VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN ACT OF 2000
AS PASSED BY THE SENATE AND HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

Total authorization over 5 years is $3.33 billion.

Sec. 1001. Short Title

Sec 1002. Definitions - refers to already existing definitions of domestic violence and sexual assault

Sec 1003. Accountability and Oversight - requires all grantees under VAWA to submit report on effectiveness of VAWA funded programs.

TITLE I - STRENGTHENING LAW ENFORCEMENT TO REDUCE VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN

Sec. 1101. Full Faith and Credit Enforcement of Protection Orders - Re-names pro-arrest grants to expressly include enforcement of protection orders, and is designed to help state and tribal courts improve interstate enforcement of protection orders. This section gives tribal courts full civil jurisdiction to enforce protection orders and also prioritizes the development and enhancement of data collection and sharing systems, and instructs the Department of Justice to identify and make available information on protection order enforcement practices.

In addition, it amends the full faith and credit provision in the original Act to prohibit registration as a prerequisite to enforcement of out-of-state orders, and to prohibit notification of a batterer without the victim's consent when an out-of-state order is registered in a new jurisdiction. As a condition of funding, recipients of STOP and Pro-Arrest grants must ensure filing and service of protection orders at no cost to the victim.

Sec. 1102. Role of Courts - This section funds the training and education of court personnel, technical assistance, and technological improvements. It also amends STOP and Pro-Arrest grants to make state and local courts expressly eligible for funding and dedicates five percent of states' STOP grants to courts. 5% set aside for Indian Tribal governments.

Sec. 1103. Reauthorization of STOP (Services and Training for Officers and Prosecutors) Grants - Authorized at $185 million/year through 2005 (fiscal year 2000 appropriation was $206.75 million, including $28 million earmarked for civil legal assistance). This section reauthorizes grants to bring police and prosecutors in close collaboration with victim services providers. It preserves VAWA's original allocations of states' STOP grants (25 percent to police and 25 percent to prosecutors), but increases grants to victim services to 30 percent (from 25 percent), and allocates 5 percent allocated to state courts. Raises small state minimum to $600,000 per year. 2.5% set-aside each for State domestic violence and sexual assault coalitions off the top, and the allocation for Indian tribes is increased to 5 percent (up from 4 percent in the original Act). Also expands purpose areas to includes coverage of forensic medical examiners and multidisciplinary approaches.

Sec. 1104. Reauthorization of Grants to Encourage Arrest Policies - Authorized at $65 million/year through 2005 (fiscal year 2000 appropriation was $34 million). This section extends grants to develop and strengthen programs and policies that mandate and encourage police officers to arrest abusers who commit acts of violence or violate protection orders.

Sec. 1105. Reauthorization of Rural Domestic Violence and Child Abuse Enforcement Grants - Authorized at $40 million/year through 2005 (FY2000 appropriation was $25 million). This section extends direct grants to state and local governments for services in rural areas. 5% set aside for Indian tribal governments.

Sec. 1106. National Stalker and Domestic Violence Reduction - Authorized at $3 million/year2001 through 2005 (fiscal year 1998 appropriation was $2.75 million). This section extends grant programs that help state and local governments improve databases dealing with stalking and domestic violence.

Sec. 1107. Amendments to Domestic Violence and Stalking Offenses -This section clarifies federal jurisdiction over persons crossing state lines (including foreign travel), and expands federal jurisdiction to include battery to cause travel. This section also makes the nature of harm uniform for domestic violence, sexual assault and stalking interstate travel offenses, and clarifies the "Interstate Violation of Protection Order" section.

Sec. 1108. Grants to Reduce Violent Crimes Against Women on Campus - Authorized at $10 million/year 2001 through 2005 (fiscal year 2000 STOP grant appropriation included a $10 million earmarked for this use). This section reauthorizes grants for on-campus security, education, training, and victim services to combat violence against women on college campuses. It also creates a definition of dating violence and includes coverage of dating relationships in the program. Also authorizes $30 million per year 2001 through 2003 to increase campus security including metal detectors.

Sec. 1109. Dating Violence - Creates definition of dating violence and expands STOP grants, Grants to Encourage Arrest Policies and Rural Grants to cover dating violence.

