Office for Victims of Crime - Justice for Victims. Justice for All
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International Terrorism

In the aftermath of an act of international terrorism, you may find yourself providing assistance to victims and their families. OVC wants to equip you with tools and programs that may help you respond.

PROGRAMS

International Terrorism Victim Expense Reimbursement Program
If you are assisting a U.S. citizen who has suffered direct physical or emotional injury from an act of terrorism occurring outside the United States, or a family member of a U.S. citizen who was killed by such an act, you will want to inform them about the International Terrorism Victim Expense Reimbursement Program (ITVERP).

ITVERP, funded by the Antiterrorism Emergency Reserve (Emergency Reserve) and administered by OVC, provides financial reimbursement for qualifying expenses such as medical, mental health, property loss, and funeral expenses. Familiarize yourself with who is eligible, what expenses are covered, and how to apply by visiting the ITVERP website.

Office of Overseas Citizens Services
The Office of Overseas Citizens Services, Bureau of Consular Affairs, U.S. Department of State, is committed to assisting American citizens who become victims of crime while traveling, working, or residing abroad. Consular duty personnel are available for emergency assistance 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, at embassies, consulates, and consular agencies overseas and in Washington, D.C. If you are working with an individual who has been a victim of a terrorist attack occurring outside the United States who is in need of emergency assistance, or with a family member of such a victim, you may direct the person to the Office of Overseas Citizens Services at—

  • 1–888–407–4747, from the United States, or
  • 1–202–501–4444, from abroad

Crime Victim Assistance Emergency Fund for Victims of Terrorism or Mass Violence
The Federal Bureau of Investigation is uniquely suited to provide emergency assistance to victims of international terrorism because of its international scope and extensive experience in responding to more than 13,000 victims of these crimes.  Visit the FBI’s Office for Victim Assistance Web page for more information about the Federal and Special Jurisdictions Program.

U.S. Department of Justice, Office of Justice for Victims of Overseas Terrorism
The U.S. Department of Justice, Office of Justice for Victims of Overseas Terrorism (OVT) assists U.S. citizens who have suffered direct physical, emotional or financial harm due to an act of violence committed overseas for terroristic purposes under U.S. law. OVT advocates for U.S. victims and their families to obtain information, be present during foreign terrorism prosecutions, and have a voice during the proceedings, as permitted by foreign law. OVT further provides policy advocacy on overseas terrorism victims’ issues both within the U.S. Government and throughout the world.

Victims of a terrorist attack occurring outside the United States and their family can contact OVT with questions about the foreign criminal justice process at 202–233–0701 or nsd.ovt@usdoj.gov.

You can also visit the OVT website to learn more about the office, programs, services, and information for victims of overseas terrorism in the Victim Toolbox.

State Victim Compensation Programs
All states receive federal funds from OVC to support local victim assistance and victim compensation programs. In the aftermath of an act of terrorism or mass violence occurring outside the United States, some states offer U.S. citizens crime victim compensation benefits for lost wages incurred as a result of the crime.

Victim compensation benefits are governed by the applicable state statutes, so eligibility may vary among states. Contact the victim compensation program in your state for more information about eligibility and the application process so you can refer victims to them.

For information about your state’s victim compensation program, visit OVC’s map of state programs.

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TRAININGS

Bureau of Justice Assistance National Training and Technical Assistance Center
The Bureau of Justice Assistance National Training and Technical Assistance Center (NTTAC) works with all levels of government to help prevent, disrupt, and defeat terrorist acts before they occur. NTTAC also recognizes that it is the job of law enforcement agencies and prosecutors to bring terrorists to justice and that every citizen can play a vital role in preventing terrorism.

NTTAC supports a variety of counter-terrorism training and technical assistance resources for law enforcement and other criminal justice practitioners. Knowing what educational outlets exist and where to turn for technical assistance can help agencies prepare for and respond to a terrorist incident.

NTTAC’s training topics include cyber-terrorism and computer technology, and victim assistance.

GAINS Center: Trauma Training for Criminal Justice Professionals
The GAINS Center, a program of the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), offers training that helps educate criminal justice professionals about the impact of trauma and how to develop trauma-informed responses.

To locate a trauma-informed trainer in your area, use the SAMHSA’s GAINS Center Trauma-Informed Response Trainer database or contact the GAINS Center directly about holding a training.

International Critical Incident Stress Foundation, Inc.
International Critical Incident Stress Foundation, Inc., provides leadership, education, training, consultation, and support services in comprehensive crisis intervention as well as behavioral health services during critical incidents.

National Center for Trauma Informed Care
Operated by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, the National Center for Trauma Informed Care provides training for policy makers, administrators, staff, leaders, other stakeholders in order to implement trauma-informed approaches in a range of service systems, including mental health, criminal justice and victim assistance.

OVC Training and Technical Assistance CenterOVC TTAC
OVC TTAC provides comprehensive training, technical assistance, and other support to assist the victim services field in building its collective capacity to serve crime victims.

In June 2016, OVC TTAC presented seven multimedia web trainings to introduce the Helping Victims of Mass Violence and Terrorism: Planning, Response, Recovery, and Resources Toolkit. View this web training series summary report (PDF 144 kb) to learn more and view the recorded trainings.

