Office for Victims of Crime
International Terrorism Victim Expense Reimbursement Program Report to Congress
NCJ # 240996

Promoting Public Awareness

After experiencing a terrorist incident, those affected must focus on immediate medical and mental health support, family, housing, and other needs for themselves and their loved ones. Many victims and their families are not aware of the resources available to them. A critical component of ITVERP includes ongoing outreach to inform victims of international terrorist incidents and their families of the assistance this program offers. Outreach activities are focused on two primary groups: potential claimants, and collaborating agencies and organizations that may have contact with potential claimants. This section details the outreach efforts that took place during this reporting period and provides information on the ITVERP Resource Center.

Outreach to Potential Claimants

ITVERP’s outreach efforts focus on victims of international acts of terrorism and their family members who may be eligible for reimbursement under the program. OVC coordinates with the Office for Victim Assistance (OVA) in the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and the U.S. Department of State (DOS) to identify potential claimants. When terrorist incidents occur outside the United States and involve U.S. citizens, DOS is the first to respond, locating and identifying the victims. DOS coordinates and communicates with OVA, and then OVA provides immediate and ongoing victim assistance support to victims and their family members. Where appropriate, OVA identifies ITVERP as a potential resource and provides program information to victims or their family members. For those victims and their families who choose to apply, OVC determines victim and expense eligibility.

Interagency coordination enhances ITVERP’s outreach efforts and gives potential claimants access to needed resources. During this reporting period, OVC, OVA, and DOS coordinated efforts to identify and reach out to 281 potential claimants. With materials provided by OVC, DOS and OVA disseminated ITVERP information in the immediate aftermath of the July 11, 2010, terrorist incident in Kampala, Uganda, and other attacks overseas.

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Outreach to Collaborating Agencies and Organizations

Another goal of OVC’s outreach efforts is to educate the victim assistance community, including collaborating agencies and potential partners, about ITVERP. By reaching out to national and international organizations, and individuals that may come into contact with victims of international terrorism, OVC greatly increases awareness about ITVERP and the financial resources it provides to victims. Program outreach activities targeting collaborative agencies and potential partners during this reporting period included the following:
  • ITVERP hosted an outreach table at the Mass Casualty and Terrorism Conference in Washington, D.C., from October 19–21, 2009. The display table featured copies of the OVC Terrorism and International Victim Assistance DVD, which was previewed at the conference.
  • OVC provided an ITVERP presentation to DynCorp International on August 12, 2010, and distributed 20 ITVERP brochures and application materials.
ITVERP distributed outreach materials at conferences and meetings, including the following:
  • ITVERP sent packages of materials to the 2009 NOVA National Conference and to participants in the 2009 National Victim Assistance Academy who requested information.
  • ITVERP coordinated with the OVC Resource Center to disseminate 375 brochures at conferences in 2010 based on the OVC-approved list of conferences.

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ITVERP Resource Center

The ITVERP Resource Center responds to questions and requests made through its dedicated toll free hotline and e-mail address. Program staff are available to respond to inquiries Monday through Friday between the hours of 8:30 a.m. and 5:30 p.m. eastern time. Federal, state, and local government agency staff contact the Resource Center to obtain information regarding the program’s rules and eligibility on behalf of specific victims, and to provide information about potential claimants and particular terrorist incidents that might qualify for ITVERP reimbursement. Similarly, nongovernment organizations (NGO) contact the ITVERP Resource Center to obtain information about the program to include in their own outreach efforts.

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Applicants and potential claimants can obtain information about the program, including eligibility criteria, reimbursable expenses, and instructions for filing an application, through the ITVERP Web page. Potential claimants can download the application for reimbursement, checklists, and supporting documents directly from the site, which also provides a list of answers to frequently asked questions to assist with the application process. During this reporting period, OVC enhanced the page to include an updated list of NSD-designated terrorist incidents.

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