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From mistaken drug possession to sexual assaults, Americans who become victims of crime while abroad are often unaware of what their options are after enduring a harrowing experience while out of the country.
Apart from turbulence and jet-lag, usually international travel goes smoothly. But if you become the unfortunate victim of a crime, would you know what to do?
When you travel outside the United States, it's important to remember that you're subject to the laws of the country you're visiting. That being said, there are some steps you can take to get help.
Call the U.S. Embassy or Consulate
When it comes to assistance overseas, consular officers, agents, and staff work with crime victims and help them with the local police and medical systems.
For example, the State Department can:
However, keep in mind that the State Department can't:
Also keep in mind that under an international treaty, you are entitled to see and communicate with embassy or consular officials. But there are a few countries that don't follow this treaty.
Take Additional Steps
In addition to contacting an embassy or consulate, the State Department also advises travelers who are victims of crime to:
A quick final note: Keep in mind that victim advocacy is trickier when the victim remains abroad. That's why it can be cruicial to contact a U.S. embassy or consulate, where staffers are familiar with criminal laws and procedures in the country where the crime occurred.