Visit the OVC TTAC website and explore additional ways they can support you.

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PUBLICATIONS

Read OVC’s Resource Guide for Serving U.S. Citizens Victimized Abroad for information about strategic plans and action plans to ensure that key personnel, resources, and protocols are in place to respond to victimization abroad.

Coping with Disaster: Helping Children with Cognitive Disabilities
This article provides information on children dealing with disaster, in general and by age, and offers strategies to use with children with disabilities.

Compensation Protocol: A Guide to Responding to Mass Casualty Incidents
A product of the OVC-funded Mass Casualty Protocol project, this manual examines the role of victim compensation programs during a mass casualty incident and describes a strategy for serving victims, survivors, allied victim professionals, and compensation program staff.

Federal Family Assistance Plan for Aviation Disasters
This plan is designed to provide guidance when assigning responsibilities and describes how air carriers and federal agencies should respond to an aviation accident involving a significant number of passenger fatalities and/or injuries. Organizations given legal authority or responsibility should use this plan to develop procedures specific to their roles.

Field Manual for Mental Health and Human Service Workers in Major Disasters
This Field Manual is intended for mental health workers and other human service providers who assist survivors following a disaster. This pocket reference provides the basics of disaster mental health, with numerous specific and practical suggestions for workers.

Essential information about disaster survivors' reactions and needs is included. "Helping" skills are described with guidance for when to refer for professional assistance. Strategies for worker stress prevention and management are presented in the last section. Fostering Resilience in Response to Terrorism: For Psychologists Working With Older Adults. This fact sheet describes the continuum of emotional responses that older adults may exhibit following an act of terrorism, including resilience and vulnerability.

Fostering Resilience in Response to Terrorism:  For Psychologists Working with Older Adults
This fact sheet describes the continuum of emotional responses that older adults may exhibit following an act of terrorism, including resilience and vulnerability.

Helping Children and Adolescents Cope with Violence and Disasters: What Community Members Can Do
This booklet describes what community members can do to help children and adolescents cope with violence and disasters.

Helping Children and Adolescents Cope with Violence and Disasters: What Rescue Workers Can Do
This booklet describes what rescue workers can do to help children and adolescents cope with violence and disasters.

Helping Children and Adolescents Deal With Grief
This fact sheet provides information for responding to children and adolescents who are grieving after the death of a loved one. It describes children’s understanding of death, how they grieve, and the emotions children commonly experience as well as tips for beginning and continuing conversations with children about death and a bibliography of children’s books on dealing with grief.

Mental Health Response to Mass Violence and Terrorism: A Field Guide
This booklet guides service providers and professionals in the mental health field in responding to and assisting victims and families during the aftermath of mass violence and terrorism.

National Association of School Psychologists
The National Association of School Psychologists provides school safety and crisis resources to help children and youth to cope with traumatic events, including—

Psychological First Aid Field Operations Guide
Developed by the National Child Traumatic Stress Network and the National Center for PTSD, Psychological First Aid presents an evidence-informed approach for assisting survivors of disaster and terrorism.

Responding to Victims of Terrorism and Mass Violence Crimes: Coordination and Collaboration Between American Red Cross Workers and Crime Victim Service Providers
This booklet, jointly published by OVC and the American Red Cross, provides information on how Red Cross staff and volunteers can better assist victims of terrorism and mass violence crimes. It focuses on victims’ rights and needs, OVC resources, victim compensation and assistance, and key differences between the needs of victims of crime and victims of natural disasters.

Substance Use Disorders and Disasters
This section of the SAMHSA website provides resources on the prevention and treatment of substance use disorders as part of disaster planning, response, and recovery. It includes tip sheets, guides, and other resources that can be used to help people with substance use disorders to cope with and recover from disaster events.

Supporting Victims of Terrorism
This report summarizes the importance of giving victims a face and a voice, protecting their dignity, giving them legal status and defending their legal rights as well as providing victims with medical, psychosocial, and financial support, building solidarity with victims, improving media coverage of victims, and focusing on the link between victims and counter-terrorism efforts more generally.

Terrorist Attacks and Children
This article provides information on how children respond to terrorism and presents steps professionals and parents can take to help children cope with acts of terrorism.

The Vicarious Trauma Toolkit The Vicarious Trauma Toolkit
Research shows that vicarious trauma, when left unaddressed, can lead to staff burnout, turnover, stress, and a lesser quality of services for victims. This OVC toolkit offers guidance to help organizations strengthen their ability to address work-related exposure to trauma.

The toolkit contains a state-of-the-art repository with nearly 500 resources for the fields of victim services, emergency medical services, fire services, law enforcement, and other allied professionals.

PUBLICATIONS FROM THE NATIONAL CHILD TRAUMATIC STRESS NETWORK

The National Child Traumatic Stress Network provides a series of resources that may assist parents, school personnel, pediatric care providers, and others when speaking with youth and teens, including:

The NCTSN also has resources for responders on Psychological First Aid (PFA). PFA is an early intervention to support children, adolescents, adults, and families impacted by these types of events.

Additional resources are available from the following OVC topical pages—

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