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Hawaii 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 Hawaii, professionals with access to children (such as teachers and pediatricians) are required to report suspected cases of child abuse. The Hawaii Department of Social Services investigates reports of child abuse (and neglect) in the state.

If you suspect that someone is abusing a child, report abuse or neglect by calling 1-808-832-5300 from Oahu; from a neighbor island call 1-800-494-3991.

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

Code Section 350-1, et seq.
What Constitutes Abuse Acts or omissions that have resulted in harm to child's physical or psychological health or welfare (or substantial risk of being harmed); specific injuries listed in 350-1
Mandatory Reporting Required By Any licensed, registered professional of the healing arts or any other health-related occupation; school employees; law enforcement employees; child care providers; medical examiners/coroners; employees of public or private social, medical or mental health services agency, recreational/sports employees
Basis of Report of Abuse/neglect Reason to believe that child abuse or neglect has occurred or may occur in reasonably foreseeable future
To Whom Reported Department of Human Services or police department
Penalty for Failure to Report or False Reporting Petty misdemeanor

Child abuse is broadly defined as when a parent or caretaker emotionally, physically, or sexually abuses, 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.

Again, if you suspect that someone is abusing a child, report it by calling 1-808-832-5300 from Oahu, or 1-800-494-3991 from a neighbor island. You can also contact visit FindLaw’s Where to Get Help for Child Abuse section for more information on what to do.

Hawaii 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 Hawaii criminal defense attorney in your area.

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