War on Terrorism

Tuesday, August 08, 2017

National Security Division Announces Launch of Enhanced Website to Assist Victims of Overseas Terrorism



The Justice Department’s Office of Justice for Victims of Overseas Terrorism (DOJ/OVT), which helps U.S. citizen victims and their families harmed in terrorist attacks abroad, launched its enhanced website today.  The enhanced website makes it easier than ever for victims and their families to access DOJ/OVT’s resources.  The announcement was made by Acting Assistant Attorney General for National Security Dana J. Boente and DOJ/OVT Director Heather Cartwright.

“The Office of Justice for Victims of Overseas Terrorism serves as an advocate for our citizens impacted by overseas terrorism as they navigate foreign criminal justice systems in pursuit of accountability,” said Acting Assistant Attorney General Boente. “OVT’s enhanced website will make it easier to connect Americans with crucial services and information in the aftermath of an overseas terrorist attack.  We remain committed to providing these critical resources to American victims of overseas terrorism and their families.”

According to DOJ/OVT Director Heather Cartwright, “providing information to U.S. citizen victims of overseas terrorist attacks and their loved ones is a critical part of our office’s mission. Public outreach through our website is one important way of making information accessible to victims. We enhanced our website with a focus on the needs of victims and their families, and it highlights the help that we and our U.S. government partners provide to support U.S. victims of overseas terrorism. We hope this redesigned website is informative and helpful to victims, survivors and all those who are interested in the work of this office.”

In this era of global terrorist attacks affecting Americans, the enhanced website focuses on helping victims at different stages in the attack aftermath learn about available resources, whether they live at home in the U.S. or abroad. The redesigned website includes:

    Emergency contacts for the immediate crisis as well as resources for the longer term, especially during foreign criminal justice proceedings, which can now be quickly accessed to gain clarity during what can be a confusing and overwhelming experience;
    Web referrals so that users can explore and connect with the DOJ/OVT’s partner agencies to seek other assistance available from the U.S. government;
    An online “toolbox” that provides more in-depth descriptions of DOJ/OVT services, legal definitions, victims’ rights, general information about terrorism abroad and common victim questions. These features afford victims and their families a simplified starting point when they are seeking answers to difficult questions;
    A newly-designed interactive map that contains information about DOJ/OVT’s efforts worldwide; and,
    Press releases highlighting major developments in the criminal justice response to overseas terrorist attacks with U.S. victims will continue to be posted to the website.

DOJ/OVT was established on May 6, 2005, by then-Attorney General Alberto Gonzales and is now part of the Justice Department’s National Security Division, which was created in 2006.  DOJ/OVT’s primary responsibility to Americans who are victims of overseas terrorism is to help navigate foreign criminal justice systems.  DOJ/OVT advocates for U.S. victims and their families to obtain information, be present during foreign terrorism prosecutions, and have a voice during the proceedings, as permitted by foreign law. DOJ/OVT further advocates for overseas terrorism victims’ voices to be heard throughout the world.

For more information on the important work done by DOJ/OVT every day, please visit www.justice.gov/nsd-ovt. If you are a U.S. citizen victim of international terrorism or a victim’s family member and you seek information on foreign criminal justice proceedings, DOJ/OVT can assist you. Please contact DOJ/OVT at nsd.ovt@usdoj.gov (link sends e-mail).

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