Since 2015, VSE has increasingly developed specialist knowledge in the field of victims of terrorism. Starting with our support for France Victimes, after the Paris attacks in 2015, VSE carries out a range of activities to ensure that policies, laws and services at the national, European and international level meet the needs of victims of terrorism.  

In 2020, the European Commission set up the EU Centre of Expertise for Victims of Terrorism (the EUCVT) to ensure that the EU rules on victims of terrorism are correctly applied. The EUCVT is set up and run by the European Commission with the support of a consortium of victim support associations led by Victim Support Europe.


Know your rights

The rights of victims of terrorism are described in the EU Directive 2017/541 on combating terrorism.  These rights build on EU Directive 2012/29/EU on establishing minimum standards on the rights, support and protection of victims of crime.

Provision of support

Support has to be:

  • Delivered by specialised services addressing specific needs of victims of terrorism – in addition to or as part of victim support services;
  • Confidential, free of charge and easily accessible to all victims of terrorism;
  • Available immediately after an attack and for as long as necessary afterwards.

The support shall include in particular:

  • Emotional and psychological support, such as trauma support and counselling;
  • Provision of advice and information on any relevant legal, practical or financial matters and in line with the Victims’ Rights Directive;
  • Assistance with claims regarding compensation.


  • Investigations and prosecution of offences are not dependent on a report or accusation made by a victim of terrorism.
  • Access to legal aid has to be in accordance with Directive 2012/29/EU, where victims have the status of parties to criminal proceedings.
  • Measures are available to protect victims of terrorism and their family members, in accordance with Directive 2012/29/EU. Particular attention shall be paid to the risk of intimidation and retaliation and to the need to protect the dignity and physical integrity of victims of terrorism, including during questioning and when testifying.

Medical treatment

  • Adequate medical treatment is provided to victims of terrorism immediately after a terrorist attack and for as long as necessary.

Rights across borders

These rights are relevant for victims of terrorism who are resident in an EU country other than where the attack took place:

  • Access to information regarding their rights, the available support services and compensation schemes in the Member State where the terrorist offence was committed.
  • Member States should facilitate cooperation between their competent authorities or entities providing specialist support to ensure the effective access of victims of terrorism to such information.
  • Member States shall ensure that all victims of terrorism have access to the assistance and support services on the territory of the Member State of their residence, even if the terrorist offence was committed in another Member State.

What to do if there is a terrorist attack near you?

The French government provides practical instructions in a video (in French with English subtitls), based on the keyworkds: escape, hide, alert.

Here are some tips on what to do if there is a terrorist attack near you (source: World Nomads):

  • Stay within the confines of your residence or accommodation
  • Do not go out into the public streets
  • Be alert to local news developments
  • Adhere to any imposed security restrictions
  • If you are in a building located close to the site of a terrorist attack, stay away from the windows
  • If in the vicinity of an attack, do not stay to watch what is happening, as you will only get in the way of the emergency services. There is also a risk that additional attacks may occur
  • Make a mental note of safe havens, such as police stations and hospitals

Here are some tips on what to do if there’s a bomb blast (source: World Nomads):

  • Leave the area as soon as possible
  • Do not run – you may be suspected as the bomber. If you are in a crowd, stay at the fringes
  • Stay clear of glass shop fronts
  • If you are injured, attend to yourself before other
  • Obey all instructions and orders that are given by local police
  • Listen to television and radio reports
  • Contact family or friends and let them know about your situation

Find help in your country

Member States provide for information on support available for victims of a terrorist attack through government websites, websites of NGOs, through helplines and social media.

After a terrorist attack, VSE will collect relevant information for victims and publish it on our website.

If you have been affected by terrorism, there are a number of ways you can contact support services to get assistance or information:

If you are a professional who is looking for information on specific terrorist attacks please contact the EUCVT (


The European Commission set up the EU Centre of expertise for victims of terrorism (the EUCVT) in January 2020 to offer expertise, guidance and support to national authorities and victim support organisations. The EUCVT helps to ensure that the EU rules on victims of terrorism are correctly applied. It promotes exchange of best practices and sharing of expertise among the practitioners and specialists across borders. It does not provide direct help and assistance to particular victims of terrorism, but it helps to ensure that national structures offer professional assistance and support to victims of terrorism in every EU country. The EUCVT is set up and run by the European Commission with the support of a consortium of victim support associations led by Victim Support Europe. The consortium carries out the tasks of the EU Centre on behalf of the Commission and acts in a partnership with the Association française des Victimes du Terrorisme, the Fondation Lenval and ARQ National Psychotrauma Centre.


