Advancing technology, widespread use of the Internet, increased international tourism, overseas job opportunities, and a stronger threat of terrorist acts against U.S. citizens have prompted growing concern about crime abroad and its impact on victims.
As greater numbers of U.S. citizens live or travel overseas for business, study, or vacation they may be more vulnerable to crime than local citizens because they are more likely to lack the language skills, geographic bearings, or “street smarts” that apply in a particular country.
Yet many U.S. citizens victimized abroad receive only a patchwork of assistance, or sometimes none at all. Many cultures do not acknowledge the impact of victimization or recognize victim assistance as a responsibility of the society as a whole or of segments such as law enforcement. Even if victims receive some emergency assistance overseas, they often find themselves starting over when it comes to seeking assistance upon their return to the United States.
With information and support from the Office for Victims of Crime, a component of the Office of Justice Programs, U.S. Department of Justice, and other federal agencies, U.S.-based victim service providers can prepare to deliver comprehensive and effective services to victims of overseas crimes by facilitating access to resources both abroad and in the United States.