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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
minus iconIf the Victim Remains Abroad
minus iconIf the Victim Returns to the United States
minus iconInternational Terrorism
minus iconCrime Victim Compensation
Checklists for Assisting U.S. Citizens Victimized Abroad

Coordinating Victim Services

Working With Other Federal Agencies

In the course of assisting U.S. citizens who have been victims of crime overseas, victim service providers might find it valuable to interact and collaborate with multiple federal agencies.

The Office of Overseas Citizens Services maintains a comprehensive roster of federal agencies, their responsibilities, and resources. Many federal agencies, including the Social Security Administration, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, have international divisions with which the Office of Overseas Citizens Services has established relationships.

Victim service providers working on behalf of U.S. citizens who have been victimized abroad can gain access to information and resources across the federal system by coordinating efforts with the Office of Overseas Citizens Services in Washington, D.C.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and United States Attorneys' Offices offer key resources for domestic victim service providers.


The FBI becomes involved in investigating crimes against U.S. citizens under the following two circumstances:

  • When the FBI has authority under the U.S. criminal code to investigate certain crimes such as terrorism, the homicide or kidnapping of U.S. citizens, or international family abduction.

  • When a foreign government requests FBI assistance with an investigation.

The FBI has more than 100 full-time victim specialists located at its headquarters and in field offices around the country. Once the FBI officially opens an investigation, it assumes responsibility for managing the assistance and information provided to victims and families, coordinating closely with the U.S. Department of State.

United States Attorney's Office

Each United States Attorney's Office has a victim witness coordinator who is the primary point of contact for victim/witness assistance services. If a United States Attorney's Office opens a case, the victim witness coordinator will arrange for travel for international witnesses to attend court proceedings and conferences with prosecutors in the United States. Victims of international crimes who are prosecuted by a United States Attorney's Office can receive the same services domestic victims of crime receive, including the following:

  • Assistance with restitution and crime victim compensation.

  • Referrals for counseling and other social services.

  • Information about their rights.

  • Information about the criminal justice process.

United States Attorneys' Offices victim witness coordinators also assist with any security concerns the victim or witness might experience.


FBI Office for Victim Assistance

United States Attorneys Office

The Office of Justice for Victims of Overseas Terrorism
U.S. Department of Justice Criminal Division