Information on previous terrorist attacks

 2019 Utrecht shooting

On the morning of 18 March 2019, three people were killed and five others hospitalised after a shooting on a tram in Utrecht, Netherlands. Local police described the incident as “appearing to be” a terrorist attack. Law enforcement was quick to respond and effectively locked down the city in the hours after the shooting. The details about the identity of the suspect, a 37-year-old man from Turkey, were spread publicly in an effort to localise him. Around 6:00 p.m. (local time) the suspected shooter was arrested about 2 miles (3 km) from the location of the shooting, ending the emergency measures.

Below you can find information for all those affected by the attacks.

See the Utrecht Municipality website for up-to-date information:

If you are looking for relatives who may be victims of the shooting or need information about the attack, you may contact the Municipality of Utrecht: +31 88 269 00 00.
If you are a victim, a witness or if you have lost a loved one and need support, you may contact VSE member Slachtofferhulp on (+31)0900-0101 .

For more information follow the twitter pages of the municipality of Utrecht (@GemeenteUtrecht) and the police of Utrecht (@PolitieUtrecht).

Christchurch mosque shootings

The Christchurch mosque shootings were two consecutive terrorist mass shootings at the Al Noor Mosque and the Linwood Islamic Centre in Christchurch, New Zealand, during Friday Prayer on 15 March 2019. The attacks began at the Al Noor Mosque in the suburb of Riccarton at 1:40 pm, and continued at the Linwood Islamic Centre at about 1:55 pm.

The attacks killed 50 people and injured 50 more. A 28-year-old Australian man, described in media reports as a white supremacist and part of the “alt-right”, was arrested and charged with murder. The attacks have been linked to an increase in white supremacism and alt-right extremism globally observed since the mid-2010s.

Below you can find information for all those affected by the attacks.

For Belgian victims / witnesses:

If a victim, witness or family member wish to be contacted by the victim services from Belgium 

  • Can call the number 0800/13 500 (Centrum Algemeen Welzijnswerk) during working hours
  • During the weekend/ evening, you can contact the number from Tele-Onthaal: 106.
  • there is also the possibility to chat with someone on the website (
  • They also can look on the website  where they also will find some information and on VSE member
  • If the witnesses are living in New Zealand, it is also possible for them to have contact with services in Belgium (by phone or mail).

Las Vegas attacks

On 1st of October 2017 Las Vegas in the United States was struck by a deadly attack. A gunman opened fire on a crowd of concertgoers at the Route 91 Harvest music festival on the Las Vegas Strip in Nevada, leaving 58 people dead and 851 injured Our thoughts and prayers go out to the victims and their families.

Below you can find information for all those affected by the attacks.

The FBI is assisting the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department in responding to and investigating the shooting at the Harvest Music Festival in Las Vegas, Nevada on October 1, 2017. Find more information.

If you were injured in or witnessed the shooting at the Harvest Music Festival in Las Vegas on October 1, 2017, please complete the questionnaire of the FBI following this link. As a victim, you may be eligible for certain services and rights, such as special funding to provide emergency assistance, crime victim compensation, and counseling. Completing this questionnaire does not determine victimization: The FBI may contact you with questions about your experience.

Crisis counseling is being offered at various sites following the shooting at the Route 91 country music outdoor festival. Find more information here.

More information on support for victims of the attack in #LasVegas can be found on the website of the Office for Victims of Crime (OVC).

Want to help? Make an appointment to donate blood with United Blood Services at

Follow official sources to find out more @CityOfLasVegas @FBILasVegas @LVMPD

If you are living in the EU and you or your loved one is affected by this attack you can also receive victim support near you. Find help near you following this link to Victim Support Europe members:

If you are an EU citizen and were a victim of this attack you can get in touch with your (or another EU country’s) consulate in Los Angeles. And you can also contact a victim support organisation in your country to get assistance in your language.

For French Citizens call the French Consulate in Los Angeles on +13102353200. For Danish citizens call the Danish Victim Support organisation on +4572217221. For Latvian citizens call the Latvian embassy in the US on +12023282881.

Spain attacks

On the afternoon of 17 August 2017, 22-year-old Younes Abouyaaqoub drove a van into pedestrians on La Rambla in Barcelona, Spain, killing 13 people and injuring at least 130 others, one of whom died 10 days later on 27 August. Abouyaaqoub fled the attack on foot, then killed another person in order to steal the victim’s car to make his escape.

Nine hours after the Barcelona attack, five men thought to be members of the same terrorist cell drove into pedestrians in nearby Cambrils, killing one woman and injuring six others. All five attackers were shot and killed by police.

Our thoughts and deepest sympathies are with all those affected by the horrific attacks in Spain. Below you can find information for all those affected by the attacks.

For emergencies please call 112 – the European emergency helpline.  Or the Spanish helpline numbers 091 or 062.

Phone for relatives of people that could be affected: +34 900400012.

If you need information on the incident on the Ramblas in Barcelona please contact +34932142124.

