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Victims' Compensation
Assistance for Victims of Crimes in France

Victims' Compensation

Under French law, compensation is available to all victims of crime committed on French soil.  In order to be eligible for victims’ rights and benefits, one must be in legal status in France, whether as a tourist or a resident.

Appointed commissions (Commissions d’indemnisation des victimes d’infractions, or CIVI), available at every Tribunal de Grande Instance, determine the material and nonmaterial damages (psychological, emotional, loss of potential income, etc.) to be compensated.  This financial award may include legal costs as well, including expenses associated with travel to and from France during the legal process.

While organizations for victims’ assistance can help you to prepare an initial claim to file, hiring a lawyer can minimize bureaucracy and prevent procedural mistakes.  The U.S. Embassy maintains a list of English-speaking lawyers. 

To recover damages, French law usually addresses the perpetrator of the crime, if identified, and the victim’s insurance, but recognizes that these sources may not always guarantee compensation.  A state fund (Fonds de Garantie) provides compensation for both serious and minor crimes, but in practice offers very little remuneration in cases other than those involving wrongful death, serious personal injury (causing loss of at least one month of activity or continuous after-effects), or sexual violence.


Contact Information and Victims’ Resources


  • Contact the S. Embassy, 4 av. Gabriel 75008 Paris. Tel: 01 4312 2222.  Email: citizeninfo@state.gov
  • France Victimes, Umbrella organization for victims’ services. English-speaking counselors on staff.  Legal and counseling assistance and referrals available.  Call: 116-006 – from the U.S. : 011 33 1 80 52 33 76. . http://www.france-victimes.fr/  7 days a week, from 9 AM to 7 PM (local time) Email: victimes@france-victimes.fr
  • Paris Aide Aux Victimes4-14 rue Ferrus, 75014 Paris, Tel: 01-4588-1800, and 22 rue Jacques Kellner, 75017 Paris, Tel: 01-5306-8350; contact13@pav75.fr; English-speaking legal advice and other services.
  • European Commission websitehttps://e-justice.europa.eu/content_victims_of_crime-65-en.do contains information on victims compensation and procedures, criminal proceedings, complete factsheets on the rights of victims in criminal proceedings, covering all EU Member States.
  • Infovictims (program funded by the European Union’s Justice Program): https://infovictimes.fr/en.

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