TITLE II - STRENGTHENING SERVICES TO VICTIMS OF VIOLENCE

Sec. 1201. Legal Assistance for Victims - Authorized at $40 million/year through 2005 (fiscal year 2000 STOP grant appropriation included $28 million earmarked for this use). Building on funds set-aside under past STOP grants, this section authorizes a separate grant program for civil legal services for protection orders and family, criminal, immigration, administrative agency, and housing matters. This section allows victims of domestic violence, stalking, and sexual assault to obtain access to trained attorneys and lay advocacy services, particularly pro bono legal services, when they require legal assistance as a consequence of violence. These grants support training, technical assistance, data collection, and support for cooperative efforts between victim advocacy groups and legal assistance providers. 25% set-aside for projects that focus on providing legal services to sexual assault survivors. 5% set aside for Tribal programs.

Sec. 1202. Shelter Services for Battered Women and Children - Authorized at $175 million/year through 2005 (fiscal year 2000 appropriation was $101.5 million). This section reauthorizes Department of Health and Human Services programs that help communities provide shelter to battered individuals and their children. Increases small state minimum to $600,000 per year. -

Sec. 1203. Transitional Housing Assistance for Victims of Domestic Violence - authorized at $25 million for 2001 This section allows the department of health and human services to make grants providing short-term (generally up to 12 months with possibility of additional 6 months waiver) housing assistance and support services to individuals and their dependents who are homeless, in need of transitional housing or other assistance as a result of fleeing domestic violence. These services are authorized when emergency shelter services or unavailable or insufficient.

Sec. 1204. National Domestic Violence Hotline - Authorized at $2 million/year through 2005 (fiscal year 2000 appropriation was $2 million). This section reauthorizes the National Domestic Violence Hotline established under the original Violence Against Women Act.

Sec. 1205. Federal Victims Counselors - Authorized at $1 million/year through 2005 (fiscal year 1998 appropriation was $1 million). This section extends programs supporting U.S. Attorney offices to hire counselors to assist victims and witnesses in prosecution of domestic violence and sexual assault cases.

Sec. 1206. Study of State Laws Regarding Insurance Discrimination Against Victims of Violence Against Women - This section requires the Attorney General to conduct a national study identifying state laws that address insurance discrimination against victims of domestic violence, and submit recommendations to Congress based on the findings.

Sec. 1207. Study of Workplace Effects from Violence Against Women - This section requires the Attorney General to conduct a national survey of programs demonstrating appropriate workplace responses to victims of domestic violence or sexual assault, and submit recommendations to Congress.

Sec. 1208. Study of Unemployment Compensation For Victims of Violence Against Women - This section requires the Attorney General to conduct a national study to identify the impact of state unemployment compensation laws on victims of domestic violence who are separated from their employment as a direct result of violence, and submit recommendations to Congress.

Sec. 1209. Enhancing Protections for Older and Disabled Women from Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault - Authorized at $5 million/yr for 2001-2005. Training programs for law enforcement. This section allows STOP grants, Pro-Arrest grants, and shelter programs to be used to develop, policies and initiatives that address the needs of older and disabled individuals who are victims of domestic violence or sexual assault.

TITLE III - LIMITING THE EFFECTS OF VIOLENCE ON CHILDREN

Sec. 1301. Safe Havens for Children Pilot Program - Authorized at $15 million/year through 2002. This section establishes a pilot Justice Department grant program aimed at reducing domestic violence during the transfer of children for visitation by expanding the availability of supervised visitation and safe visitation exchange for the children of victims of domestic violence, child abuse, or sexual assault. 5% set aside to Tribal programs.

Sec. 1302. Reauthorization of Victims of Child Abuse Programs - Authorized at $12 million/year for the special advocate program, $2.3 million/year for the judicial personnel training program, and $1 million/year for televised testimony through 2005 (fiscal year 2000 appropriations were $10 million, $2.3 million, and $1 million respectively). This section extends grant programs geared towards assisting children who are victims of abuse, such as the court-appointed special advocate program, child abuse training for judicial personnel and practitioners, and grants for the televised testimony of children.

Sec. 1303. Report on Effects of Parental Kidnapping Laws in Domestic Violence Cases - Authorized at $200,000 for fiscal year 2001. This section requires the Attorney General to study the Parental Kidnapping Act, the Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act adopted by the National Conference of Commissioners on Uniform State Laws, and custody provisions in protection orders where domestic violence is a factor, in order to submit recommendations for the modification of child custody laws. This section also clarifies when emergency jurisdiction may be granted.

TITLE IV - STRENGTHENING EDUCATION & TRAINING TO COMBAT VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN

Sec. 1401. Rape Prevention and Education Program Reauthorization - Authorized at $80 million/year through 2005 (FY 2000 appropriation was $45 million). This section reauthorizes the Sexual Assault Education and Prevention Grant program, which includes education for college students and funding to continue the National Resource Center on Sexual Assault at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Repeals original training program for sex offender probation/parole officers.

