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Delaware Child Abuse Laws

Child abuse laws criminalize physical, emotional, or sexual abuse of minors and also require certain third parties with knowledge of the abuse to report it to the authorities. In Delaware, medical professionals (dentists, doctors, psychologists) and other professionals with access to children (such as teachers and social workers) are required to report suspected cases of child abuse. The Delaware Division of Family Services investigates reports of child abuse (and neglect) in the state.

The following table touches on the basics of Delaware child abuse law.

Code Section 16§901, et seq.
What Constitutes Abuse Physical injury through unjustified force, emotional abuse, criminally negligent treatment, sexual abuse, mal- or mistreatment, exploitation, abandonment, or torture
Mandatory Reporting Required By Persons in healing arts (medicine, dentistry, psychologist), social worker, school employee, medical examiner, or any other person
Basis of Report of Abuse/neglect Knows or reasonably suspects child abuse or neglect
To Whom Reported Division of Family Services
Penalty for Failure to Report or False Reporting Fined up to $1000 and/or jailed up to 15 days

Child abuse is broadly defined as when a parent or caretaker emotionally, physically, or sexually buses, neglects, or abandons of a child. Child abuse laws are intended to protect children from serious harm while still allowing parents to raise and discipline their children as they see fit. Cases of child abuse are more frequent in the United States than most people realize: every year there more than 3 million reports of child abuse made, involving almost 6 million children. Four or five children are killed by child abuse or neglect every day. If you suspect that someone is abusing a child, you can contact child abuse resources in your state or visit FindLaw’s Where to Get Help for Child Abuse section for more information on what to do.

Delaware Child Abuse Laws Related Resources:

Physical, psychological, and emotional effects of child abuse can be extreme. You should always report possible child abuse cases to the authorities as soon as possible. For more introductory information about this topic, you can visit FindLaw’s child abuse section. If you would like to talk to a lawyer concerning an existing or possible case of child abuse, you can contact a Delaware criminal defense attorney in your area.

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