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Child Abuse Laws State-by-State

AlabamaStatute defines child abuse as harm or threatened harm of physical abuse, neglect, sexual abuse, sexual exploitation, or emotional/mental injury against a child under the age of 18. Statute contains an exemption for religious reasons for a parent's failure to obtain medical help for the child.
AlaskaStatute defines child abuse as harm or threatened harm of physical abuse, neglect, sexual abuse, sexual exploitation, or emotional/mental injury of a child under the age of 18. Statute contains an exemption for religious reasons for a parent's failure to obtain medical help for the child.
ArizonaStatute defines child abuse as inflicting or allowing physical abuse, neglect, sexual abuse, sexual exploitation, emotional/mental injury, or abandonment of a child under the age of 18. Statute contains an exemption for Christian Scientists or unavailability of reasonable resources for a parent's failure to obtain medical help for the child.
ArkansasStatute defines child abuse as intentionally, knowingly, or negligently without cause inflicting physical abuse, neglect, sexual abuse, sexual exploitation, abandonment or emotional/mental injury of a child under the age of 18. Statute contains exemptions for poverty or corporal punishment.
CaliforniaStatute defines child abuse as inflicting by non-accidental means physical abuse, neglect, sexual abuse, or sexual exploitation of a child under the age of 18. Statute contains exemptions for religion, reasonable force, and informed medical decision.
ColoradoStatute prohibits threats to a child's health and welfare due to physical abuse, neglect, sexual abuse, sexual exploitation, emotional/mental injury, or abandonment. Statute contains exemptions for corporal punishment, reasonable force, religious practices, and cultural practices.
ConnecticutStatute prohibits injuries inflicted by non-accidental means involving physical abuse, neglect, sexual abuse, sexual exploitation, emotional/mental injury, or abandonment. Statute contains exemption for Christian Scientists.
DelawareStatute prohibits injuries inflicted by non-accidental means involving physical abuse, neglect, sexual abuse, sexual exploitation, emotional/mental injury, or abandonment. Statute contains exemption for religion.
District Of ColumbiaStatute prohibits persons from inflicting and requires people to take reasonable care not to inflict injuries involving physical abuse, neglect, sexual abuse, sexual exploitation, or emotional/mental injury. Statute contains exemption for poverty and religion.
FloridaStatute prohibits willful or threatened act that harms or is likely to cause harm of physical abuse, neglect, sexual abuse, sexual exploitation, abandonment, or emotional/mental injury. Statute contains exemptions for religion, poverty, or corporal punishment.
GeorgiaStatute prohibits injuries inflicted by non-accidental means involving physical abuse, neglect, sexual abuse, or sexual exploitation. Statute contains exemption for religion and corporal punishment.
HawaiiStatute prohibits acts or omissions resulting in the child being harmed or subject to any reasonably foreseeable, substantial risk of being harmed with physical abuse, neglect, sexual abuse, sexual exploitation, or emotional/mental injury. Statute contains no exemptions.
IdahoStatute prohibits conduct or omission resulting in physical abuse, neglect, sexual abuse, sexual exploitation, abandonment, or emotional/mental injury. Statute contains exemption for religion.
IllinoisStatute prohibits persons from inflicting, causing to be inflicted, or allowing to be inflicted, or creating a substantial risk, or committing or allowing to be committed, physical abuse, neglect, sexual abuse, sexual exploitation, or emotional/mental injury. Statute contains exemptions for religion, school attendance, and plan of care.
IndianaStatute prohibits act or omission resulting in physical abuse, neglect, sexual abuse, sexual exploitation, abandonment, or emotional/mental injury. Statute contains exemptions for religion, prescription drugs, or corporal punishment.
KentuckyStatute prohibits harm or threat of harm, or infliction or allowance of infliction of physical abuse, neglect, sexual abuse, sexual exploitation, abandonment, or emotional/mental injury. Statute contains exemptions for religion.
MarylandStatute prohibits harm or substantial risk of harm resulting in physical abuse, neglect, sexual abuse, sexual exploitation, or emotional/mental injury. Statute contains no exemptions.
MichiganStatute prohibits harm or threatened harm of physical abuse, neglect, sexual abuse, sexual exploitation, or emotional/mental injury. Statute contains exemptions for religion.
MississippiStatute prohibits persons from causing or allowing to be caused physical abuse, neglect, sexual abuse, sexual exploitation, or emotional/mental injury. Statute contains exemption for religion and corporal punishment.
NebraskaStatute prohibits knowingly, intentionally, or negligently causing or permitting physical abuse, neglect, sexual abuse, sexual exploitation, or emotional/mental injury. Statute contains no exemptions.
New MexicoStatute prohibits knowingly, intentionally, or negligently causing or permitting physical abuse, neglect, sexual abuse, sexual exploitation, abandonment, or emotional/mental injury. Statute contains exemption for religion.
North DakotaStatute prohibits serious harm caused by non-accidental means resulting in physical abuse, neglect, sexual abuse, sexual exploitation, abandonment, or emotional/mental injury. Statute contains no exemptions.
OklahomaStatute prohibits harm or threat of harm resulting in physical abuse, neglect, sexual abuse, sexual exploitation, abandonment, or emotional/mental injury. Statute contains exemptions for religion or corporal punishment.
PennsylvaniaStatute prohibits recent act or failure to act resulting in physical abuse, neglect, sexual abuse, sexual exploitation, or emotional/mental injury. Statute contains exemptions for religion or poverty.
South DakotaStatute prohibits threat with substantial harm resulting in physical abuse, neglect, sexual abuse, sexual exploitation, abandonment, or emotional/mental injury. Statute contains no exemptions.
TennesseeStatute prohibits persons from committing or allowing to be committed physical abuse, neglect, sexual abuse, sexual exploitation, or emotional/mental injury. Statute contains no exemptions.
UtahStatute prohibits harm or threat of harm resulting in physical abuse, neglect, sexual abuse, sexual exploitation, or emotional/mental injury. Statute contains no exemptions.
WashingtonStatute prohibits harm of health, welfare, or safety resulting from physical abuse, neglect, sexual abuse, or sexual exploitation. Statute contains exemptions for Christian Scientists, corporal punishment, or physical disability.
WyomingStatute defines child abuse as inflicting or causing of physical or mental injury, harm or imminent danger to the physical or mental health or welfare of a child other than by accidental means including abandonment, excessive/unreasonable corporal punishment, malnutrition, intentional or unintentional neglect or the commission of a sexual offense.
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