42 U.S. Code § 280g–4 - Grants to strengthen the healthcare system’s response to domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, and stalking

(a) In general
The Secretary shall award grants for—
(1) the development or enhancement and implementation of interdisciplinary training for health professionals, public health staff, and allied health professionals;
(2) the development or enhancement and implementation of education programs for medical, nursing, dental, and other health profession students and residents to prevent and respond to domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, and stalking; and
(3) the development or enhancement and implementation of comprehensive statewide strategies to improve the response of clinics, public health facilities, hospitals, and other health settings (including behavioral and mental health programs) to domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, and stalking.
(b) Use of funds
(1) Required uses
Amounts provided under a grant under this section shall be used to—
(A) fund interdisciplinary training and education programs under paragraphs (1) and (2) of subsection (a) that—
(i) are designed to train medical, psychology, dental, social work, nursing, and other health profession students, interns, residents, fellows, or current health care providers to identify and provide health care services (including mental or behavioral health care services and referrals to appropriate community services) to individuals who are or who have been victims of domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, or stalking; and
(ii) plan and develop culturally competent clinical training components for integration into approved internship, residency, and fellowship training or continuing medical or other health education training that address physical, mental, and behavioral health issues, including protective factors, related to domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, stalking, and other forms of violence and abuse, focus on reducing health disparities and preventing violence and abuse, and include the primacy of victim safety and confidentiality;
(B) design and implement comprehensive strategies to improve the response of the health care system to domestic or sexual violence in clinical and public health settings, hospitals, clinics, and other health settings (including behavioral and mental health), under subsection (a)(3) through—
(i) the implementation, dissemination, and evaluation of policies and procedures to guide health professionals and public health staff in identifying and responding to domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, and stalking, including strategies to ensure that health information is maintained in a manner that protects the patient’s privacy and safety, and safely uses health information technology to improve documentation, identification, assessment, treatment, and follow-up care;
(ii) the development of on-site access to services to address the safety, medical, and mental health needs of patients by increasing the capacity of existing health care professionals and public health staff to address domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, and stalking, or by contracting with or hiring domestic or sexual assault advocates to provide such services or to model other services appropriate to the geographic and cultural needs of a site;
(iii) the development of measures and methods for the evaluation of the practice of identification, intervention, and documentation regarding victims of domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, and stalking, including the development and testing of quality improvement measurements, in accordance with the multi-stakeholder and quality measurement processes established under paragraphs (7) and (8) of section 1395aaa (b) of this title and section 1395aaa–1 of this title; and
(iv) the provision of training and follow-up technical assistance to health care professionals, and public health staff, and allied health professionals to identify, assess, treat, and refer clients who are victims of domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, or stalking, including using tools and training materials already developed.
(2) Permissible uses
(A) Child and elder abuse
To the extent consistent with the purpose of this section, a grantee may use amounts received under this section to address, as part of a comprehensive programmatic approach implemented under the grant, issues relating to child or elder abuse.
(B) Rural areas
Grants funded under paragraphs (1) and (2) of subsection (a) may be used to offer to rural areas community-based training opportunities, which may include the use of distance learning networks and other available technologies needed to reach isolated rural areas, for medical, nursing, and other health profession students and residents on domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, stalking, and, as appropriate, other forms of violence and abuse.
(C) Other uses
Grants funded under subsection (a)(3) may be used for—
(i) the development of training modules and policies that address the overlap of child abuse, domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, and stalking and elder abuse, as well as childhood exposure to domestic and sexual violence;
(ii) the development, expansion, and implementation of sexual assault forensic medical examination or sexual assault nurse examiner programs;
(iii) the inclusion of the health effects of lifetime exposure to violence and abuse as well as related protective factors and behavioral risk factors in health professional training schools including medical, dental, nursing, social work, and mental and behavioral health curricula, and allied health service training courses; or
(iv) the integration of knowledge of domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, and stalking into health care accreditation and professional licensing examinations, such as medical, dental, social work, and nursing boards, and where appropriate, other allied health exams.
(c) Requirements for grantees
(1) Confidentiality and safety
(A) In general
Grantees under this section shall ensure that all programs developed with grant funds address issues of confidentiality and patient safety and comply with applicable confidentiality and nondisclosure requirements under section 13925 (b)(2) of this title and the Family Violence Prevention and Services Act [42 U.S.C. 10401 et seq.], and that faculty and staff associated with delivering educational components are fully trained in procedures that will protect the immediate and ongoing security and confidentiality of the patients, patient records, and staff. Such grantees shall consult entities with demonstrated expertise in the confidentiality and safety needs of victims of domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, and stalking on the development and adequacy of confidentially and security procedures, and provide documentation of such consultation.
(B) Advance notice of information disclosure
Grantees under this section shall provide to patients advance notice about any circumstances under which information may be disclosed, such as mandatory reporting laws, and shall give patients the option to receive information and referrals without affirmatively disclosing abuse.
(2) Limitation on administrative expenses
A grantee shall use not more than 10 percent of the amounts received under a grant under this section for administrative expenses.
