U.S. Department of Justice
Office of Justice Programs
Office for Victims of Crime
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OVC Fact Sheet


SEPTEMBER 11, 2001

"Now is the time for us to come together as a Department, and as a nation, to offer our support and prayers for victims and their families, for the rescue workers and law enforcement, and for every one of us who has been changed forever by this horrible tragedy."

—Attorney General John Ashcroft

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.

The Office for Victims of Crime, working in close concert with other federal agencies, has established the following array of services and assistance to help the affected communities and respond to the needs of crime victims.

OVC's Victim Assistance Center 1-800-331-0075 (TTY 1-800-833-6885): OVC established a national toll-free information line for victims and families of victims staffed by trained mental health professionals to provide crisis counseling. Victims can obtain information about available benefits, receive referrals to local resources, and provide pertinent identifying information about individual victims and contact information for future notification about benefits, services, and criminal justice proceedings.

Mental Health Counseling Services: OVC will make funding available to the Center for Mental Health Services to support crisis counseling centers for victims and family members in the affected states.

Informational Resources: OVC has developed, identified, and made available a wide range of publications and other information for victims of terrorism on its home page and through OVC's national clearinghouse, the Office for Victims of Crime Resource Center (OVCRC). Call OVCRC at 1-800-851-3420 (TTY 301-947-8374) for assistance in placing a publication order.

Victims of Terrorism Web Site: OVC is creating a special informational Web site for victims and families that will serve as an ongoing source of information about rights, services, and criminal justice proceedings, including investigative efforts.

Emergency Travel Assistance: OVC has made funding available to the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) to assist victims with emergency needs, particularly travel and lodging for families of victims who are not eligible for this assistance from the airlines, and for transportation of victim remains.

Antiterrorism and Emergency Assistance Fund: OVC will make funding available to support five types of assistance in the wake of an act of terrorism or mass violence:

  • Crisis Response Grants (available within 0-9 months). Funding to help rebuild adaptive capacities, decrease stressors, and reduce symptoms of trauma immediately following a terrorism or mass violence incident.

  • Consequence Management Grants (available within 9-18 months). Funding to help victims adapt to the trauma event and restore the victims' sense of equilibrium.

  • Criminal Justice Support Grants (available within 18-36 months). Funding to help facilitate victim participation in an investigation and prosecution related to a terrorist act or mass violence incident.

  • Crime Victim Compensation Grants. Funding to reimburse victims for out-of-pocket expenses related to a terrorist act or mass violence incident. Emergency Fund dollars may not be used to cover property damage or property loss.

  • Training and Technical Assistance. To assist in identifying resources, assessing needs, coordinating services to victims, and developing strategies for responding to an act of terrorism or mass violence.

    Jurisdictions are not limited to only one type of assistance. Funding may be provided for each type of assistance available.

For additional information about the services and resources available from OVC, visit the OVC Victim Assistance Center page, call the OVC Resource Center at 1-800-851-3420 (TTY 301-947-8374), or call OVC's Terrorism and International Victims Unit at 202-307-5983.

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