Victims of Crime

The State Department is committed to assisting U.S. citizens who become victims of crime while abroad.  We help in two ways:

  • Overseas: consular officers, agents, and staff work with crime victims and help them with the local police and medical systems.
  • In the United States: our office of Overseas Citizens Services will stay in touch with family members in the United States, and help provide U.S.-based resources for the victim when possible.

If you are the victim of a crime overseas:

  • Contact the nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate:
    • Consular officers are available for emergency assistance 24 hours/day, 7 days/week.
    • Contact information for U.S. Embassies and Consulates overseas can be found here or by going to our individual Country Specific Information pages.
    • To contact the Department of State in the U.S. call 1-888-407-4747 (from the U.S. or Canada) or (202) 501-4444 (from overseas).
    • Contact the local police to report the incident and get immediate help.  Request a copy of the police report.

Consular Assistance to U.S. Crime Victims:

When a U.S. citizen is the victim of a crime overseas, he or she may suffer from physical, emotional or financial injuries.  It can be more difficult because the victim may be in unfamiliar surroundings, and may not know the local language or customs.  Consular officers, consular agents, and local employees at overseas posts know local government agencies and resources in the country where they work.

We can help:

  • Replace a stolen passport
  • Contact family, friends, or employers
  • Obtain appropriate medical care
  • Address emergency needs that arise as a result of the crime
  • Explain the local criminal justice process
  • Obtain information about your case
  • Connect you to local and U.S.-based resources to assist victims of crime
  • Obtain information about any local and U.S. victim compensation programs available
  • Provide a list of local lawyers who speak English

We cannot:

  • Investigate crimes
  • Provide legal advice or represent you in court
  • Serve as official interpreters or translators
  • Pay legal, medical, or other fees for you

 

Some U.S. cities and communities offer programs to help residents who are victims of overseas crime, including:

  • Rape crisis counseling programs
  • Shelter and counseling programs for battered women
  • Support groups and bereavement counseling for family members and friends of murder victims
  • Diagnostic and treatment programs for child abuse victims
  • Assistance for victims of drunk driving crashes

All U.S. states provide victim compensation programs, however only some states offer benefits to residents who are victims of violent crime overseas.  Most compensation programs require the victim to file a report at the time of the incident, and to provide a copy with the application.  Programs include financial assistance to pay for:

  • Medical costs, including counseling
  • Funeral or burial expenses
  • Lost income or loss of support
  • Expenses related to the repatriation of remains

Information about each state’s compensation program and how to apply for benefits is available from the National Association of Crime Victim Compensation Boards.

Contact Information for Victim Assistance Programs:

DISCLAIMER:  The U.S. Department of State assumes no responsibility for the professional ability or integrity of the organizations whose names appear below.  This referral does not constitute an endorsement or recommendation of the U.S. Department of State.

Sexual Assault: 

  • RAINN (Rape, Abuse and Incest National Network) – Toll-free 24/7 hotline for sexual assault counseling and referrals: 1-800-656-HOPE (4673).  RAINN also offers a hotline that provides live, secure, anonymous crisis support for victims of sexual violence, their friends, and familiies over RAINN’s website.  The Online Hotline is free of charge and is available 24 hours per day, 7 days per week!
  • U.S. Department of Justice Office on Violence Against Women – Information about local sexual assault victim assistance coalitions.
  • International Directory of Domestic Violence Agencies – Global list of abuse hotlines, shelters, refuges, crisis centers and women’s organizations, plus domestic violence information in over 90 languages.
    •  NOTE: The agencies and organizations listed on this international directory have not been vetted by the U.S. Department of State or other federal agency.

Domestic Violence:

  • National Domestic Violence Hotline – Toll-free 24/7 hotline for crisis counseling and referrals: 1-800-799-SAFE (7233).
  • U.S. Department of Justice Office on Violence Against Women – Information about local domestic violence victim assistance coalitions.
  • National Coalition Against Domestic Violence – The National Coalition Against Domestic Violence offers a safe home and shelter programs, public education, and technical assistance.  They also have a list of state and international organizations that can assist domeestic violence victims.  303-839-1852
  • Americans Overseas Domestic Violence Crisis Center – The center serves abused Americans, mostly women and children, in both civilian and military populations overseas. The 24/7 international crisis hotline 1-866-USWOMEN (1-866-879-6636) can be called toll free from overseas.
  • International Directory of Domestic Violence Agencies – Global list of abuse hotlines, shelters, refuges, crisis centers and women’s organizations, plus domestic violence information in over 90 languages.
    • NOTE: The agencies and organizations listed on this international directory have not been vetted by the U.S. Department of State or other federal agency.

Families and Friends of Murder Victims:

Victims and Families of Drunk Driving Crashes:

General Victim Assistance:

Overseas Resources:

  • Victim Assistance On-line – Information about victim assistance programs in approximately 20 countries.
  • International Directory of Domestic Violence Agencies – Global list of abuse hotlines, shelters, refuges, crisis centers and women’s organizations, plus domestic violence information in over 90 languages.
    • NOTE: The agencies and organizations listed on this international directory have not been vetted by the U.S. Department of State or other federal agency.

Information from the Austrian Criminal Intelligence Service

Organizations specialized in psycho-social counselling and legal assistance (PDF)

Weisser Ring
Dr. Udo Jesionek (President)
Mag. Marianne Gammer (Federal Office Director)
Nußdorfer Str. 67/7
1090 Vienna
Tel.: 712-14-05, 07114/200155 (Austria only)
Fax: 718-83-74
E-mail: office@weisser-ring.at

Women’s Helpline
1050 Vienna
Tel.: 0800-222555
E-mail: frauenhelpline@aoef.at

In Austria general social assistance is available to foreign nationals, but special financial compensation for victims of crime paid by the State is limited to nationals of the European Economic Area (EU countries plus Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway).

The Weisser Ring is an independent, non-profit organization that provides assistance to victims of crime throughout Austria. Assistance ranges from counseling to financial compensation, which is means-tested and subject to special authorization by a review board. The Weisser Ring acts also as an interface with other private organizations that cater to specific victim groups.

Eligibility Requirements

Report to police: Yes.
Filing period: approx. 12 months from the month in which the crime occurred.

Claimants

Victims of crime irrespective of age, gender, nationality, types of crime (with the exception of victims of traffic accidents who may be able to get compensation from another source, i.e., Kuratorium für Verkehrssicherheit, Rotes Dreieck).

Procedures

The applicant files a claim with the Weisser Ring (either in writing or in person).

It is required that the applicant provides personal data (name, phone number and address, date of birth, marital status, number of children), details of the crime (including case number of police report), as well as information on income. If available, copy of court decisions and other relevant legal material should be submitted.

Benefits & Award Limits

There is no official maximum award limit. Compensation is awarded on a case-by-case basis, depending on the severity of the damage and the person’s income (authorization by a panel of 3 to 6 board members is mandatory).

Compensable Costs

Victims may be compensated for all kinds of expenses, but there is no legal entitlement to compensation. Financial compensation may be granted on a case-by-case basis, subject to a means-test and special authorization.

Emergency Awards

Emergency compensation awards are granted in cases of special emergency.

Funding Sources

The program is funded through membership fees and sponsorship. Government funding is assigned for special purposes (e.g. legal aid and administration).