Sec. 1402. Education and Training to End Violence Against and Abuse of Women with Disabilities - Authorized at $7.5 million/year through 2005. This section establishes a new grant program to provide education and technical assistance to service providers to better meet the needs of disabled individuals who are victims of domestic violence, sexual assault, and stalking.

Sec. 1403. Reauthorization of Community Initiatives to Prevent Domestic Violence - Authorized at $6 million/year through 2005 (FY 2000 appropriation was $6 million). This section reauthorizes grants for collaborative community projects targeted towards intervention and the prevention of domestic violence.

Sec. 1404. Development of Research Agenda Identified under the Violence Against Women Act of 1994 - Authorized at such sums as are necessary. This section requires the Attorney General, in cooperation with other organizations, to implement a research agenda based on the recommendations in the National Academy of Sciences report, "Understanding Violence Against Women."

Sec. 1405 Standards, practice, and training for sexual assault examinations - evaluates existing standards of training, practice and payment of forensic examinations and recommends a national protocol. Authorizes $200,00 for fiscal year 2001.

Sec. 1406. Education and Training for Judges and Court Personnel - reauthorizes funding for federal ($500,000 for each year for 2001 through 2005) and state judicial training ($1.5 million each year for 2001-2005) on violence against women; adds a training component regarding domestic violence and child sexual abuse in custody determinations; adds coverage of dating violence in training.

Sec. 1407. Domestic Violence Task Force - creates multiagency task force to coordinate research on domestic violence and insure no duplication in research efforts. Authorizes $500,000 per year for 2001 through 2004

TITLE V - BATTERED IMMIGRANT WOMEN

Generally designed to improve on efforts made in VAWA 1994 to prevent immigration law from being used by an abusive citizen or lawful permanent resident spouse as a tool to prevent an abused immigrant spouse from reporting abuse or leaving the abusive relationship. This could happen because generally speaking, U.S. immigration law gives citizens and lawful permanent residents the right to petition for their spouses to be granted a permanent resident visa, which is the necessary prerequisite for immigrating to the United States. In the vast majority of cases, granting the right to seek the visa to the citizen or lawful permanent resident spouse makes sense, since the purpose of family immigration visas is to allow U.S. citizens or lawful permanent residents to live here with their spouses and children. But in the unusual case of the abusive relationship, an abusive citizen or lawful permanent resident can use control over his or her spouse's visa as a means to blackmail and control the spouse. The abusive spouse would do this by withholding a promised visa petition and then threatening to turn the abused spouse in to the immigration authorities if the abused spouse sought to leave the abuser or report the abuse.

VAWA 1994 changed this by allowing immigrants who demonstrate that they have been battered or subjected to extreme cruelty by their U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident spouses to file their own petitions for visas without the cooperation of their abusive spouse. VAWA 1994 also allowed abused spouses placed in removal proceedings to seek "cancellation of removal," a form of discretionary relief from removal available to individuals in unlawful immigration status with strong equities, after three years rather than the seven ordinarily required. Finally, VAWA 1994 granted similar rights to minor children abused by their citizen or lawful permanent resident parent, whose immigration status, like that of the abused spouse, would otherwise be dependent on the abusive parent. VAWA 2000 addresses residual immigration law obstacles standing in the path of battered immigrant spouses and children seeking to free themselves from abusive relationships that either had not come to the attention of the drafters of VAWA 1994 or have arisen since as a result of 1996 changes to immigration law.

Sec. 1501. Short Title - Names this title the Battered Immigrant Women Protection Act of 2000.

Sec. 1502. Findings and Purposes - Lays out as the purpose of the title building on VAWA 1994's efforts to enable battered immigrant spouses and children to free themselves of abusive relationships and report abuse without fear of immigration law consequences controlled by their abusive citizen or lawful permanent resident spouse or parent.

Sec. 1503. Improved Access to Immigration Protections of the Violence Against Women Act of 1994 for Battered Immigrant Women - Allows abused spouses and children who have already demonstrated to the INS that they have been the victims of battery or extreme cruelty by their spouse or parent to file their own petition for a lawful permanent resident visa without also having to show they will suffer "extreme hardship" if forced to leave the U.S., a showing that is not required if their citizen or lawful permanent resident spouse or parent files the visa petition on their behalf. Eliminates U.S. residency as a prerequisite for a battered spouse or child of a citizen or lawful permanent resident to file for his or her own visa, since there is no such prerequisite for a citizen or permanent resident spouse to file for a visa on behalf of his or her spouse or child. Retains current law's special requirement that abused spouses and children filing their own petitions (unlike spouses and children for whom their citizen or lawful permanent resident spouse or parent petitions) demonstrate good moral character, but modifies it to give the Attorney General authority to find good moral character despite certain otherwise disqualifying acts if those acts were connected to the abuse.

