A rescue worker helps a survivor escape the wreckage of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma CityAntiterrorism and Emergency Assistance Program: Responding to Victims of Terrorism and Mass Violence Crimes
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Help for Communities Responding to Victims of
Terrorism and Mass Violence Crimes

Office for Victims of Crime

The Office for Victims of Crime (OVC) is committed to promoting justice and healing for all victims of crime. As an agency of the U.S. Department of Justice, OVC administers federal funds to support victim services, provides training for diverse professionals who work with victims, develops projects to enhance victims’ rights and services, and undertakes public education and advocacy activities on behalf of crime victims. OVC works with international, national, tribal, state, military, and local victim assistance and criminal justice agencies and other professional organizations to promote fundamental rights and comprehensive services for crime victims.

Crimes of Terrorism and Mass Violence

The threat of terrorism and criminal mass violence against Americans, both in the United States and abroad, has increased in recent years. Such acts leave victims with serious physical and emotional wounds and challenge government officials and communities to respond immediately with appropriate effort. Victim assistance and compensation providers face the daunting task of coordinating effective and timely responses, providing information and assistance to victims, and working closely with other agencies and victim service organizations.

OVC can help. Through the Antiterrorism and Emergency Assistance Program, we are committed to providing assistance to communities reeling from terrorist attacks and other cases of mass violence.

Available Assistance

OVC offers five categories of assistance to respond to terrorism and mass violence: crisis response, consequence management, criminal justice support, crime victim compensation, and training and technical assistance. Assistance in each category targets a specific phase in the aftermath of a crisis and is designed to meet the immediate and extended needs of victims and the community.

  • Crisis response grants (available up to 9 months) provide funds to help victims build adaptive capacities, decrease stressors, and reduce symptoms of trauma immediately following the terrorism or mass violence event.

  • Consequence management grants (available up to 18 months) provide supplemental funds to help victims recover from the traumatic event and to restore their sense of equilibrium.

  • Criminal justice support grants (available up to 36 months) facilitate victim participation in an investigation or prosecution directly related to the terrorist or mass violence event.

  • Crime victim compensation grants (available any time during crisis aftermath) provide supplemental funds to state crime victim compensation programs to reimburse victims for out-of-pocket expenses related to their victimization.

  • Training and technical assistance (available any time during crisis aftermath) provide tools to help federal, state, and local authorities identify victim needs and needed resources, coordinate services to victims, develop strategies for responding, and address related issues.

Allowable Activities

The remains of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building after a terrorist attack in April 1995Efforts that may be supported with federal funding from OVC include but are not limited to—

  • Crisis counseling.
  • Needs assessments and planning.
  • Protocols for coordination and collaboration.
  • Outreach plan development.
  • Emergency transportation and travel.
  • Temporary housing assistance.
  • Emergency food and clothing.
  • Victim information Web sites.
  • Vocational rehabilitation.
  • Victim outreach and education.
  • Victim notification systems.
  • Victim advocacy.
  • Compensation for medical and mental health costs, lost wages, and funeral expenses.

In addition, a limited amount of available funding, as agreed upon by OVC and the applicant, may be used for administrative purposes deemed necessary and essential to the delivery of services and assistance to victims.

Eligible Applicants

Eligible applicants for funds include state victim assistance and victim compensation programs; U.S. Attorneys; Offices; victim service and nongovernmental organizations; and federal, state, and local governments. (Note: Funding is not available to foreign governments.)

If multiple requests for funding are received from a single jurisdiction, applicants must describe plans for collaboration. In addition, funded activities should be coordinated with agencies such as state emergency preparedness agencies, state mental health agencies, local chapters of the American Red Cross and the United Way, and federal and state law enforcement and prosecution personnel.

Antiterrorism and Emergency Assistance Programs funds may be used to provide services and assistance to—

  • Victims and surviving family members.
  • Emergency response personnel.
  • Nationals of the United States.
  • Officers or employees of the U.S. Government, including family members and legal guardians.
For More Information

The Antiterrorism and Emergency Assistance Program guidelines (appearing in the Federal Register, Vol. 67, No. 21, under Victims of Crime) and the application process now are available online. Reviewing the materials now will best prepare you to take immediate action if a crisis occurs. OVC stands ready to help you deliver timely assistance to victims of terrorism and mass violence crimes.

For more information about the Antiterrorism and Emergency Assistance Program or to obtain information about precrisis planning, please contact Program Manager, Terrorism and International Victims Unit, Office for Victims of Crime, 810 Seventh Street NW., Washington, DC 20531 (phone 202–307–5983).

“When a major terrorist
incident occurs . . . ,
we can provide significant
federal resources to assist.”
—U.S. Attorney General John D. Ashcroft,
speaking at the National Governors
Association Summit on Domestic Terrorism
in Washington, D.C., July 2001.

Photo at top courtesy of Oklahoma City KWTV 9. Building photo courtesy of Federal Emergency Management Agency.