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.