OVC LogoOVC Archive
This file is provided for reference purposes only. It was current when produced, but is no longer maintained and may now be outdated. Please select www.ovc.gov to access current information.
skip navigation
Justice for Victims. Justice for All.
Office for Victims of Crime
2013 OVC Report to the Nation: Fiscal Years 2011-2012 'Transforming Today's Vision into Tomorrow's Reality'
Report to the Nation Home  |  Message From the Director  |  Exhibits

Terrorism and Mass Violence

Photo of a solidier walking towards a car crash

OVC is increasingly called upon to respond to acts of terrorism and mass violence in the United States and abroad, which leave scores of devastated victims, survivors, and communities in their wake. In keeping with its commitment to promote justice and healing for all victims of crime, OVC collaborates with federal, state, and local partners to ensure that victims and survivors of these crimes receive the physical, emotional, and financial support they need to rebuild their shattered lives. Through the Antiterrorism Emergency Reserve—a fund established after the Oklahoma City bombing in 1995—OVC administers three primary programs: the Antiterrorism and Emergency Assistance Program (AEAP), the International Terrorism Victim Expense Reimbursement Program (ITVERP), and the Crime Victim Assistance Emergency Fund at the FBI.


2012 Mass Violence Training Conference: "Improving Readiness To Serve Victims"

In early 2012, OVC presented the Mass Violence and Emergency National Training Conference in Jacksonville, Florida, in collaboration with Fox Valley Technical College. The keynote speaker was Congressman Ron Barber, a senior member of Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords' staff who, like Rep. Giffords, was seriously wounded in the Pima County mass shootings. Rep. Giffords retired to focus on her recovery in 2012, and Rep. Barber was appointed, then elected, to the seat she vacated.

In addition to the Congressman's story of survival and the remarkable response to the incident, the 365 conference participants, representing multidisciplinary first response teams and other professionals serving victims and survivors of mass violence and natural disasters, shared successful strategies and lessons learned. Throughout the 3-day event, workshops and other instructive activities reinforced the importance of effective collaboration among federal, state, tribal, and local agencies. The conference host, Fox Valley's National Criminal Justice Training Center, has made the presentations available on its Web site.

OVC and Partners Provide Coordinated Response to Mass Shootings

In FYs 2011 and 2012, OVC worked with federal and local partners to respond to the needs of victims, survivors, and entire communities that experienced deadly mass shootings across the country. In response to the shooting outside a shopping center in Tucson, Arizona, that claimed 6 lives and severely wounded 13 others, OVC provided $1.75 million in AEAP funds to the Pima County Attorney's Office for crisis response, consequence management, and criminal justice support. Two years after the incident, Pima County Attorney Barbara Wall affirmed that, "the surviving victims and family members have only the highest praise for the advocacy services" made possible by OVC's support since the shootings.

With both immediate and long-term support urgently needed after such incidents, OVC continues to work with authorities to assess the level of assistance that ultimately will be required in more recent cases, including a shooting rampage at an Aurora, Colorado, movie theater that killed 12 people and permanently disabled 5, and the mass shooting at a Sikh Temple in Oak Creek, Wisconsin, where a gunman claimed 6 victims before taking his own life.

OVC Programs Support Victims of Terrorism Around the Globe

OVC has long provided funding for states and territories to compensate victims for specific expenses associated with the crime. The need for a uniform federal program to reimburse victims of international terrorism for related losses, regardless of their state of residence, became evident as states provided varying compensation for the same act of terrorism. In response, Congress authorized the establishment of ITVERP, which became operational in 2006 to reimburse U.S. nationals, foreign nationals working for the U.S. Government, and surviving family members for emergency expenses associated with designated acts of international terrorism—175 incidents in 44 countries to date. ITVERP support to victims in FYs 2011 and 2012 totaled $984,463 for 129 claims, including victims of the 2010 suicide bombings at the World Cup in Uganda, and the 2008 Mumbai, India, terrorist attack. OVC's annual ITVERP Report to Congress provides more information about the program's services.

Additionally, as part of a collaborative DOJ response to victims of terrorism outside the United States, OVC provides funding to the FBI's Office of Victim Assistance through the Crime Victim Emergency Assistance Fund to make certain that resources are available to victims and their family members with minimal delay. Services include emergency transportation to medical facilities, as well as short-term lodging and travel assistance to reunite family members with injured loved ones unable to travel. Regarding the effectiveness of this program, one victim put it this way: "You guys are the light at the end of the tunnel."

Of Special Interest

  • In addition to supporting emergency care and extended assistance, OVC ensures that victims are able to participate in criminal justice proceedings related to the incident that made them a victim of crime—as is their right. In 2012, OVC provided $5.65 million to DoD's Office of Military Commissions to support closed-circuit TV operations at four locations so that victims and family members could view two major trials at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba—those involving defendants in the attack on the USS Cole and five alleged co-conspirators of the September 11 attacks.
  • OVC provided nearly $550,000 to enable the victims and families of the 13 soldiers killed in the 2009 Fort Hood, Texas, mass shooting to attend part of the accused's court-martial. A nonprofit veterans' service organization, the Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors, received $249,741 to develop the Fort Hood Court-Martial Observer Program to support victims' and family members' right to be present at the proceedings. OVC also provided $296,000 to the U.S. Army to develop a secure Web site that shares up-to-date case and travel information with victims and survivors.
  • September 11, 2011, was the 10th anniversary of the terrorist attacks that forever changed America. To reach out to those in need of support, OVC provided $1.5 million to the Mental Health Association of New York City to establish the 9/11 Healing and Remembrance Program, which assisted victims and survivors with crisis counseling and other services during the commemoration of the attacks.