Planning for a Broad Scope of Services
Thorough planning and coordination of resources are vital components for optimizing assistance and compensation to U.S. citizens who are victims of crime abroad. U.S.-based victim service providers should form working relationships early with the U.S. Department of State, Bureau of Consular Affairs, Office of Overseas Citizens Services, and other agencies or entities that maintain a presence, and could be of assistance, in foreign countries.
As planning and implementation of services for victims abroad are executed, communication among victim advocates is important to providing access to the right services and preventing duplication of effort. This allows all who work on behalf of U.S. citizens abroad the opportunity to be instrumental in their physical, emotional, and economic recovery.
U.S. citizens who have been victimized abroad often require ongoing services and assistance when they return to the United States. To ensure a continuum of care, U.S.-based victim service providers should coordinate services in advance of the victim returning home, when possible.
In addition, domestic victim service providers should expand their scope of services to include efforts customized to the specific circumstances of cases with an international component. For example, children who are U.S. citizens but have lived their entire lives abroad might need English as a Second Language instruction upon arrival in the United States. Offering tailored victim services might include contacting the local school system to advocate on behalf of the children.