(3) Application
(A) Preference
In selecting grant recipients under this section, the Secretary shall give preference to applicants based on the strength of their evaluation strategies, with priority given to outcome based evaluations.
(B) Subsection (a)(1) and (2) grantees
Applications for grants under paragraphs (1) and (2) of subsection (a) shall include—
(i) documentation that the applicant represents a team of entities working collaboratively to strengthen the response of the health care system to domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, or stalking, and which includes at least one of each of—
(I) an accredited school of allopathic or osteopathic medicine, psychology, nursing, dentistry, social work, or other health field;
(II) a health care facility or system; or
(III) a government or nonprofit entity with a history of effective work in the fields of domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, or stalking; and
(ii) strategies for the dissemination and sharing of curricula and other educational materials developed under the grant, if any, with other interested health professions schools and national resource repositories for materials on domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, and stalking.
(C) Subsection (a)(3) grantees
An entity desiring a grant under subsection (a)(3) shall submit an application to the Secretary at such time, in such a manner, and containing such information and assurances as the Secretary may require, including—
(i) documentation that all training, education, screening, assessment, services, treatment, and any other approach to patient care will be informed by an understanding of violence and abuse victimization and trauma-specific approaches that will be integrated into prevention, intervention, and treatment activities;
(ii) strategies for the development and implementation of policies to prevent and address domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, and stalking over the lifespan in health care settings;
(iii) a plan for consulting with State and tribal domestic violence or sexual assault coalitions, national nonprofit victim advocacy organizations, State or tribal law enforcement task forces (where appropriate), and population specific organizations with demonstrated expertise in domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, or stalking;
(iv) with respect to an application for a grant under which the grantee will have contact with patients, a plan, developed in collaboration with local victim service providers, to respond appropriately to and make correct referrals for individuals who disclose that they are victims of domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, stalking, or other types of violence, and documentation provided by the grantee of an ongoing collaborative relationship with a local victim service provider; and
(v) with respect to an application for a grant proposing to fund a program described in subsection (b)(2)(C)(ii), a certification that any sexual assault forensic medical examination and sexual assault nurse examiner programs supported with such grant funds will adhere to the guidelines set forth by the Attorney General.
(d) Eligible entities
(1) In general
To be eligible to receive funding under paragraph (1) or (2) of subsection (a), an entity shall be—
(A) a nonprofit organization with a history of effective work in the field of training health professionals with an understanding of, and clinical skills pertinent to, domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, or stalking, and lifetime exposure to violence and abuse;
(B) an accredited school of allopathic or osteopathic medicine, psychology, nursing, dentistry, social work, or allied health;
(C) a health care provider membership or professional organization, or a health care system; or
(D) a State, tribal, territorial, or local entity.
(2) Subsection (a)(3) grantees
To be eligible to receive funding under subsection (a)(3), an entity shall be—
(A) a State department (or other division) of health, a State, tribal, or territorial domestic violence or sexual assault coalition or victim service provider, or any other nonprofit, nongovernmental organization with a history of effective work in the fields of domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, or stalking, and health care, including physical or mental health care; or
(B) a local victim service provider, a local department (or other division) of health, a local health clinic, hospital, or health system, or any other community-based organization with a history of effective work in the field of domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, or stalking and health care, including physical or mental health care.
(e) Technical assistance
(1) In general
Of the funds made available to carry out this section for any fiscal year, the Secretary may make grants or enter into contracts to provide technical assistance with respect to the planning, development, and operation of any program, activity or service carried out pursuant to this section. Not more than 8 percent of the funds appropriated under this section in each fiscal year may be used to fund technical assistance under this subsection.
(2) Availability of materials
The Secretary shall make publicly available materials developed by grantees under this section, including materials on training, best practices, and research and evaluation.
(3) Reporting
The Secretary shall publish a biennial report on—
(A) the distribution of funds under this section; and
(B) the programs and activities supported by such funds.
(f) Research and evaluation
(1) In general
Of the funds made available to carry out this section for any fiscal year, the Secretary may use not more than 20 percent to make a grant or enter into a contract for research and evaluation of—
(A) grants awarded under this section; and
(B) other training for health professionals and effective interventions in the health care setting that prevent domestic violence, dating violence, and sexual assault across the lifespan, prevent the health effects of such violence, and improve the safety and health of individuals who are currently being victimized.
(2) Research
Research authorized in paragraph (1) may include—
(A) research on the effects of domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, and childhood exposure to domestic, dating or sexual violence on health behaviors, health conditions, and health status of individuals, families, and populations, including underserved populations;
(B) research to determine effective health care interventions to respond to and prevent domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, and stalking;
(C) research on the impact of domestic, dating and sexual violence, childhood exposure to such violence, and stalking on the health care system, health care utilization, health care costs, and health status; and
(D) research on the impact of adverse childhood experiences on adult experience with domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, stalking, and adult health outcomes, including how to reduce or prevent the impact of adverse childhood experiences through the health care setting.
(g) Authorization of appropriations
There is authorized to be appropriated to carry out this section, $10,000,000 for each of fiscal years 2014 through 2018.
(h) Definitions
Except as otherwise provided herein, the definitions provided for in section 13925 of this title shall apply to this section.

