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Colorado Child Abuse Laws

Child abuse laws prohibit the physical, emotional, or sexual abuse of children. In its efforts to protect children from abuse, Colorado's child abuse statutes require certain third parties and professionals with access to children (such as physicians and school employees) to report suspicion or of knowledge abuse to the authorities. Colorado's Department of Human Services has statewide systems to protect the welfare of children.

Child Abuse Statutes

Each state's child abuse laws may differ. The following table outlines Colorado's child abuse statutes.

Code Section

COL. REV. STAT. §19-3-301, et seq.: Child Abuse or Neglect

COL. REV. STAT. §19-1-102, et seq.: Neglected or Dependent Child

What Constitutes Abuse

Act or omission where child subject to sexual assault, molestation, exploitation, emotional abuse or prostitution; where child is in need of food, clothing, shelter, medical care or supervision because parent or guardian fails to do so; where child exhibits evidence of skin bruising, bleeding, malnutrition, burns, fractures, etc.; or circumstances indicate a condition that may not be the product of an accidental occurrence

Mandatory Reporting Required By

Physicians, child health associate, dentist, chiropractor, nurse, hospital personnel, school employee, social worker, mental health professional, veterinarian, peace officer, pharmacist, psychologist, fireman, victim's advocate, commercial film and photographic print processor, clergyman

Basis of Report of Abuse/neglect

Reasonable cause to know or suspect that a child is subject to circumstances or conditions which would reasonably result in abuse or neglect

To Whom Reported

Country or district department of social services or local law enforcement agency

Penalty for Failure to Report or False Reporting

Willful violation: Class 3 misdemeanor plus liability for proximately caused damages

Many of us don't realize just how prevalent child abuse is in the United States. Every year there are more than 3 million reports of child abuse, involving almost 6 million children. And four or five children are killed by child abuse or neglect each day. You can visit FindLaw's Where to Get Help for Child Abuse section for additional information on reporting abuse. There are also state child abuse resources available if you suspect a child is the victim of abuse or neglect.

Colorado Child Abuse Laws Related Resources:

Child abuse can have devastating physical and emotional effects. If you think a child is being abused, you should report child abuse cases to the authorities as soon as possible. If you would like legal assistance concerning a possible or existing child abuse case, you can contact a Colorado criminal defense attorney. You can also visit FindLaw's Child Abuse section for more articles and information on this topic.

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