Support for victims

For support you can contact the Victim Assistance Offices for Violence crime across Spain: Oficinas de Asistencia a Víctimas en territorio Español

For support you can contact the Victim Assistance Offices for Violence crime across Andalusia: Oficinas del Servicio de Asistencia a Víctimas en Andalucía

Justice Administration Portal: Justice Administration Portal – Oficina de víctimas de terrorismo

Directorate-General for Support to Victims of Terrorism:

Foreign victims of the attacks

The Catalonian authorities have made information public about the nationalities of those who were killed or injured. Although the information might still be updated – currently victims of 34 countries have been identified: Germany, Algeria, Argentina, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Morocco, Canadian, China, Colombia, Romania, Venezuelan, Cuban, Equatorial, Egypt, Spain, United States, Philippines, France, UK, Greece, The Netherlands, Taiwan, Honduras, Hungary, Ireland, Italian, Kuwait, Macedonia, Mauretania, Pakistan, Peru, Dominican Republic, Turkey.

If you are affected by these attacks and are looking for support in another EU Member States you can find a victim support organisations near you:

For France: Consulat Général de France : + 34 93 270 30 35 or the crisis line +33 1 43 17 51 00 to reach the Family Assistance Centre in Barcelona. If you are in France and affected by the attacks you can call 08VICTIMES – 00 33 (0)1 41 83 42 08  every day 7/7.

For Belgium: For those who are worried about their loved ones can contact the Federal Public Service of Foreign Affairs on +32 (0) 501 81 11, or the emergency contact +3225018111; For Belgians in Spain you can contact +34 934 677 080 or +34 609 661 000 in case of emergencies

For the Netherlands: The Ministry of Foreign affairs has opened an emergency line +31247247247; Contact Slachtofferhulp Nederlands to get support

For the UK: Independent charity Victim Support is able to provide practical help and emotional support to British residents affected by the terror attacks in Barcelona and Cambrils, including witnesses. For more information and to access support please call Victim Support’s 24/7 Supportline on 0808 16 89 111 or visit

London’s Finsbury Park attack

On 19 June 2017, London was struck by an attack when a van ploughed into crowd outside Muslim Welfare House, Finsbury Park Mosque, leaving one person dead and 10 injured.

Victim Support is offering support to anyone who has witnessed or been affected by the terror incident in London.
For their free support line call +448 08 16 89 111 to access support or email their support line. Victim Support supports victims and those bereaved by terrorist activity, home and abroad.

TELL MAMA also supports victims, specifically victims of anti-Muslim hate and is a public service which also measures and monitors anti-Muslim incidents.

Our thoughts are with all those affected in London.

London attacks

London was struck by a terrorist attack on June 3, 2017. Eight people were killed and 48 were injured, including four unarmed police officers who attempted to stop the assailants. The three attackers, who wore fake explosive vests, were later shot dead by police.

Victim Support is offering support to anyone who has witnessed or been affected by the terror incident in London yesterday.

For their free support line call +448 08 16 89 111 to access support or email them. Victim Support supports victims and those bereaved by terrorist activity, home and abroad.

  • International embassies have set up support for their citizens who were affected:
    For Swedish nationals affected, contact the Swedish Embassy
  • For French nationals affected – call the crisis number of the French embassy in London: + 44 7887 768941 Or the number of the crisis centre in France +33 1 43 17 51 00

Victims’ Information Service

Victims’ Information Service is a national information line helping victims of crime to get information on local support available across England and Wales.

The information line will also provide immediate emotional and practical assistance when needed, while focusing on directing you to local support as quickly as possible.

The phone number is +44808 168 9293 and it is free to call.

Our thoughts are with all those affected in London.

Manchester Arena attack

On 22 May 2017 a bomb was detonated as people were leaving Manchester Arena following a concert by the American singer Ariana Grande. Twenty-three people were killed, including the attacker, and over 500 were injured.

Victim Support is offering support to anyone who has witnessed or been affected by the terror incident in Manchester Arena.

Call +448 08 16 89 111 to access their free support line email them. Victim Support supports victims and those bereaved by terrorist activity, home and abroad.

An emergency number is available for those who are concerned about loved ones or anyone who may have been in the area – +44161 856 9400.

Witnesses and the wider public can also be affected by these traumatic incidents. Often it is days, weeks or even months afterwards that people feel the emotional impact of witnessing a terrorist incident.

Learn more about talking to kids about traumatic events:  (Voices of 9/11).

Our thoughts are with those in Manchester today.

Stockholm attack

On 7th of April an attack took place in the centre of Stockholm Sweden where a truck crashed into a crowd. Our thoughts are with the victims and their families.

You can find useful information below.

