OVC Supports Communities Responding to Terrorist Attacks and Mass Violence
Terrorism and criminal mass violence leave victims with serious physical and emotional wounds and challenge government officials and communities to respond immediately with appropriate efforts. 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 (AEAP), OVC supports victims and jurisdictions that have experienced incidents of terrorism or mass violence. AEAP is designed to supplement the available resources and services of entities responding to acts of terrorism or mass violence in order to ensure that a program’s resources are sufficient and/or not diverted to these victims to the detriment of other crime victims.
Following the 1995 bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma, Congress amended the 1984 Victims of Crime Act, authorizing OVC to establish an Antiterrorism Emergency Reserve (Emergency Reserve) using resources from the Crime Victims Fund (the Fund). Every year, OVC can access up to $50 million from the Emergency Reserve that is available beyond the appropriation level for the Fund that Congress establishes annually. The OVC Director can use these Emergency Reserve funds for AEAP.
AEAP offers five funding streams to provide timely relief for immediate and ongoing victim assistance services to qualified applicants. Qualified applicants include state victim assistance and compensation programs; public agencies, including federal, state, and local governments; federally recognized Indian tribal governments, as determined by the Secretary of the Interior and published in the Federal Register; U.S. Attorneys’ Offices; public institutions of higher education; and nongovernmental and victim service organizations.
OVC also created a Helping Victims of Mass Violence and Terrorism: Planning, Response, Recovery, and Resources Toolkit to help communities prepare for and respond to victims of mass violence and terrorism in the most timely, effective, and compassionate manner possible.
Types of Assistance Available Through AEAP
The following types of assistance are available to eligible applicants through AEAP.
|AEAP Assistance Programs (Categories of Assistance)
||Crime Victim Compensation
||Training and Technical Assistance
|Criminal Justice Support
- Crisis response grants (emergency, short-term, and up to 9 months) help victims build adaptive capacities, decrease stressors, and reduce symptoms of trauma immediately following an incident.
- Consequence management grants (ongoing, long-term, and up to 18 months) help victims recover and regain their ability to function.
- Criminal justice support grants (ongoing, long-term, and up to 36 months) facilitate victim participation in investigations or prosecutions directly related to the incident.
- Crime victim compensation grants (available during or after the crisis phase) reimburse victims for out-of-pocket expenses related to their victimization through state crime victim compensation programs.
- Training and technical assistance (available during or after the crisis phase) helps federal, state, tribal, and local authorities identify victim needs, coordinate victim services, develop response strategies, and address related issues. OVC may also provide consultants to draft the AEAP application and perform related tasks.
|Examples of Community Uses for AEAP Funding From OVC
||Emergency food and clothing
||Compensation for medical and mental health costs, lost wages, and funeral expenses
|Needs assessments and planning
||Repatriation of remains
||Cleaning and return of personal effects
|Protocols for coordination and collaboration
||Victim advocacy, outreach, and education
||Support for victim participation in criminal justice proceedings
|Emergency transportation and travel
||Victim notification systems
||Child and dependent care
|Temporary housing assistance
||Limited victim-service related law enforcement overtime expenses such as death notifications, victim advocates, crime scene cleanup, and explaining the crime scene to the family
|Limited funding may be available to cover administrative costs necessary and essential to the delivery of services and assistance to victims.