Allows a victim of battery or extreme cruelty who believed himself or herself to be a citizen's or lawful permanent resident's spouse and went through a marriage ceremony to file a visa petition as a battered spouse if the marriage was not valid solely on account of the citizen's or lawful permanent resident's bigamy. Allows a battered spouse whose citizen spouse died, whose spouse lost citizenship, whose spouse lost lawful permanent residency, or from whom the battered spouse was divorced to file a visa petition as an abused spouse within two years of the death, loss of citizenship or lawful permanent residency, or divorce, provided that the loss of citizenship, status or divorce was connected to the abuse suffered by the spouse. Allows a battered spouse to naturalize after three years residency as other spouses may do, but without requiring the battered spouse to live in marital union with the abusive spouse during that period.

Allows abused children or children of abused spouses whose petitions were filed when they were minors to maintain their petitions after they attain age 21, as their citizen or lawful permanent resident parent would be entitled to do on their behalf had the original petition been filed during the child's minority, treating the petition as filed on the date of the filing of the original petition for purposes of determining its priority date.

Sec. 1504. Improved Access to Cancellation of Removal and Suspension of Deportation under the Violence Against Women Act of 1994 - Clarifies that with respect to battered immigrants, IIRIRA's rule, enacted in 1996, that provides that with respect to any applicant for cancellation of removal, any absence that exceeds 90 days, or any series of absences that exceed 180 days, interrupts continuous physical presence, does not apply to any absence or portion of an absence connected to the abuse. Makes this change retroactive to date of enactment of IIRIRA. Directs Attorney General to parole children of battered immigrants granted cancellation until their adjustment of status application has been acted on, provided the battered immigrant exercises due diligence in filing such an application.

Sec. 1505. Offering Equal Access to Immigration Protections of the Violence Against Women Act of 1994 for All Qualified Battered Immigrant Self-Petitioners - Grants the Attorney General the authority to waive certain bars to admissibility or grounds of deportability with respect to battered spouses and children. New Attorney General waiver authority granted 1) for crimes of domestic violence or stalking where the spouse or child was not the primary perpetrator of violence in the relationship, the crime did not result in serious bodily injury, and there was a connection between the crime and the abuse suffered by the spouse or child; 2) for misrepresentations connected with seeking an immigration benefit in cases of extreme hardship to the alien (paralleling the AG's waiver authority for spouses and children petitioned for by their citizen or lawful permanent resident spouse or parent in cases of extreme hardship to the spouse or parent); 3) for crimes of moral turpitude not constituting aggravated felonies where the crime was connected to the abuse (similarly paralleling the AG's waiver authority for spouses and children petitioned for by their spouse or parent); 4) for health related grounds of inadmissibility (also paralleling the AG's waiver authority for spouses and children petitioned for by their spouse or parent); and 5) for unlawful presence after a prior immigration violation, if there is a connection between the abuse and the alien's removal, departure, reentry, or attempted reentry. Clarifies that a battered immigrant's use of public benefits specifically made available to battered immigrants in PRWORA does not make the immigrant inadmissible on public charge ground.

Sec. 1506. Restoring Immigration Protections under the Violence Against Women Act of 1994 - Establishes mechanism paralleling mechanism available to spouses and children petitioned for by their spouse or parent to enable VAWA-qualified battered spouse or child to obtain status as lawful permanent resident in the United States rather than having to go abroad to get a visa.

Addresses two problems created for battered immigrants' access to cancellation of removal by IIRIRA in 1996: the stop-time rule and the cap on adjustments of status imposed by that law. In order to address problems created by individuals gaming the system to gain access to cancellation of removal, IIRIRA stopped the clock on accruing any time toward continuous physical presence at the time INS initiates removal proceedings against an individual. This section eliminates application of this rule to battered immigrant spouses and children, who, if they are sophisticated enough about immigration law and had sufficient freedom of movement to "game the system", presumably would have filed self-petitions, and more likely do not even know that INS has initiated proceedings against them because their abusive spouse or parent has withheld their mail. To implement this change, allows battered immigrant spouses and children to file motions to reopen removal and deportation proceedings without regard to the 90 day deadline on such motions provided they file a motion to reopen within one year of the order of removal or deportation and file a complete application to be classified as VAWA-eligible at the time they file reopening motion, unless they could demonstrate extraordinary circumstances or extreme hardship to their children.

