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Message From the DirectorAbout This GuideResources
Resource Guide for Serving U.S. Citizens Victimized Abroad
Publication Date:  April 2008
Victim Services: An International Outlook
Responding to Victimization Abroad
Coordinating Victim Services
If the Victim Remains Abroad
minus iconIf the Victim Returns to the United States
minus iconInternational Terrorism
minus iconCrime Victim Compensation
Checklists for Assisting U.S. Citizens Victimized Abroad

If the Victim Remains Abroad

Safety and Security

When a U.S. citizen who is a victim of crime abroad remains abroad, safety and security might be the initial issues a victim service provider addresses. Very few shelters abroad are equipped to serve U.S. citizens. Helping victims feel and remain safe is a crucial step toward providing comprehensive assistance. Victim service providers should do the following:

  • Ensure that the victim is staying or living in a safe location.

  • Contact, or encourage victims to contact, the nearest U.S. embassy, consulate, or consular agency for assistance.

  • Offer to contact family members, friends, or others in the United States or elsewhere.

  • Coordinate services for the victim and any children involved, in cases of domestic violence.

  • Assure victims of the confidentiality of your conversations.

  • Urge victims to tell the whole story and prompt them with open-ended questions, avoiding questions that can be answered by yes or no.

  • Ask victims about any special needs or concerns they have.

  • Coordinate safe lodging for the victim's family, particularly if they witnessed a violent crime and could become targets of a subsequent crime themselves.

  • Provide victims with your contact information, particularly an e-mail address because telephone calls from abroad might be expensive or confusing due to language barriers.

  • Encourage victims to contact you if they have any questions or if you can be of additional help.