Vawa II, Section 232, 233


(a) FINDINGS- Section 7(a) of the Parental Kidnapping Prevention Act of 1980 (94 Stat. 3568; 42 U.S.C. 1305 note) is amended--

(1) by striking `and' at the end of paragraph (3);

(2) by striking the period at the end of paragraph (4) and inserting a semicolon; and

(3) by inserting after paragraph (4) the following new paragraphs:

`(5) existing Federal and State laws are inadequate to protect parents from domestic violence and to protect children from sexual assault and may punish them when they seek to protect themselves; and

`(6) failures of State judicial and child protection systems may result in the inappropriate placement of children in the custody of abusive parents or punishment of nonabusing parents who attempt to protect themselves or their children.'.


Section 1073 of title 18, United States Code, is amended by striking `Whoever moves' and inserting `(a) Whoever moves' and by adding at the end the following:

`(b) For any charge of parental abduction, of custodial interference, or of felony criminal contempt of court related to an underlying child custody or visitation determination, that would otherwise provide a basis for prosecution under this section, it shall be a defense to such prosecution that the individual against whom this section is invoked--

`(1) acted pursuant to the provisions of a court order valid when and where issued--

`(A) which granted the defendant legal custody or visitation rights;

`(B) which was obtained in compliance with section 1738A of title 28;

`(C) which is not inconsistent with such section or with the Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction Enforcement Act as promulgated by the Uniform Law Commissioners; and

`(D) which was in effect at the time the defendant left the State;

`(2) was fleeing an incident or pattern of domestic violence or sexual assault of the child;

`(3) would otherwise have a defense under the terms of the International Parental Kidnapping Prevention Act (18 U.S.C. 1204).

`(c) The Attorney General shall issue guidance to assist the United States Attorneys and the Federal Bureau of Investigation in determining when to decline to initiate or to terminate an investigation or prosecution under subsection (b) due to the potential availability of any defense.'. (b) CONCLUSION- Section 7(b) of such Act is amended by inserting `to establish standards to prevent children from being returned to abusive parents,' after `with such disputes,'.

(c) PURPOSES- Section 7(c) of such Act is amended--

(1) by redesignating paragraphs (3) through (6) as paragraphs (5) through (8), respectively;

(2) by inserting after paragraph (2) the following:

`(3) promote cooperation between State and tribal courts to protect parents and children from an incident or pattern of domestic violence or sexual assault;

`(4) promote realistic and protective standards for interstate relocation when parents dispute custody, particularly in cases where there is domestic violence or sexual assault;';

(3) in paragraph (7) (as so redesignated), by inserting before the semicolon at the end the following: `, consistent with not endangering or inappropriately punishing parents who are victims of domestic violence or children who are victims of sexual assault'; and

(4) in paragraph (8) (as so redesignated), by inserting before the period at the end the following: `or to abuse the child or exert coercive control over the other parent, except when the removal is justifiable in an attempt to protect the parent or any child in the parent's care'