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Office of Justice Programs (OJP) - Office for Victims of Crime (OVC)

About the Office of Justice Programs (OJP) - Office for Victims of Crime (OVC)

The Office for Victims of Crime (OVC) is a component of the Office of Justice Programs (OJP). OJP provides federal leadership in developing the nation’s capacity to prevent and control crime, improve criminal and juvenile justice systems, increase knowledge about crime and related issues, and assist crime victims. Through programs developed and funded by its bureaus and offices, OJP works to form partnerships among federal, tribal, state, and local government officials to control drug abuse and trafficking; reduce and prevent crime; rehabilitate neighborhoods; improve the administration of justice in America; meet the needs of crime victims; and address problems such as gang violence, prison crowding, juvenile crime, and domestic violence. OVC is committed to enhancing the nation’s capacity to assist crime victims and to providing leadership in changing attitudes, policies, and practices to promote justice and healing for all crime victims. In this regard, OVC administers programs authorized by the Victims of Crime Act of 1984, as amended, and the Crime Victims Fund (the Fund) authorized by this statute. The Fund is composed of criminal fines and penalties, special assessments, and bond forfeitures collected from convicted federal perpetrators, as well as gifts and donations received from the general public. Money deposited in this fund is used to support a wide range of activities on behalf of crime victims, including victim compensation and assistance services, demonstration programs, training and technical assistance, program evaluation and replication, and programs to assist victims of terrorism and mass violence.

OVC administers two major formula grant programs: Victim Assistance and Victim Compensation. During the past decade, these two formula grant programs have greatly improved the accessibility and quality of services for federal and state crime victims nationwide.

About Victim Assistance

Each year, all 50 states, the District of Columbia and various U.S. territories are awarded OVC funds to support community-based organizations that serve crime victims. Approximately 6,400 grants are made to domestic violence shelters, rape crisis centers, child abuse programs, and victim service units in law enforcement agencies, prosecutors’ offices, hospitals, and social service agencies. These programs provide services including crisis intervention, counseling, emergency shelter, criminal justice advocacy and emergency transportation. States and territories are required to give priority to programs serving victims of domestic violence, sexual assault, and child abuse. Additional funds must be set aside for underserved victims, such as survivors of homicide victims and victims of drunk drivers.

For additional information on crime victim assistance programs, please visit the OVC web site at or contact the OVC Resource Center at 800-851-3420 (TTY: 877-712-9279).

You may also visit the web site for the National Association of VOCA Assistance Administrators at

About Victim Compensation

All 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and Guam, have established compensation programs for crime victims. These programs reimburse victims for crime related expenses such as medical costs, mental health counseling, funeral and burial costs and lost wages or loss of support. Compensation is paid only when other financial resources, such as private insurance and offender restitution, do not cover the loss. Some expenses are not covered by most compensation programs, including theft, damage, and property loss. Although each state compensation program is administered independently, most programs have similar eligibility requirements and offer comparable benefits.

For additional information on crime victim compensation, please visit the OVC web site at or contact the OVC Resource Center at 800-851-3420 (TTY: 877-712-9279).

You may also visit the web site for the National Association of Crime Victim Compensation Boards at

About OVC’s Assistance to Victims of Terrorism and Mass Violence

OVC addresses emerging issues related to serving victims of violent crime, mass victimization, and terrorism in the United States and abroad via its Terrorism and International Victims Unit (TIVU). TIVU develops programs and initiatives to help victims of terrorism and mass violence and victims of such transnational crimes as victimization of tourists and international child abduction. In this capacity, TIVU coordinates OVC resources and funding for victims of terrorism and transnational crimes and administers the Antiterrorism and Emergency Assistance Program. TIVU serves as OVC's liaison to the Department of State Bureau of Consular Affairs which provides a full range of emergency and non-emergency services and assists Americans residing, studying or traveling abroad. TIVU also coordinates with other federal and state agencies, including the FBI, FEMA, HHS Center for Mental Health Services, state crime victim assistance and compensation programs and others. TIVU provides technical assistance and briefings to visitors worldwide who are interested in victim assistance efforts in the United States.

Useful Web Sites for Assisting Victims of Crime