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Victim Rights and Services


Being a victim of crime and navigating the criminal justice system can be a frightening and confusing experience. But with funding authorized under the Victims of Crime Act of 1984, and through the dedicated efforts of advocates, lawmakers, and victim service providers, there is an extensive range of services and resources available to help victims heal and obtain justice.


Numerous government agencies and private nonprofit, faith-based, and charitable organizations throughout the country have programs that provide services to crime victims. Visit our Help for Victims microsite to learn more

Additionally, every U.S. state, the Federal Government, and many tribal jurisdictions have basic statutory rights and protections for victims of crime.

The following resources provide information on rights and services for victims of crime.

According to the Victim Compensation Program Guidelines, at a minimum, the Victims of Crime Act (VOCA) requires states to award compensation for medical expenses, mental health counseling, lost wages, and funeral expenses when they are attributable to a compensable crime.

For more information regarding expenses covered in your state, please contact your State Victim Compensation Program.

The Victims of Crime Act (VOCA) specifically requires compensation to crime victims and survivors of victims of criminal violence for certain expenses resulting from physical injury from a compensable crime as defined by the state.

VOCA places priority on violent crime, but it does not prohibit coverage of nonviolent crimes. States may choose to broaden the range of compensable crimes to include those involving threats of injury or economic crime where victims are traumatized but not physically injured. Please keep in mind that eligibility requirements, in the end, are left up to the state.

Please contact your State Victim Compensation Program for information to learn about eligibility requirements. 

Many OVC publications and products are available in hardcopy and can be ordered from the National Criminal Justice Reference Service (NCJRS), OVC's information clearinghouse. You can search for and order available OVC resources via the NCJRS Publications/Products page. While these resources are free, shipping and handling fees may apply. View the Shopping Cart Help at NCJRS for more information.

Date Created: May 28, 2020