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Indiana Child Abuse Laws

Child abuse laws make it illegal to physically, emotionally, or sexually abuse minors. Under Indiana law certain third parties and professionals with access to children (such as teachers and pediatricians) are required to report any knowledge or suspicion of abuse to the authorities. The Family and Social Services Administration in Indiana coordinates statewide efforts to curb child abuse.

Child Abuse Statutes

Child abuse laws can vary from state to state. The following table touches on the basics of Indiana child abuse statutes.

Code Section

31-33-1-1, et seq., 31-33-22-3, 31-9-2-14. 31-34-1-2, 31-33-22-1

What Constitutes Abuse?

Mental or physical condition seriously impaired or endangered as a result of neglect or injury, sex offense, child is missing, child is allowed to participate in obscene performance.

Mandatory Reporting Required By

Health care provider; any member of medical or other private or public institution; school, facility, or agency, and any other individuals.

Basis of Report of Abuse/Neglect

Reason to believe child is victim of child abuse or neglect.

To Whom Reported

Division of Family and Children, child abuse hotline, or local law enforcement agency.

Penalty for Failure to Report or False Reporting

Intentionally and knowingly making a false report: Class A misdemeanor and liable to person accused for actual damages and possible punitive damages; second offense is Class D felony; knowingly failing to make a report: Class B misdemeanor.

Child abuse laws are intended to balance the protection of children from serious harm with a parent’s interest in raising and disciplining their children as they see fit. Child abuse is more common in the United States than most people realize: every year, there are more than 3 million reports of child abuse, involving almost 6 million children. Every day, four or five children are killed by child abuse or neglect. If you suspect someone of abusing a child, you can contact child abuse resources in your state. You can also visit FindLaw’s Where to Get Help for Child Abuse section for more information on how to protect children.

Indiana Child Abuse Laws: Related Resources

The physical, emotional, and psychological effects of child abuse can be devastating. Therefore, it's best to report possible child abuse cases to the authorities as soon as possible. If you would like to talk to a lawyer concerning a possible or existing child abuse case, you can contact an Indiana criminal defense attorney in your area to schedule a confidential consultation. You can also visit FindLaw’s child abuse section for more general information about this topic.

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