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e-CFR data is current as of September 28, 2020

Title 28Chapter IPart 90 → Subpart A


Title 28: Judicial Administration
PART 90—VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN


Subpart A—General Provisions


Contents
§90.1   General.
§90.2   Definitions.
§90.3   Participation by faith-based organizations.
§90.4   Grant conditions.

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§90.1   General.

(a) This part implements certain provisions of the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA), and subsequent legislation as follows:

(1) The Violence Against Women Act (VAWA), Title IV of the Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act of 1994, Public Law 103-322 (Sept. 13, 1994);

(2) The Violence Against Women Act of 2000 (VAWA 2000), Division B of the Victims of Trafficking and Violence Protection Act of 2000, Public Law 106-386 (Oct. 28, 2000);

(3) The Violence Against Women Office Act, Title IV of the 21st Century Department of Justice Appropriations Authorization Act, Public Law 107-273 (Nov. 2, 2002);

(4) The Violence Against Women and Department of Justice Reauthorization Act of 2005 (VAWA 2005), Public Law 109-162 (January 5, 2006); and,

(5) The Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act of 2013 (VAWA 2013), Public Law 113-4 (Mar. 7, 2013).

(b) Subpart B of this part defines program eligibility criteria and sets forth requirements for application for and administration of formula grants to States to combat violent crimes against women. This program is codified at 42 U.S.C. 3796gg through 3796gg-5 and 3796gg-8.

(c) Subpart C of this part was removed on September 9, 2013.

(d) Subpart D of this part defines program eligibility criteria and sets forth requirements for the discretionary Grants to Encourage Arrest Policies and Enforcement of Protection Orders Program.

(e) Subpart A of this part applies to all grants made by OVW and subgrants made under the STOP Violence Against Women Formula Program (STOP Program) and the Sexual Assault Services Formula Grant Program after the effective date of this rule. Subpart B of this part applies to all STOP Program grants issued by OVW after the effective date of the rule and to all subgrants issued by states under the STOP Program after the effective date of the rule, even if the underlying grant was issued by OVW prior to the effective date of the rule.

[81 FR 85891, Nov. 29, 2016]

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§90.2   Definitions.

(a) In addition to the definitions in this section, the definitions in 42 U.S.C. 13925(a) apply to all grants awarded by the Office on Violence Against Women and all subgrants made under such awards.

(b) The term “community-based program” has the meaning given the term “community-based organization” in 42 U.S.C. 13925(a).

(c) The term “forensic medical examination” means an examination provided to a victim of sexual assault by medical personnel to gather evidence of a sexual assault in a manner suitable for use in a court of law.

(1) The examination should include at a minimum:

(i) Gathering information from the patient for the forensic medical history;

(ii) Head-to-toe examination of the patient;

(iii) Documentation of biological and physical findings; and

(iv) Collection of evidence from the patient.

(2) Any costs associated with the items listed in paragraph (c)(1) of this section, such as equipment or supplies, are considered part of the “forensic medical examination.”

(3) The inclusion of additional procedures (e.g., testing for sexually transmitted diseases) may be determined by the State, Indian tribal government, or unit of local government in accordance with its current laws, policies, and practices.

(d) The term “prevention” includes both primary and secondary prevention efforts. “Primary prevention” means strategies, programming, and activities to stop both first-time perpetration and first-time victimization. Primary prevention is stopping domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, and stalking before they occur. “Secondary prevention” is identifying risk factors or problems that may lead to future domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, or stalking and taking the necessary actions to eliminate the risk factors and the potential problem. “Prevention” is distinguished from “outreach,” which has the goal of informing victims and potential victims about available services.

(e) The term “prosecution” means any public agency charged with direct responsibility for prosecuting criminal offenders, including such agency's component bureaus (such as governmental victim services programs). Public agencies that provide prosecution support services, such as overseeing or participating in Statewide or multi-jurisdictional domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, or stalking task forces, conducting training for State, tribal, or local prosecutors or enforcing victim compensation and domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, or stalking-related restraining orders also fall within the meaning of “prosecution” for purposes of this definition.

(f) The term “public agency” has the meaning provided in 42 U.S.C. 3791.

(g) For the purpose of this part, a “unit of local government” is any city, county, township, town, borough, parish, village, or other general purpose political subdivision of a State. The following are not considered units of local government for purposes of this part:

(1) Police departments;

(2) Pre-trial service agencies;

(3) District or city attorneys' offices;

(4) Sheriffs' departments;

(5) Probation and parole departments;

(6) Shelters;

(7) Nonprofit, nongovernmental victim service agencies including faith-based or community-based organizations; and

(8) Universities.

(h) The term “victim services division or component of an organization, agency, or government” refers to a division within a larger organization, agency, or government, where the division has as its primary purpose to assist or advocate for domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, or stalking victims and has a documented history of work concerning such victims.

[81 FR 85891, Nov. 29, 2016]

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§90.3   Participation by faith-based organizations.

The funds provided under this part shall be administered in compliance with the standards set forth in part 38 (Equal Treatment for Faith-based Organizations) of this chapter.

[Order No. 2703-2004, 69 FR 2841, Jan. 21, 2004]

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§90.4   Grant conditions.

