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Frequently Asked Questions

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Resources to assist child abduction victims and their families are available on the Missing and Exploited Children section of the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention site. For additional information about child abduction, visit the Child and Youth Victimization section of our site.

You can learn about the signs associated with child abuse and neglect by viewing the Child Welfare Information Gateway fact sheet, What Is Child Abuse and Neglect? Recognizing the Signs and Symptoms.

If you need to report a case of suspected child abuse or neglect, each state designates specific agencies to receive and investigate reports of suspected child abuse and neglect. Typically, this responsibility is carried out by Child Protective Services (CPS). For information or assistance with reporting, please call Childhelp® at 800–4–A–CHILD (800–422–4453) or contact your local CPS agency. Additional state contact information is available from the Child Welfare Information Gateway website.

The U.S. Department of State's Children's Passport Issuance Alert Program works to prevent international parental child abduction. The program allows parents to register their U.S. citizen children under the age of 18. If a passport application is submitted for that registered child, the U.S. Department of State will contact and alert the parent(s).

To learn more and to register a child, visit the Passport Issuance Alert Program website.

The International Terrorism Victim Expense Reimbursement Program (ITVERP) covers five categories of expenses:

  • Medical expenses.
  • Mental health expenses.
  • Property loss expenses.
  • Funeral and burial expenses.
  • Miscellaneous expenses, such as travel or lodging.

Yes. For each expense category, an individual claim cannot exceed the following amounts:

Medical expenses $50,000
Mental health expenses $5,000 (for each surviving family member)
Property loss expenses $10,000
Funeral and burial expenses $25,000
Miscellaneous expenses $15,000

OVC offers a national events calendar that features events, including training, presentations, and seminars from organizations around the country. Visit our Events page to find training opportunities or add your own events.

Restitution is a court action that requires perpetrators to make financial payments to their victims, usually as a condition of probation or leniency in sentencing. Compensation is provided by the Victim Compensation Program in each State.

For additional information about compensation, view the OVC Crime Victims Fund Fact Sheet and the Victim Compensation sections of our website.

If you or someone you know is in life-threatening danger, call 911.

If the danger is not immediate, but it is suspected that abuse has occurred or is occurring, call the non-emergency number for the local police department or see the Report Abuse or Find Help section of the Department of Justice's Elder Justice Initiative website for state-specific contacts and resources.

If you or someone you know has been a victim of elder fraud, contact the National Elder Fraud Hotline toll free at 833–372–8311. The hotline is open daily from 6:00 a.m. to 11:00 p.m. eastern time. Services are available for speakers of English, Spanish, and other languages.

For additional information and resources, also see the National Center on Elder Abuse website.

If you have not yet contacted law enforcement officials to assist in locating a missing adult, please do so immediately.

For additional assistance, 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 medical examiners, coroners, law enforcement officials, and the general public to solve these cases. To enter a missing persons report into the NamUs database, visit the registration page.