Victims of Crime

If You Are the Victim of a Crime Overseas:

  • Contact the U.S. Embassy Phnom Penh for assistance.  For emergencies during regular office hours (8:00am to 5:00pm, Monday thru Friday) please call 023-728-402 / 023-728-051 / 023-728-234. A duty officer is always available outside normal office hours to assist American citizens who have serious emergencies. U.S. citizens with emergencies should call the Embassy’s main number, 023-728-000.
  • Contact local police to report the incident and obtain immediate help with safety concerns.  Request a copy of the police report.

Consular Assistance to American Crime Victims

Consular personnel can provide assistance to crime victims. When a U.S. citizen becomes the victim of a crime overseas, he or she may suffer physical, emotional, or financial injuries.  Additionally, the emotional impact of the crime may be intensified because the victim is in unfamiliar surroundings.  The victim may not be near sources of comfort and support, fluent in the local language, or knowledgeable about local laws and customs.

Consuls, consular agents, and local employees at overseas posts are familiar with local government agencies and resources in the country where they work.  They can help American crime victims with issues such as:

  • Replacing a stolen passport;
  • Contacting family, friends, or employers;
  • Obtaining appropriate medical care;
  • Addressing emergency needs that arise as a result of the crime;
  • Obtaining general information about the local criminal justice process and information about your case;
  • Obtaining information about local resources to assist victims, including foreign crime victim compensation programs;
  • Obtaining information about crime victim assistance and compensation programs in the U.S.; and
  • Obtaining a list of local attorneys who speak English.

Consular officials cannot, however, investigate crimes, provide legal advice or represent you in court, serve as official interpreters or translators, or pay legal, medical, or other fees for you.

Individual Reactions to Crime Victimization

How individuals react to being the victim of a crime will vary from person to person. Reactions are affected by individual factors such as how the victim handles stress, the nature and duration of the crime, the physical safety of the victim, and the number and type of support systems available. Reactions to a crime may be immediate or delayed. The physical, emotional, or cognitive (involving thinking ability) symptoms a victim may experience could include nausea, headaches, fatigue, hyperventilation, or sleeping problems. Some victims report feelings of anxiety or fear, hyper-vigilance, guilt, anger, or isolation. Some experience difficulty making decisions, short-term memory problems, difficulty concentrating, or recurring memories of the crime.

It is important to realize that these are normal feelings, behaviors and reactions to an abnormal event. One of the first things to pay attention to is your need to feel safer. Addressing safety concerns and receiving emotional support can help. For most victims the reactions described above diminish with time. If these reactions persist and are disrupting your life or getting worse after three or four weeks, you should consider seeking professional assistance.

Resources and Information for Crime Victims

Victim Assistance: If you are the victim of a crime while overseas you may benefit from specialized resources for crime victims available in the U.S. Throughout the United States thousands of local crime victim assistance programs offer help to victims of violent crime and most will help residents of their community who have been the victim of a crime in another country. These include rape crisis counseling programs, shelter and counseling programs for battered women, support groups and bereavement counseling for family members of homicide victims, diagnostic and treatment programs for child abuse victims, assistance for victims of drunk driving crashes, and others.