(a) Applicability. In addition to the grant conditions in paragraphs (b) and (c) of this section, the grant conditions in 42 U.S.C. 13925(b) apply to all grants awarded by the Office on Violence Against Women and all subgrants made under such awards.

(b) Nondisclosure of confidential or private information—(1) In general. In order to ensure the safety of adult, youth, and child victims of domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, or stalking and their families, grantees and subgrantees under this part shall protect the confidentiality and privacy of persons receiving services.

(2) Nondisclosure. (i) Subject to paragraph (b)(3) of this section, grantees and subgrantees shall not disclose any personally identifying information or individual information collected in connection with services requested, utilized, or denied through grantees' and subgrantees' programs, regardless of whether the information has been encoded, encrypted, hashed, or otherwise protected.

(ii) This paragraph applies whether the information is being requested for a Department of Justice grant program or another Federal agency, State, tribal, or territorial grant program. This paragraph also limits disclosures by subgrantees to grantees, including disclosures to Statewide or regional databases.

(iii) This paragraph also applies to disclosures from the victim services divisions or components of an organization, agency, or government to other non-victim service divisions within an organization, agency, or government. It also applies to disclosures from victim services divisions or components of an organization, agency, or government to the leadership of the organization, agency, or government (e.g., executive director or chief executive). Such executives shall have access without releases only in extraordinary and rare circumstances. Such circumstances do not include routine monitoring and supervision.

(3) Release. (i) Personally identifying information or individual information that is collected as described in paragraph (b)(2) of this section may not be released except under the following circumstances:

(A) The victim signs a release as provided in paragraph (b)(3)(ii) of this section;

(B) Release is compelled by statutory mandate, which includes mandatory child abuse reporting laws; or

(C) Release is compelled by court mandate, which includes a legal mandate created by case law, such as a common-law duty to warn.

(ii) Victim releases must meet the following criteria—

(A) Releases must be written, informed, and reasonably time-limited. Grantees and subgrantees may not use a blanket release and must specify the scope and limited circumstances of any disclosure. At a minimum, grantees and subgrantees must: Discuss with the victim why the information might be shared, who would have access to the information, and what information could be shared under the release; reach agreement with the victim about what information would be shared and with whom; and record the agreement about the scope of the release. A release must specify the duration for which information may be shared. The reasonableness of this time period will depend on the specific situation.

(B) Grantees and subgrantees may not require consent to release of information as a condition of service.

(C) Releases must be signed by the victim unless the victim is a minor who lacks the capacity to consent to release or is a legally incapacitated person and has a court-appointed guardian. Except as provided in paragraph (b)(3)(ii)(D) of this section, in the case of an unemancipated minor, the release must be signed by the minor and a parent or guardian; in the case of a legally incapacitated person, it must be signed by a legally-appointed guardian. Consent may not be given by the abuser of the minor or incapacitated person or the abuser of the other parent of the minor. If a minor is incapable of knowingly consenting, the parent or guardian may provide consent. If a parent or guardian consents for a minor, the grantee or subgrantee should attempt to notify the minor as appropriate.

(D) If the minor or person with a legally appointed guardian is permitted by law to receive services without the parent's or guardian's consent, the minor or person with a guardian may consent to release information without additional consent.

(iii) If the release is compelled by statutory or court mandate, grantees and subgrantees must make reasonable efforts to notify victims affected by the disclosure and take steps necessary to protect the privacy and safety of the affected persons.

(4) Fatality reviews. Grantees and subgrantees may share personally identifying information or individual information that is collected as described in paragraph (b)(2) of this section about deceased victims being sought for a fatality review to the extent permitted by their jurisdiction's law and only if the following conditions are met:

(i) The underlying objectives of the fatality review are to prevent future deaths, enhance victim safety, and increase offender accountability;

(ii) The fatality review includes policies and protocols to protect identifying information, including identifying information about the victim's children, from further release outside the fatality review team;

(iii) The grantee or subgrantee makes a reasonable effort to get a release from the victim's personal representative (if one has been appointed) and from any surviving minor children or the guardian of such children (but not if the guardian is the abuser of the deceased parent), if the children are not capable of knowingly consenting; and

(iv) The information released is limited to that which is necessary for the purposes of the fatality review.

(5) Inadvertent release. Grantees and subgrantees are responsible for taking reasonable efforts to prevent inadvertent releases of personally identifying information or individual information that is collected as described in paragraph (b)(2) of this section.

(6) Confidentiality assessment and assurances. Grantees and subgrantees are required to document their compliance with the requirements of this paragraph. All applicants for Office on Violence Against Women funding are required to submit a signed acknowledgement form, indicating that they have notice that, if awarded funds, they will be required to comply with the provisions of this paragraph, will mandate that subgrantees, if any, comply with this provision, and will create and maintain documentation of compliance, such as policies and procedures for release of victim information, and will mandate that subgrantees, if any, will do so as well.

(c) Victim eligibility for services. Victim eligibility for direct services is not dependent on the victim's immigration status.

(d) Reports. An entity receiving a grant under this part shall submit to the Office on Violence Against Women reports detailing the activities undertaken with the grant funds. These reports must comply with the requirements set forth in 2 CFR 200.328 and provide any additional information that the Office on Violence Against Women requires.

[81 FR 85891, Nov. 29, 2016]

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