U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government, Department of Justice.

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.

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.

An extensive range of services and resources is available to help crime victims obtain justice and heal. Review What You Can Do If You Are a Victim of Crime, the Help for Victims section of our site, and the Victim Rights and Services section of our website for information.

Guidelines on how to write a victim impact statement are available in the OVC report, Promising Victim-Related Practices in Probation and Parole - A Compendium of Promising Practices. See Chapter 2: Impact, Notification, and Informational Services for information related to victim impact statements and Appendix B for a sample form. 

Date Created: May 28, 2020