Crime Victim Assistance
Crime victim assistance or victim support programs assist victims in the immediate aftermath of a crime by providing crisis intervention, assistance with immediate needs, emergency shelter, trauma counseling, and information about the criminal justice system. Victim assistance or victim support programs also help victims as their cases progress through the criminal justice process by providing timely information about important case events, accompanying victims to court to provide support, and/or referring victims to appropriate services, including victim compensation.
When an American citizen becomes a victim of crime, he or she first should contact the local police. In most regions of Lithuania, the local police forces cooperate with non-governmental organizations (NGOs) that provide temporary shelter and other assistance.
The U.S. Embassy in Vilnius also maintains the following list of victim assistance or victim support programs and victim compensation programs, both in the United States and Lithuania. The U.S. Embassy assumes no responsibility for the professional ability or integrity of the individuals or organizations listed. The following organizations are listed in alphabetical order and their relative position on this list should not be construed as indicating any kind of preference on the part of the U.S. Embassy.
Crime Victim Assistance and Victim Support Programs
Žemaitės 21-203, Vilnius, Lithuania
Telephone: (370 5) 233 8396, mobile (370) 604 00920
The House assists minors and juveniles who have been victims of sexual assault.
Missing Persons' Families Support Center
The Center provides education and prevention programs against trafficking in person, and provides assistance to trafficking victims to support their re-integration into society. Victims may call a toll-free helpline from within Lithuania at 8-800-261-61, on weekdays from 9:00 a.m. until 5:00 p.m.
Mother and Child's Boarding-House
Vytenio 45, Vilnius, Lithuania
Telephone: (370 5) 233 2508
The Boarding-House, in cooperation with the Vilnius Chief Police Commissariat, provides "a mobile brigade," composed of police officers, social workers and medical personnel. This brigade assists perpetrators and victims in crisis situations by providing medical and psychological aid. The Boarding-House operates 24 hours a day, and can provide emergency services for up to three days.
Women's Issues Information Centre
The Centre maintains working relationships with crime victim assistance organizations throughout Lithuania, and may direct crime victims to medical and legal resources in their area.
Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD)
Address: MADD National Office, 511 E. John Carpenter Frwy., Suite 700, Irving, TX 75062
Telephone: 800-GET-MADD (438-6233) or Dallas Metro (214) 637-0372; Victim Services 24-hour Helpline 877-MADD-HELP (877-623-3435)
Fax: (972) 869-2206/07
MADD provides support for victims of drunk driving and conducts underage drinking prevention programs.
National Center for Victims of Crime
The National Center's mission includes support for individuals and families who have experienced violent crime.
National Domestic Violence Hotline
Address: Texas Council on Family Violence (TCFV), P.O. Box 161810, Austin, TX 78716
Telephone: 1-800-799-SAFE (7233) or TTY 1-800-787-3224; TCFV office (512) 794-1133
Fax: TCFV office (512) 794-1199
The Hotline operates 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, and provides crisis intervention and safety planning, as well as additional services.
Please note: "Assistance is available in English and Spanish with access to more than 140 languages through interpreter services."
The National Organization of Parents of Murdered Children (POMC)
POMC provides emotional support and educational assistance to families of homicide victims.
National Organization for Victim Assistance
The National Organization operates an information and referral hotline for crime victims. The hotline is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, at 1-800-TRY-NOVA (1-800-879-6682) or (703) 535-NOVA (6682).
Rape, Abuse and Invest National Network (RAINN)
RAINN operates the National Sexual Assault Hotline at 1-800-656-HOPE (4673), providing assistance to victims of sexual assault crimes.
U.S. Department of Justice Office for Victims of Crime (OVC)
Address: Office for Victims of Crime, U.S. Department of Justice, 810 Seventh Street, N.W., Eighth Floor, Washington, D.C. 20531
Telephone: (202) 307-5983
Fax: (202) 514-6383
Website: http://www.ojp.usdoj.gov/ovc, http://www.ovc.gov/
OVC provides federal funds to support victim compensation and assistance programs across the United States. OVC also provides training for diverse professionals who work with victims, develops and disseminates publications, supports projects to enhance victims' rights and services, and educates the public about victim issues.
U.S. Department of Justice Violence Against Women Office
The mission of the Office on Violence Against Women (OVW) is to provide federal leadership to reduce violence against women, and to administer justice for and strengthen services to all victims of domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, and stalking. This is accomplished by developing and supporting the capacity of state, local, tribal, and non-profit entities involved in responding to violence against women.
Compensation for Foreign Victims of Crime in Lithuania
Victims of violent crime and surviving families of such victims may receive compensation for both material and non-material losses. The court may order the offender to pay compensation to the victim, but a victim of violent crime may receive compensation from the state "when the offender lacks necessary means to satisfy judgment on damages." Victims or their families may receive state compensation only if they are citizens or legal residents of Lithuania or other EU Member States.
The following conditions must be met before the state will award compensation:
- The court or investigating institution establishes the commission of a violent crime.
- The violent crime occurred in Lithuania.
- The victim has not received any other form of compensation.
- The victim requested compensation within three years of commission of the crime, with rare exceptions.
The application form is available on the Ministry of Justice website at http://www.tm.lt/. Individuals may submit their applications for compensation and other required documents to the following address:
Ministry of Justice of the Republic of Lithuania
Gedimino ave. 30/1
LT-01104 Vilnius, Lithuania
The Minister of Justice must approve any application, and the Ministry of Justice makes all compensation decisions.
More information about the victim compensation program is available on the Ministry of Justice website at http://www.tm.lt/.
U.S. Compensation Programs for American Victims of Crime Overseas
Although no amount of money can undo the harm or trauma a victim experiences, financial assistance can be a crucial resource for many victims. Crime victim compensation programs provide financial assistance to victims of violent crime who have suffered physical or emotional injuries, including family members of homicide victims.
Financial assistance for crime victims is available in every state in the country, plus the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Crime victim compensation programs administered by state governments promote the recovery of more than 100,000 victims every year, paying out more than $300 million annually.
All states and U.S. territories operate a crime victim compensation program to provide reimbursement for certain expenses (for example, medical, funeral, counseling, lost wages or loss of support) to a person who is the victim of violent crime in the state.
For more information about crime victim compensation programs at both the federal and state level, please contact the National Association of Crime Victim Compensation Boards (NACVCB):
For additional resources or information for crime victims, please visit the main State Department website at: http://travel.state.gov/travel/tips/emergencies/emergencies_1748.html