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Message From the DirectorAbout This GuideResources
Resource Guide for Serving U.S. Citizens Victimized Abroad
Publication Date:  April 2008
Victim Services: An International Outlook
Responding to Victimization Abroad
Coordinating Victim Services
If the Victim Remains Abroad
If the Victim Returns to the United States
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Checklists for Assisting U.S. Citizens Victimized Abroad

If the Victim Returns to the United States

U.S. citizens who are victims of crime abroad might not know where to go for help or what kind of help they are entitled to while they are still overseas. Consequently, many U.S. citizens may not receive all the services for which they are eligible abroad. Additionally, victims might not even discuss the crime with anyone until they return to the United States.

Some victims of crime abroad have immediate medical and safety concerns that are addressed in the country where the crime occurred. Nevertheless, after they return to the United States, victims may have intermediate and long-term medical needs or unanswered questions about their rights in a foreign legal system.

In addition to the special needs precipitated by victimization abroad, victim service providers can facilitate wide-ranging services by continuing to coordinate with familiar resources in the United States such as—

  • Rape crisis counseling programs.

  • Shelter and counseling programs for battered women.

  • Support groups and bereavement counseling for family members of homicide victims.

  • Diagnostic and treatment programs for child abuse victims.

  • Assistance for victims of drunk-driving crashes.

These resources can be especially important for U.S. citizens who return home after being victims of crime abroad.