There is one summary for this bill. Bill summaries are authored by CRS.

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Introduced in House (11/10/1999)

Reducing the Effects of Abuse and Domestic Violence on Youth or READY Act - Title I: Children Who Witness Domestic Violence - Amends the Family Violence Prevention and Services Act (FVPSA) to authorize the Secretary of Health and Human Services (for purposes of this title, the Secretary) to award grants to eligible entities to conduct programs to encourage the use of domestic violence intervention models using multi-system partnerships to address the needs of children who witness domestic violence.

Sets forth provisions regarding grant term and amount, eligible entities, application requirements, and technical assistance. Requires an entity that receives a grant to use amounts provided to conduct a program to design or replicate, and implement, domestic violence intervention models that use multi-system partners to respond to the needs of children who witness domestic violence. Specifies elements of such program, including involvement of collaborative partnerships with local entities carrying out domestic violence programs that provide shelter or related assistance, and provision of direct counseling and advocacy for adult victims of domestic violence and their children who witness domestic violence. Authorizes appropriations.

Amends the FVPSA to direct the Secretary to appoint one or more employee of the Department of Health and Human Services to carry out such Act, each of whom shall have had prior expertise in the field of family violence prevention and services (current law provides for one such employee with such expertise).

Title II: Violence Against Women Prevention In Schools - Directs the Secretary of Education (for purposes of this title, the Secretary) to provide grants to State, local, or tribal school systems to develop, modify, and implement State, local, or tribal school system policies and programs for elementary schools, middle schools, and secondary schools which address domestic violence, sexual assault, and stalking.

Sets forth eligibility and application requirements. Lists permissible uses of grant funds, such as the development and implementation of educational programs or prevention strategies for students and personnel in elementary, middle, and secondary schools addressing domestic violence, sexual assault, and stalking. Requires that policies and programs developed and implemented address issues of victim safety and confidentiality that are consistent with applicable State and Federal laws.

Directs the Secretary to: (1) disseminate any existing Department of Education policy guidance regarding preventing domestic violence, sexual assault, or stalking; (2) study existing policies and programs as well as new policies and programs funded by this title and report to Congress recommendations for implementation of successful policies for referring students to services when they may be witnessing or experiencing domestic violence, sexual assault, or stalking; and (3) publish the availability of grants through announcement in professional publications for State, local, or tribal school systems and through notice in the Federal Register.

Sets forth requirements for a State, local, or tribal school system in carrying out an educational program under a grant, including consulting and collaborating with experts on violence against women and girls.

Authorizes appropriations.

Title III: Safe Havens for Children - Authorizes the Attorney General to award grants to public or private nonprofit nongovernmental entities to establish and operate supervised visitation centers. Authorizes appropriations.

Title IV: Child Abuse Accountability - Child Abuse Accountability Act - Amends the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA) and the Internal Revenue Code to permit the assignment, and provide for the tax treatment, of any pension benefit payable to a participant pursuant to a qualified child abuse order. Exempts qualified child abuse orders from preemption by ERISA.

Title V: Family Safety - Family Safety Act - Amends the Parental Kidnaping Prevention Act of 1980 (PKPA) to include among its purposes: (1) the promotion of cooperation between State and tribal courts to protect parents and children from domestic violence or sexual assault; (2) the promotion of realistic and protective standards for interstate relocation when parents dispute custody; and (3) the avoidance of jurisdictional conflicts between State courts in matters of child custody and visitation consistent with not endangering or inappropriately punishing parents who are victims of domestic violence, or children who are victims of sexual assault.

(Sec. 503) Amends the Federal criminal code to provide as a defense to prosecution of either a criminal custodial interference or parental abduction charge, or criminal contempt of court relating to an underlying child custody or visitation determination, that the defendant was fleeing an incident or pattern of domestic violence or sexual assault of the child, or would otherwise have a defense under the PKPA. Directs the Attorney General to issue guidelines to assist U.S. Attorneys and the Federal Bureau of Investigation to determine whether to initiate or terminate an action due to the potential availability of such defense.

(Sec. 504) Amends the Federal judicial code to: (1) provide that no State shall be required to enforce any order obtained in a proceeding which would violate the constitution of the enforcing State if the proceeding were conducted in the enforcing State; and (2) declare that the intent of full faith and credit doctrine in child custody determinations is to preempt inconsistent State law. Declares that a protection order regarding custody and visitation of a minor child that is consistent with this Act shall be given full faith and credit by the courts of any State where the party who sought the order seeks enforcement.

Modifies State court jurisdiction guidelines governing: (1) relocation of the child due to domestic violence or sexual assault; and (2) court authority to decline to exercise jurisdiction on behalf of parents engaged in specified conduct.

Title VI: Sense of Congress - Expresses the sense of Congress that, for purposes of determining child custody, it is not in the best interest of children to: (1) force parents to share custody over the objection of one or both parents where there is a history of domestic violence; or (2) make "friendly parent" provisions a factor when there is abuse of one parent against another or a child.