People who were victimised or affected by the attack can call Vårdguiden 1177.
Brottsofferjouren Sverige provides support to victims in Sweden.

Stockholm has opened a crisis support center where the public can turn to if they are worried and want someone to talk to after what happened. You can contact them by phone 08-508 40 000 or visit them at Hantverkargatan 3. 1177 Health Care Guide for Crisis support Center

Brisbane provides information on how to talk to children about the incident in central Stockholm. Read more on Brisbane website.

Saint Petersburg attack

On the 3rd of April 2017, Saint Petersburg was struck by a deadly attack. The metro explosions took the lives of eleven people and left many dozens wounded.

Our thoughts go out to the victims and their families.

Our Russian Member Victim Support Foundation (VSF Russia) has provided us with information on where victims can get information and support in Russia.

If you were affected by the attack in Saint Petersburg or are worried about a loved one, call the Emergency helplines:

+7 (812) 299-99-99 — EMERCOM of Russia in Saint Petersburg

+7 (495) 983-79-01+7 (499) 216-99-99 — EMERCOM of Russia

If you are a foreigner staying or living in Russia, or have family affected by the attack while you live in another EU Member State you can also get support. If you were affected by the attack even if you don’t seem to be physically injured or it was someone of your family that was victimised, you may also need support. Contact a victim support organisation near you:

For Austria: The National emergency hotline can be reached 24/7- please use 0800 112 112 or also 116006.

For Denmark: Please, use +45 72 21 72 21 or if in Denmark – also 116006.

For Italy: The number for support is 800960533.

Berlin attack

On 19 December 2016 a horrible attack happened in a Christmas market in Berlin. Victim Support Europe stands in solidarity with the victims and their families.

If you were a victim of the attack you can get more information on where to find help, support and information here. The document was developed by our Member Weisser Ring to support victims in getting the necessary information.

For people with enquiries about missing people: 030 54023 111 (+49 30 54023 111 from abroad)
Local number for information & queries: 030-54023111; For emergencies: 030-46644664 (+493046644664 from abroad).

Nice attack

On the evening of 14 July 2016, a 19 tonne cargo truck was deliberately driven into crowds of people celebrating Bastille Day on the Promenade des Anglais in Nice, France, resulting in the deaths of 86 people and the injury of 458 others. The driver was Mohamed Lahouaiej-Bouhlel, a Tunisian resident of France. The attack ended following an exchange of gunfire, during which Lahouaiej-Bouhlel was shot and killed by police.

VSE condemns this barbaric act and stands in solidarity with the victims of this attack and with people around the world affected by terrorism.

Victims and family members can call the following French support helpline: 00 33 143 175 646.

The support centre for the attack is located here: Maison d’accueil des victimes, 6 rue Gubernatis, 0600, Nice.

For support in your home country, you can find more information here:

For Dutch victims, you can contact Slachtofferhulp Nederlands as follows:

From the Netherlands call 0900-0101 or from abroad +31 13 8506002. You can request support through their website or can email directly

Brussels attack

On the morning of 22 March 2016, three coordinated suicide bombings occurred in Belgium: two at Brussels Airport in Zaventem, and one at Maalbeek metro station in central Brussels. Thirty-two civilians and three perpetrators were killed, and more than 300 people were injured. Another bomb was found during a search of the airport. Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) claimed responsibility for the attacks.

Below you can find information for all those affected by the attacks.

In Belgium the following support services for victims and relatives are available:

  • The “service d’aide aux victimes” in Brussels is responsible for helping victims of the attacks: Tel: 02/5376610. Address: Chaussée de Waterloo, 41 at 1060 Brussels
  • An “accueil de crise” has been organized in Etterbeek for the victims’ relatives. Tel: 02/5064711. Address: Rue des Champs, 71 at 1040 Brussels
  • A “centre d’accueil d’urgence” for people in shock is located at the Résidence Palace, Rue de Loi, 155 at 1040 Brussels
  • The Dutch speaking “Tele-Onthaal” helpline 106 offers to anyone who needs a listening ear. You can also chat via
  • The service to victims organized by the Flemish general welfare centers (CAW) can be contacted at 078 150 300 (please also see their website:
  • The international number for general information and concerning the victims is 0032 78 15 1771
  • A special phone number and email adress is available for victims, relatives of victims or others directly concerned by the events of 22/03 at the metrostation of Maalbeek. For more information click this link.
  • Victim of the 22 March Attacks can apply for financial help under certain circumstance. To know more follow this link.

If you have any questions about the threat level, consult the website of the Crisis Centre (, its Facebook and Twitter accounts, follow the media or call free phone number 1771 (note: this is not an emergency number).

Useful links

Information about terrorism, its impact on victims and families, and practical advice from Victim Support UK:

More tips on what to do in a terrorist attack:

Europol report on terrorism in the EU: