Summary: H.R.1248 — 106th Congress (1999-2000)All Information (Except Text)

Bill summaries are authored by CRS.

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Passed House amended (09/26/2000)

Violence Against Women Act of 2000- Title I: Continuing the Commitment of the Violence Against Women Act - Subtitle A: Law Enforcement and Prosecution Grants to Combat Violence Against Women - Amends the Omnibus Crime Control and Safe Streets Act of 1968 (the Act) to authorize appropriations for FY 2001 through 2005 for grants to combat violent crimes against women.

(Sec. 102) Revises grant allocation guidelines governing prosecution grants, victims' services, and State court systems.

Expands grant purposes to include: (1) training that addresses sexual assault, domestic violence, stalking, and dating violence for State, local, and tribal judicial personnel;(2) training of sexual assault forensic medical personnel examiners; and (3) support for the development of sexual assault response teams. Provides that grants may be used for reporting violent crimes against women data to the National Instant Criminal Background Check System.

Directs the Attorney General to deny State grant applications that fail to provide documentation of collaborative efforts with other agencies or organizations.

Redefines "victims' services" to include advocacy and assistance for victims seeking legal, social, and health care services.

Includes as a prerequisite for Federal reimbursement of forensic medical exams of victims of sexual assault that the participating governmental entity notify all victims that such reimbursement is neither contingent upon the victim's report to law enforcement officials, nor upon the victim's cooperation in the prosecution of the assault.

(Sec. 103) Directs the Attorney General to make grants to State domestic violence and sexual assault coalitions for purposes of coordinating with: (1) victim services activities; and (2) Federal, State, and local entities engaged in violence-against-women activities.

(Sec. 104) Authorizes the Attorney General to make grants to States, Indian tribal governments, and local government units to provide technical and computer assistance to facilitate widespread enforcement of protection orders, including interstate enforcement, enforcement between States and tribal jurisdictions, and enforcement between tribal jurisdictions.

Instructs the Attorney General to give priority to grant applicants that: (1) have established, or can demonstrate effective ongoing collaborative arrangements with neighboring jurisdictions to facilitate enforcement of protection orders; and (2) will give priority to using the grant to develop data collection and communication systems linking police, prosecutors, courts, and tribal jurisdictions for identification and tracking of protection orders.

Revises eligible grantee criteria to include grantee certification that its laws, policies, and practices do not require a victim of domestic violence, stalking, or sexual assault to bear the costs associated with either a protection order or criminal protection order.

(Sec. 106) Amends the Violence Against Women Act of 1994 to direct the Attorney General to: (1) make grants to law school clinical programs to fund the inclusion of cases addressing issues of elder abuse, neglect, and exploitation, including domestic violence, and sexual assault against older individuals; and (2) develop curricula and provide for training programs in those issues for law enforcement officers and prosecutors (including tribal authorities). Authorizes appropriations.

Subtitle B: National Domestic Violence Hotline - Amends the Family Violence Prevention and Services Act (FVPSA) to authorize increased appropriations for the national domestic violence hotline grant. Requires grantees to submit a grant evaluation report to the Secretary of Health and Human Services (the HHS Secretary) for publication and public comment as a prerequisite to a grant award or renewal.

Subtitle C: Battered Women's Shelters and Services - Battered Women's Shelters and Services Act - Amends the FVPSA to authorize appropriations for State grants. Modifies guidelines governing: (1) allotment of appropriations; (2) grants for information and technical assistance centers; and (3) authorization of appropriations.

(Sec. 123) Instructs the HHS Secretary to award grants for: (1) State domestic violence coalitions and local domestic violence programs providing shelter or related assistance, in order to develop model strategies to address domestic violence in underserved populations; (2) each State domestic violence coalition for an emergency assistance fund for domestic violence victims; (3) technical assistance and training for State and local domestic violence programs; and (4) private, nonprofit, tribal domestic violence coalitions with representatives from a majority of the programs for victims of domestic violence operating within Indian reservations, and programs whose primary focus is the populations of such Indian country.

(Sec. 124) Instructs the Attorney General to award transitional housing assistance grants to States, local government entities, and Indian tribes for victims of domestic violence. Authorizes appropriations.

Subtitle D: Community Initiatives - Authorizes appropriations for demonstration grants for community initiatives.

