Victim Services 

The Victim Services Division (VSD) informs, supports, and assists victims in navigating the aftermath of crime and the criminal justice process with dignity and resilience.

VSD is responsible for ensuring that victims of crimes investigated by the FBI are given the opportunity to receive services and notification as required by federal law and the Attorney General Guidelines on Victim and Witness Assistance.

Since its inception in 2001, the FBI’s victim assistance program has provided services—such as crisis intervention, emergency travel assistance, and local referrals for counseling, housing, and other services—to more than 2 million victims.

VSD manages several specialized programs and resources: 

  • The Terrorism and Special Jurisdictions program provides emergency assistance to injured victims and families of victims murdered in terrorist attacks within the U.S. and outside the country and serves as a permanent point-of-contact for terrorism victims within the FBI.
  • The Child Exploitation Notification Program program coordinates assistance and notification services for victims of child sexual abuse material and their guardians.
  • The Child Victim Services program provides support to child victims and witnesses of federal crimes through investigative forensic interviews and offers indirect support to field victim specialists through consultation with child victim program coordinators. The team is focused on ensuring that any interactions with child victims or witnesses are tailored to the child's stage of development and minimize any additional trauma to the child.
  • The Victim Assistance Program places victim specialists in FBI field offices across the country to personally assist victims of federal crimes investigated by the division or field office where they work; the program also supports cases globally.
  • The Victim Services Response Team deploys to crisis and mass casualty events.
  • Large-scale case support facilitates victim identification, notification, communication, and data analysis.
  • Crisis response canines engage with victims, families, first responders, and law enforcement to mitigate stress and anxiety.
  • Training and support provided to law enforcement and other partners includes how to build victim services programs, enhance child/adolescent forensic interviewing skills, deliver trauma notifications without further traumatizing family members, and conduct victim and family briefings following mass casualty events.

Victim Notification System 

The FBI partners with the U.S. Attorneys’ Offices and the Federal Bureau of Prisons in the free, automated Victim Notification System (VNS). Available in English and Spanish, VNS is designed to provide victims with information and notifications regarding their cases.

VNS notifications that may be provided can include information about investigative status, criminal charges filed, outcome of charges, scheduled court proceedings, and the offender’s custody status (e.g., placement in community corrections centers, furlough, release, or death). All VNS notifications contain a Victim Identification Number (VIN) and a Personal Identification Number (PIN) that will allow access to VNS via the Internet and the Call Center. Registration with VNS will provide access to all VNS information and can be completed at The VNS Call Center is also available to provide information at 1-866-DOJ-4YOU (1-866-365-4968). VIN and PIN are required to use the Call Center.

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