Skip to main content

Assistance and Resources for Victims

Victim-Witness Coordinators

Victim-Witness Coordinators within U.S. Attorneys’ Offices are available to provide victim services required by the Victims’ Rights and Restitution Act and Crime Victims' Rights Act. Victim Witness Coordinators are dedicated to assist victims to understand the criminal justice process and to help victims understand their rights.

Victim Notification Program

Where possible, all victim information and notifications in federal criminal cases are made available (in both English and Spanish) by means of the DOJ’s Victim Notification System (VNS).

The VNS is a free, computer-based system that provides federal crime victims with information on scheduled court events, as well as the outcome of those court events. It also provides victims with information on the accused’s custody status and release.

In addition to the written notifications generated through the VNS, victims who receive a special PIN number can obtain automated status information by calling the VNS Call Center at 1-866-365-4968 (1-866-DOJ-4YOU) or by accessing the VNS Internet website. A Victim ID# and PIN# are required to access the VNS Call Center or VNS Internet site.

If a Victim is Threatened or Harassed

If a victim is threatened or feels they are being harassed because of their involvement in the criminal process, there are remedies available. Victim and witness safety is of greatest importance. The victim should contact the investigating agent or a victim witness coordinator immediately. They may discuss additional safety measures and assistance such as temporary restraining orders, possible relocation, or other appropriate referrals. If there is an immediate physical threat, the victim should call 911 or the local police department.

If an Environmental Crime Victim Needs Financial Support and Resource Assistance

All States receive federal funds to help support local victim assistance and compensation programs. There are also nongovernmental organizations that provide resources and services to crime victims.

These programs provide two general types of services – victim compensation and victim assistance – for many types of crimes. Compensation programs may reimburse victims, including victims of federal crimes, for expenses. Expenses that may be covered include medical costs, mental health counseling, funeral and burial costs, and lost wages or loss of support. Crime victim assistance programs provide a range of services, including crisis intervention, counseling, emergency shelter, criminal justice advocacy, and emergency transportation.

To find resources that are available in your area, please visit


Please be aware that not all States provide victim assistance for every type of crime. If your State does not provide services for victims of environmental crime, please contact the law enforcement agency or the DOJ victim witness coordinator assigned to your case, who will try to assist you with locating assistance.

Legal Support Services

ENRD will make its best efforts to ensure victims are provided federal victims’ rights and services. Victims also may seek the advice of their own attorney with respect to these rights. There are attorneys who specialize in victims’ rights law throughout the country. If you need assistance finding such an attorney, you can contact the bar association in your State. The following organizations also may be able to provide you with information about your rights or refer you to an attorney: The National Crime Victim Law Institute, National Crime Victim Bar Association, National Center for Victims of Crime, and the National Organization for Victim Assistance

The organizations listed are for informational purposes only. ENRD does not endorse the legal services of any particular referral provided by a bar association or organization, nor does ENRD provide referrals for legal services directly.

Resources for Victim Service Providers

As part of ENRD’s ongoing commitment to provide relevant resources to victims of environmental crime, ENRD is committed to supporting victim services professionals, prosecutors, law enforcement officers, Tribal communities and others who may also provide support to victims of environmental crimes. For more information on how to assist victims of environmental crimes, please contact ENRD at or (202) 305-0321.

Updated December 12, 2023