Summary: S.2754 — 101st Congress (1989-1990)All Information (Except Text)

Bill summaries are authored by CRS.

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Introduced in Senate (06/19/1990)

Violence Against Women Act of 1990 - Title I: Safe Streets for Women - Safe Streets for Women Act of 1990 - Subtitle A: Federal Penalties for Sex Crimes - Amends Federal law to require the U.S. Sentencing Commission to create or amend guidelines to provide for: (1) up to twice the term of imprisonment or fine for violation, after the first conviction, of Federal laws relating to sexual abuse or similar laws of any State or foreign country; and (2) specified minimum terms of imprisonment for aggravated sexual assault, sexual assault, and abusive sexual contact.

Requires that a court order restitution for violations of such Federal sexual abuse laws.

Subtitle B: Law Enforcement and Prosecution Grants to Reduce Violent Crime Against Women - Amends the Omnibus Crime Control and Safe Streets Act of 1968 to require the Director of the Bureau of Justice Assistance to make grants to areas of high intensity crime against women. Requires that the grants be used for personnel, equipment, training, technical assistance, and information systems for the more widespread apprehension, prosecution, and adjudication of persons committing violent crimes against women.

Authorizes the Director to make grants to States, for use by States and their subdivisions, for purposes outlined in this Act and to reduce the rate of violent crimes against women.

Authorizes the Director, in addition to the grants under this subtitle, to direct any Federal agency, with or without reimbursement, to use its authorities and resources in support of State and local assistance efforts.

Authorizes appropriations.

Subtitle C: Safety for Women in Public Transit - Directs the Secretary of Transportation, from funds authorized under existing provisions, to make capital grants for the prevention of crime and to increase security in existing and future public transportation systems.

Authorizes the Secretary to make grants and loans to States and local public bodies to increase the safety of public transportation through lighting, camera surveillance, security phones, or other projects. Sets the Federal share of each project at 90 percent of the net cost.

Directs the Secretary to provide grants and loans to study ways to reduce violent crimes against women in public transit through better design or operation of public transit systems.

Subtitle D: National Commission on Violent Crime Against Women - Establishes the National Commission on Violent Crime Against Women to promote a national consensus on violent crime against women and to make recommendations on reducing such crime. Authorizes appropriations. Terminates the Commission after submission of its final report, subject to extension by the President for up to one more year.

Title II: Safe Homes for Women - Safe Homes for Women Act of 1990 - Subtitle A: Interstate Enforcement - Provides for a Federal term of imprisonment or fine, in addition to any State penalties, for any person who travels or causes another (including the intended victim) to travel in interstate commerce with intent to injure his or her spouse and who violates a law of any State concerning domestic or family violence.

Provides for imprisonment and fines for interstate violation of protection orders, including increased penalties for repeated offenses and for offenses involving serious bodily injury.

Mandates that a court order restitution to the victim of an offense under this Act.

Requires, provided certain conditions are met, that a protection order issued by the court of one State be accorded full faith and credit by the court of another State.

Subtitle B: Arrest in Spousal Abuse Cases - Amends the Family Violence Prevention and Services Act (FVPSA) to prohibit a State or locality from receiving a grant under existing provisions if, as a matter of policy or law, it discriminates against family violence victims by prohibiting or discouraging the arrest of persons committing family violence. Declares that proof that a State or locality permits warrantless misdemeanor arrests based on probable cause in domestic violence situations is sufficient, but not necessary, to show such nondiscrimination. Requires certification of compliance.

Amends provisions of the Victims of Crime Act of 1984 relating to grants for crime victim assistance to require certification that a State does not engage in such discrimination against family violence victims. Makes warrantless misdemeanor arrests sufficient to show compliance.

Amends the FVPSA to authorize the Secretary of Health and Human Services to make grants to eligible States, municipalities, or local government entities, with regard to spousal or family violence, to centralize police enforcement, tracking of cases, prosecution, and judicial responsibility. Directs the Secretary of Health and Human Services to delegate to the Attorney General responsibility for carrying out these provisions and transfer to the Attorney General a limited amount of funds appropriated under existing provisions.

Subtitle C: Funding for Shelters - Amends the FVPSA to authorize appropriations to carry out that Act, earmarking at least 60 percent of funds appropriated for State demonstration grants to prevent family violence and provide immediate shelter and related assistance.

Subtitle D: Judicial Training - Directs the Attorney General, from funds appropriated under specified provisions of the FVPSA, to provide a certain amount to the State Justice Institute for developing model programs for training judges in the laws of the States on spousal abuse and family violence.

Title III: Civil Rights - Declares that all persons within the United States shall have the same rights, privileges, and immunities in every State as are enjoyed by all other persons to be free from crimes of violence motivated by the victim's gender (defined as rape, sexual assault, or abusive sexual contact motivated by gender-based animus). Makes any person, including a person who acts under color of any statute, ordinance, regulation, custom, or usage of any State, who deprives another of the rights, privileges, and immunities secured by the Constitution and laws as enumerated by this Act liable to the injured party for compensatory and punitive damages.