Sec. 1507. Remedying Problems with Implementation of the Immigration Provisions of the Violence Against Women Act of 1994 - Clarifies that negative changes of immigration status of abuser or divorce after abused spouse or child files petition under VAWA have no effect on status of abused spouse or child. Reclassifies abused spouse or child as spouse or child of citizen if abuser becomes citizen notwithstanding divorce or termination of parental rights (so as not to create incentive for abuse victim to delay leaving abusive situation on account of potential future improved immigration status of abuser). Clarifies that remarriage has no effect on pending VAWA immigration petition.

Sec. 1508. Technical Correction to Qualified Alien Definition for Battered Immigrants - Makes technical change of description of battered aliens allowed to access certain public benefits so as to use correct pre-IIRIRA name for equitable relief from deportation/removal ("suspension of deportation" rather than "cancellation of removal") for pre-IIRIRA cases.

Sec. 1509. Access to Cuban Adjustment Act for Battered Immigrant Spouses and Children - Allows battered spouses and children to access special immigration benefits available under Cuban Adjustment Act to other spouses and children of Cubans on the basis of the same showing of battery or extreme cruelty they would have to make as VAWA self-petitioners; relieves them of Cuban Adjustment Act showing that they are residing with their spouse/parent.

Sec. 1510. Access to the Nicaraguan Adjustment and Central American Relief Act for Battered Spouses and Children - Provides access to special immigration benefits under NACARA to battered spouses and children similarly to the way section 509 does with respect to Cuban Adjustment Act.

Sec. 1511. Access to the Haitian Refugee Fairness Act of 1998 for Battered Spouses and Children - Provides access to special immigration benefits under HRIFA to battered spouses and children similarly to the way section 509 does with respect to Cuban Adjustment Act.

Sec. 1512. Access to Services and Legal Representation for Battered Immigrants - Clarifies that Stop grants, Grants to Encourage Arrest, Rural VAWA grants, Civil Legal Assistance grants, and Campus grants can be used to provide assistance to battered immigrants. Allows local battered women's advocacy organizations, law enforcement or other eligible Stop grant applicants to apply for Stop funding to train INS officers and immigration judges as well as other law enforcement officers on the special needs of battered immigrants.

Sec. 1513. Protection for Certain Crime Victims Including Victims of Crimes Against Women - Creates new nonimmigrant visa for victims of certain serious crimes that tend to target vulnerable foreign individuals without immigration status if the victim has suffered substantial physical or mental abuse as a result of the crime, the victim has information about the crime, and a law enforcement official or a judge certifies that the victim has been helpful, is being helpful, or is likely to be helpful in investigating or prosecuting the crime. The crime must involve rape, torture, trafficking, incest, sexual assault, domestic violence, abusive sexual contact, prostitution, sexual exploitation, female genital mutilation, being held hostage, peonage, involuntary servitude, slave trade, kidnapping, abduction, unlawful criminal restraint, false imprisonment, blackmail, extortion, manslaughter, murder, felonious assault, witness tampering, obstruction of justice, perjury, attempt or conspiracy to commit any of the above, or other similar conduct in violation of Federal, State, or local criminal law. Caps visas at 10,000 per fiscal year. Allows Attorney General to adjust these individuals to lawful permanent resident status if the alien has been present for 3 years and the Attorney General determines this is justified on humanitarian grounds, to promote family unity, or is otherwise in the public interest.

TITLE VI - MISCELLANEOUS

Sec. 1601. Notice Requirements for Sexually Violence Offenders (Campus Sex Crimes Prevention Act) - This section requires offenders to notify states (and states to notify local law enforcement) if registered sex offenders are enrolled or employed in a college/ university. The campus community shall be informed where such information can be obtained.

Sec. 1602. Teen Suicide Prevention Study - Authorizes such sums as are necessary. This section requires the Secretary of HHS to carry out a study to identify predictors of suicide among at-risk teens and the barriers that prevent them from receiving treatment.

Sec. 1603. Decade of Pain Control and Research - Declares decade beginning January 1, 2001 to the "decade of pain control and research"

October 11, 2000. For more information please contact Juley Fulcher at the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence at 202-745-1211 or ncadv.juley@sprynet.com

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