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Idaho Child Abuse Laws

We are all concerned with the safety of children. Idaho’s child abuse laws protect children from harm by prohibiting the physical, emotional, and sexual abuse of children, assisting in prosecuting child abusers, and requiring certain third parties and professionals with access to children to report knowledge or suspicion of child abuse to the authorities. Idaho’s Department of Health and Welfare also provides programs and services statewide to protect the welfare of children. Here are the basics of child abuse laws in Idaho.

Child Abuse Statutes

While most statutes are similar, state child abuse laws may differ in their prohibitions, penalties, and reporting requirements. The chart below highlights Idaho’s child abuse statutes.

Code Section

Idaho Statutes 16-1601, et seq.: Child Protective Act

What Constitutes Abuse

Conduct resulting in skin bruising, bleeding, fractures, soft tissue injury, unexplained death, rape, molestation, prostitution, incest, pornographic filming, and other sexual exploitation

Mandatory Reporting Required By

Physician, nurse, resident, intern, coroner, school teacher, day care personnel, social worker, or other person

Basis of Report of Abuse/neglect

Reason to believe that a child has been abused, neglected or abandoned, or subject to conditions or circumstances which would reasonably result in abuse, abandonment, or neglect

To Whom Reported

Department of Health and Welfare

Penalty for Failure to Report or False Reporting

Misdemeanor; if reported in bad faith, person guilty of a misdemeanor and liable for actual damages or statutory damages of $500, whichever is greater, plus attorney's fees; if acting with malice or oppression, court can award treble actual damages or treble statutory damages, whichever is greater

While we all want to keep children safe, many of us might not realize just how common child abuse is in the United States. Authorities investigate over 3 million reports of child abuse each year, involving almost 6 million children. And every day between four and five children are killed by child abuse or neglect. So if you suspect a child is being abused or neglected, you should report child abuse cases to the authorities immediately. FindLaw has information on state child abuse resources and Where to Get Help for Child Abuse.

More Resources for Child Abuse Laws in Idaho

Child abuse and neglect can have lasting physical and emotional effects. FindLaw’s section on Child Abuse can provide you with further articles and information on this topic. If you would like legal assistance with a child abuse matter, you can consult with an experienced Idaho criminal defense attorney in your area.

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