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42 U.S. Code § 280g–4c - Expanding access to forensics for victims of interpersonal violence

(a) DefinitionsIn this section:
(1) Community health aide; community health practitioner

The terms “community health aide” and “community health practitioner” have the meanings given such terms for purposes of section 1616l of title 25.

(2) Health care provider

The term “health care provider” has the meaning given such term by the Secretary, and includes registered nurses, nurse practitioners, nurse midwives, clinical nurse specialists, physician assistants, and physicians.

(3) Indian tribe; Tribal organization

The terms “Indian Tribe” and “Tribal organization” shall have the meanings given such terms in section 5304 of title 25.

(4) Institution of higher education

The term “institution of higher education” has the meaning given such term in section 1001 of title 20.

(5) Interpersonal violence

The term “interpersonal violence” means any form of violence that is emotional and trauma-inducing for victims, families of victims, perpetrators, and communities.

(6) Native Hawaiian organization

The term “Native Hawaiian organization” has the meaning given such term in section 11711 of this title.

(7) Secretary

The term “Secretary” means the Secretary of Health and Human Services.

(8) Trauma-informed care

The term “trauma-informed care” means care received by trauma survivors that is culturally competent in accordance with professional standards of practice and accounting for patients’ experiences and preferences in order to eliminate or mitigate triggers that may cause re-traumatization of the patient.

(9) Urban Indian organization

The term “Urban Indian organization” has the meaning given such term in section 1603 of title 25.

(b) Demonstration grants for comprehensive forensic training
(1) Establishment of program

The Secretary shall establish a demonstration program to award grants to eligible entities for the clinical training of health care providers to provide generalist forensic services and trauma-informed care to survivors of interpersonal violence of all ages.

(2) Purpose

The purpose of the demonstration program under this subsection is to develop training and curriculum to provide health care providers with the skills to support the provision of forensic assessment and trauma-informed care to individuals, families, and communities that have experienced violence or trauma and to be available to collaborate with members of an inter-professional forensic team.

(3) Term

Grants under this subsection shall be for a term of 5 years.

(4) Eligible entitiesTo be eligible to receive a grant under this subsection, an entity shall—
be an institute of higher education, including a minority serving institution as described in section 1067q of title 20; and
submit to the Secretary an application at such time, in such manner, and containing such information as the Secretary may require.
(5) Grant amount

Each grant awarded under this subsection shall be in an amount that does not exceed $400,000 per year. A grant recipient may carry over funds from one fiscal year to the next without obtaining approval from the Secretary.

(6) Authorization of appropriations
(A) In general

There is authorized to be appropriated to carry out this subsection $5,000,000 for each of fiscal years 2023 through 2027.

(B) Set-aside

Of the amount appropriated under this paragraph for a fiscal year, the Secretary shall reserve 10 percent for purposes of making grants to support training and curricula that addresses the unique needs of Indian Tribes, Tribal organizations, Urban Indian organizations, and Native Hawaiian organizations. Amounts so reserved may be used to support training, referrals, and the delivery of emergency first aid, culturally competent support, and forensic evidence collection training.

(c) Technical assistance grants and learning collectives
(1) In general

The Secretary shall establish a State and Tribal forensic provider technical resource center to provide technical assistance and support collaboration and best practices for health care providers, community health aides, and community health practitioners to improve the quality of, and increase access to, forensic services for all survivors of interpersonal violence. The Secretary may enter into contracts with national experts for purposes of carrying out this subsection.

(2) Authorization of appropriations

There is authorized to be appropriated to carry out this subsection, $2,000,000 for each of fiscal years 2023 through 2027.

(d) National reportNot later than 1 year after March 15, 2022, and annually thereafter, the Office for Victims of Crime of the Department of Justice, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Health Resources and Services Administration, the Indian Health Service, the Office on Women’s Health of the Department of Health and Human Services, and the Office on Violence Against Women of the Department of Justice shall jointly submit to the Secretary a report on the need for, throughout the States, Indian Tribes, and territories—
access to generalist medical forensic services, evidence collection, and documentation that aids in meeting the needs of health care patients and improves future law enforcement investigation and prosecution; and
data for research to support the response to and prevention of interpersonal violence, improved ability of health care providers to adequately respond to patients who exhibit signs of victimization, and address the unique needs of Tribal communities.
Editorial Notes

Section was enacted as part of the Violence Against Women Act Reauthorization Act of 2022, and also as part of the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2022, and not as part of the Public Health Service Act which comprises this chapter.

Statutory Notes and Related Subsidiaries
Effective Date

Section not effective until Oct. 1 of the first fiscal year beginning after Mar. 15, 2022, see section 4(a) of div. W of Pub. L. 117–103, set out as a note under section 6851 of Title 15, Commerce and Trade.


For definition of “law enforcement” and “State” as used in this section, see section 12291 of Title 34, Crime Control and Law Enforcement, as made applicable by section 2(b) of div. W of Pub. L. 117–103, which is set out as a note under section 12291 of Title 34.