about these two data collection systems.