Source

(July 1, 1944, ch. 373, title III, § 399P, formerly § 399O, as added Pub. L. 109–162, title V, § 504,Jan. 5, 2006, 119 Stat. 3026; renumbered § 399P,Pub. L. 109–450, § 4(1),Dec. 22, 2006, 120 Stat. 3342; amended Pub. L. 113–4, title V, § 501(a),Mar. 7, 2013, 127 Stat. 96.)
References in Text

The Family Violence Prevention and Services Act, referred to in subsec. (c)(1)(A), is title III of Pub. L. 98–457, Oct. 9, 1984, 98 Stat. 1757, which is classified generally to chapter 110 (§ 10401 et seq.) of this title. For complete classification of this Act to the Code, see Short Title note set out under section 10401 of this title and Tables.
Amendments

2013—Pub. L. 113–4amended section generally. Prior to amendment, section related to grants to foster public health responses to domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, and stalking.
Findings

Pub. L. 109–162, title V, § 501,Jan. 5, 2006, 119 Stat. 3023, provided that: “Congress makes the following findings:
“(1) The health-related costs of intimate partner violence in the United States exceed $5,800,000,000 annually.
“(2) Thirty-seven percent of all women who sought care in hospital emergency rooms for violence-related injuries were injured by a current or former spouse, boyfriend, or girlfriend.
“(3) In addition to injuries sustained during violent episodes, physical and psychological abuse is linked to a number of adverse physical and mental health effects. Women who have been abused are much more likely to suffer from chronic pain, diabetes, depression, unintended pregnancies, substance abuse and sexually transmitted infections, including HIV/AIDS.
“(4) Health plans spend an average of $1,775 more a year on abused women than on general enrollees.
“(5) Each year about 324,000 pregnant women in the United States are battered by the men in their lives. This battering leads to complications of pregnancy, including low weight gain, anemia, infections, and first and second trimester bleeding.
“(6) Pregnant and recently pregnant women are more likely to be victims of homicide than to die of any other pregnancy-related cause, and evidence exists that a significant proportion of all female homicide victims are killed by their intimate partners.
“(7) Children who witness domestic violence are more likely to exhibit behavioral and physical health problems including depression, anxiety, and violence towards peers. They are also more likely to attempt suicide, abuse drugs and alcohol, run away from home, engage in teenage prostitution, and commit sexual assault crimes.
“(8) Recent research suggests that women experiencing domestic violence significantly increase their safety-promoting behaviors over the short- and long-term when health care providers screen for, identify, and provide followup care and information to address the violence.
“(9) Currently, only about 10 percent of primary care physicians routinely screen for intimate partner abuse during new patient visits and 9 percent routinely screen for intimate partner abuse during periodic checkups.
“(10) Recent clinical studies have proven the effectiveness of a 2-minute screening for early detection of abuse of pregnant women. Additional longitudinal studies have tested a 10-minute intervention that was proven highly effective in increasing the safety of pregnant abused women. Comparable research does not yet exist to support the effectiveness of screening men.
“(11) Seventy to 81 percent of the patients studied reported that they would like their healthcare providers to ask them privately about intimate partner violence.”
Purpose

Pub. L. 109–162, title V, § 502,Jan. 5, 2006, 119 Stat. 3024, provided that: “It is the purpose of this title [enacting this section, sections 294h and 13973 of this title, and provisions set out as a note above] to improve the health care system’s response to domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, and stalking through the training and education of health care providers, developing comprehensive public health responses to violence against women and children, increasing the number of women properly screened, identified, and treated for lifetime exposure to violence, and expanding research on effective interventions in the health care setting.”

 

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