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Victim Witness Assistance

The United States Attorney's Office is committed to ensuring that crime victims and witnesses are treated fairly, with dignity and respect, throughout their involvement in the federal criminal justice system. The goal of the Victim-Witness Assistance Unit is to respond to the needs of victims and witnesses of federal crimes in accordance with provisions of federal law and Department of Justice regulations.

Federal laws affording crime victims rights include:

  • The Victim Witness Protection Act of 1982
  • The Crime Control Act of 1990
  • Victims' Rights and Restitution Act of 1990
  • The Victims of Child Abuse Act of 1990
  • Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act of 1994
  • The Mandatory Victims Restitution Act of 1996
  • The Victim Rights Clarification Act of 1997
  • The Victims of Trafficking and Violence Protection Act of 2000

The following link is to a brochure that will provide valuable information for someone who is a crime victim: What You Can Do if You Are a Victim of Crime

Victim Notification System (VNS)

VNS, a cooperative effort between the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the U.S. Attorney's Office and the Federal Bureau of Prisons, provides federal crime victims with an opportunity to access case information during the investigation, prosecution and incarceration phases.

If you are a federal crime victim, you will receive a Victim Identification Number (VIN) and Personal Identification Number (PIN).

Federal Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) Laws

In certain instances, domestic violence crimes fall under federal statutes. In collaboration with state and local authorities, the U.S. Attorney's Office is committed to prosecuting cases which meet federal guidelines. However, state and local authorities will continue to prosecute most domestic violence cases. All federal domestic violence crimes are felonies.

Federal domestic violence information:
Missouri domestic violence information:

Crime Victim Compensation

Victims of violent federal crimes may be eligible to receive assistance through the Missouri Crime Victim Compensation Program (CVC). The CVC provides a fund of secondary or last resource which may provide help with out-of-pocket losses, including lost wages, funeral expenses and medical/counseling expenses. Property losses are not covered by CVC.

For additional information go to:

Resources for Crime Victims

U.S. Department of Justice - Office for Victims of Crime
The National Center for Victims of Crime
COVID-19 Fraud

Crime Victims' Rights

Contact Information

Sarah Pingsterhaus
Victim-Witness Specialist
314-539-2200 (office)


National Domestic Violence: 1-800-799-SAFE (7233)
Child Abuse: 1-800-422-4453
COVID-19 Fraud: 1-866-720-5721
National Center for Missing and Exploited Children: 1-800-843-5678
National Center for Victims of Crime (NCVC): 1-800-394-2255
National Fraud Information Hotline : 1-800-876-7060
National White Collar Crime Center (NW3C): 1-800-251-3221

Updated July 29, 2020