About Us

About Us

Welcome to the Office of Justice for Victims of Overseas Terrorism (DOJ/OVT), one component within the National Security Division (NSD), U.S. Department of Justice.

If you are a United States citizen victim or family member of a victim of overseas terrorism, we want you to know that you are not alone in your quest for justice. We will do our very best to assist you and answer your questions. No matter how long ago the attack took place, we will work with you to understand the criminal justice and victim assistance options available.

We hope that this website is informative and helpful to U.S. citizen victims of terrorist attacks that occur in foreign countries and others who are interested in the work of this office.

If you would like help or answers to questions, please contact us and let us know.

Heather Cartwright

Our Mission

Our mission is to support U.S. victims of terrorism overseas by helping them navigate foreign criminal justice systems and by advocating for their voices to be heard around the world.

We advocate for U.S. victims and their families to obtain information, be present during foreign terrorism prosecutions, and have a voice during the proceedings, as permitted by foreign law. We further provide policy advocacy on overseas terrorism victims’ issues both within the U.S. Government and throughout the world.

Our Team

Our office consists of attorneys and staff with expertise in crime victims’ rights, victim advocacy, prosecution and national security, who can assist victims in understanding foreign criminal justice systems and participating in those systems to the extent permitted by foreign law. The office also has an active internship program where law students are offered an opportunity to gain experience working on crime victim issues and receive academic credit.

Who We Work With

We work with other U.S. government agencies, including the Department of State and other DOJ components like the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Office for Victims of Crime (OVC) and U.S. Attorney’s Offices (USAO) to support the rights of victims of overseas terrorism in foreign prosecutions.

Please know that while we are a critical partner with the U.S. investigatory and prosecution teams, DOJ/OVT can neither represent victims nor provide legal advice.


Established on May 6, 2005 by the Attorney General of the United States, DOJ/OVT advocates for U.S. citizen victims of overseas terrorism and their families in foreign criminal justice systems. The following materials provide information on the establishment of the office:

Read here for general information about our office and services.

Report Victims’ Rights Complaints on Behalf of DOJ National Security Division

We investigate and report U.S. victims’ rights complaints against a DOJ/NSD employee who has violated or failed to provide a U.S. citizen victim of federal crime with one or more of their statutory rights. We send a report to the DOJ Victims’ Rights Ombudsman. Click here for more information Crime Victims' Rights Ombudsman and filing a complaint. Click here to learn more about U.S. federal crime victims’ rights. Contact us if you would like to learn more about filing a complaint.



Click here to provide website feedback to DOJ/OVT.

Office of Justice for Victims of Overseas Terrorism

Heather Cartwright


Department of Justice - OVT

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