Subtitle E: Education and Training for Judges and Court Personnel - Amends the Equal Justice for Women in the Courts Act of 1994 to permit training grants for judges and court personnel to include: (1) child custody, visitation, and safety issues raised by domestic violence and child sexual assault; and (2) the extent to which addressing domestic violence and victim safety contributes to the efficient administration of justice.

(Sec. 141) Expands the scope of State Justice Institute grants to include dating violence.

Subtitle F: Grants to Encourage Arrest Policies - Amends the Act to reauthorize appropriations to implement the functions of the Bureau of Justice Statistics.

(Sec. 152) Mandates that at least five percent of appropriated funds be used for grants to Indian tribal governments to treat domestic violence as a serious violation of criminal law.

Subtitle G: Rural Domestic Violence and Child Abuse Enforcement - Amends the Safe Homes for Women Act of 1994 to authorize appropriations for rural domestic violence and child abuse enforcement. Mandates that five percent of such funds be used for grants to Indian tribal governments.

Subtitle H: National Stalker and Domestic Violence Reduction - Amends the Safe Homes for Women Act of 1994 to authorize appropriations for grants to enter stalking and domestic violence data into crime information databases.

Subtitle I: Federal Victims' Counselors - Amends the Safe Streets for Women Act of 1994 to authorize appropriations for the United States Attorneys to appoint Victim-Witness counselors for the prosecution of domestic violence and sexual assault crimes.

Subtitle J: Victims of Child Abuse Programs - Amends the Victims of Child Abuse Act of 1990 to authorize appropriations for: (1) the court-appointed special advocate program; and (2) child abuse training programs for judicial personnel and practitioners.

(Sec. 193) Amends the Act to authorize appropriations for grants for closed-circuit televising of testimony of child abuse victims.

Title II: Sexual Assault Prevention - Amends the Public Health Service Act to require the use of certain State funds exclusively for rape prevention and education programs conducted by rape crisis centers and private nonprofit nongovernmental State and tribal sexual assault coalitions for specified programs.

(Sec. 201) Instructs the HHS Secretary to establish a National Resource Center on Sexual Assault when appropriations reach a specified minimum level. Mandates that State grantors ensure that at least 25 percent of the funds are devoted to educational programs targeted for middle school, junior high, and high school aged students. Authorizes appropriations.

(Sec. 203) Mandates that demonstration projects which address interpersonal violence issues within a hospital emergency setting include, on a 24-hour basis, health care professionals trained in specified victim identification and evidence collection protocols.

Title III: Other Domestic Violence Programs - Subtitle A: Strengthening Services to Victims of Violence - Authorizes the Attorney General to award grants to provide civil legal assistance to victims of domestic and dating violence. Authorizes appropriations.

Subtitle B: Limiting the Effects of Violence on Children - Authorizes the Attorney General to award grants to public or private nonprofit nongovernmental entities to establish and operate supervised visitation and safe visitation exchange of children by and between parents in cases of domestic violence, child abuse, or sexual assault. Authorizes appropriations.

Subtitle C: Protections Against Violence and Abuse for Women with Disabilities - Makes the protection of women with disabilities eligible for grants and research under the Omnibus Crime Control and Safe Streets Act of 1968 and the Equal Justice for Women in the Courts Act of 1994.

(Sec. 313) Directs the Attorney General to establish a grants program for States, nongovernmental private entities, and tribal organizations to provide education and technical assistance for information dissemination on abuse and violence against women with disabilities. Authorizes appropriations.

Subtitle D: Standards, Practice, and Training for Sexual Assault Examinations - Standards, Practice, and Training for Sexual Assault Forensic Examinations Act - Directs the Attorney General, in conjunction with the HHS Secretary, to: (1) evaluate standards of training and practice for licensed health care professionals performing sexual assault forensic examinations, and develop a national recommended training standard; (2) recommend sexual assault examination training for health care students to improve recognition of injuries suggestive of rape and sexual assault; and (3) establish a mechanism for nationwide dissemination of a national protocol on sexual assault for forensic examinations. Authorizes appropriations.

Subtitle E: Domestic Violence Task Force - Amends the Violence Against Women Act of 1994 to direct the Attorney General to establish a task force to coordinate research on domestic violence and report to Congress on any overlapping or duplication of efforts on domestic violence issues. Authorizes appropriations.