Help for U.S. Citizen Victims of Crime

The State Department helps U.S. citizens who are victims of crime abroad. Here is information on how we help overseas and in the United States.



If you are the victim of a crime overseas, you may suffer from physical, emotional or financial harm.

  • Resources and contacts vary by country and type of crime. Review our country information page for your destination. It has information and resources. Contact the nearest U.S. embassy or consulate. Or, the U.S. Department of State, Office of Overseas Citizens Services. Call us at (888) 407-4747 (from the U.S. or Canada) or (202) 501-4444(from overseas). Consular officers are available for emergency help. They're available 24 hours/day, 7 days/week.

How Consular Sections Can Help:

  • Replace a lost or stolen passport.
  • Contact family, friends, or employers if the victim gives us permission. This is required by the Privacy Act of 1974.
  • Give information to help access to the right medical care.
  • Address emergency needs that arise as a result of the crime.
  • Explain financial aid options. For example, aid to return to the United States.
  • Provide information about experts in local laws.
  • If it applies, share the status of your case in the local criminal justice process.
  • Connect you to resources for victims of crime.
  • Provide a list of local lawyers who speak English.

Consular Sections cannot, however:

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

In The United States

State and Local Resources

Some U.S. cities have programs to help residents who are victims of overseas crime. Their help could include:

  • Sexual Assault counseling programs.
  • Shelter and counseling programs for battered persons.
  • Support groups and counseling for the family and friends of murder victims.
  • Diagnostic and treatment programs for child abuse victims.
  • Assistance for victims of drunk-driving crashes.

All U.S. states have victim compensation programs. Only some states offer benefits to residents who are victims of crime abroad. You can get information about each state’s compensation program. You can also get information on how to apply for benefits. See the  National Association of Crime Victim Compensation Boards.


U.S. Victim Assistance Resources

Sexual Assault: 

Domestic Violence:

Families and Friends of Murder Victims:

Victims and Families of Drunk Driving Crashes:

General Victim Assistance:


The information above is provided for general information only and may not be applicable in a particular case. You should ask private legal counsel about interpreting specific U.S. or foreign laws.

This site is managed by the U.S. Department of State. External links to other Internet sites and listings of private entities on this page are provided as a convenience and should not be construed as the U.S. Department of State or U.S. government endorsement of the entity, its views, the products or services it provides, or the accuracy of information contained therein. The order in which links appear has no significance, and the listings or links may be removed at any time at the discretion of the Department.

Last Updated: March 8, 2024