The Office for Victim Assistance (OVA) is responsible for ensuring that victims of crimes investigated by the FBI are afforded the opportunity to receive the services and notification as required by federal law and the Attorney General Guidelines on Victim and Witness Assistance. The OVA manages the day-to-day operational aspects of the Victim Assistance Program (VAP) in the 56 FBI field offices across the country as well as the FBI’s international offices. In addition, the OVA is responsible for providing training and information that helps to equip FBI agents and other FBI personnel to work effectively with victims.
The OVA is directly responsible for several special programs:
- 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 Pornography Victim Assistance program coordinates assistance and notification services for child victims of pornography and their guardians.
- The Forensic Child Interviewing Program ensures that investigative interviews of child victims and witnesses of federal crimes are tailored to the child's stage of development and minimize any additional trauma to the child. FBI child interview specialists directly assist with some interviews and provide detailed training to special agents and other law enforcement personnel on child interviewing.
- The Field Office 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 Victim Notification System—available in both English and Spanish—is an automated system that provides victims with information about their cases.