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Iowa Child Abuse Laws

Keeping our children safe is everyone's priority and it is up to all of to do our part to prevent child abuse. Iowa has strict statutes laws protecting children from physical, emotional, or sexual abuse. This is an introduction to child abuse laws in Iowa.

Child Abuse Statutes

Each state's child abuse laws may vary slightly, but have the same general intent and protections. Iowa's statutes criminalize any non-accidental physical or mental injury to a child. Iowa' Department of Human Services has resources that can help you report and learn more about child abuse. The chart below lists the details of Iowa's child abuse statutes.

Code Section

Iowa Code 232.67, et seq.: Child Abuse

What Constitutes Abuse

Any non-accidental physical injury or mental injury to child's intellectual or psychological capacity as evidenced by substantial and observable impairment in child's ability to function within normal range; commission of sexual offense; an illegal drug present in child's body; allowing prostitution; failure in care of child to provide food, shelter, or clothing necessary for child's health and welfare

Mandatory Reporting Required By

Any health practitioner, social workers, psychologist, school employee, day care center employees, substance abuse program employee, human services institution employee, peace officer, juvenile detention or shelter care employee, mental health professional, counselor, foster care facility operator or employee; any other person may make a report

Basis of Report of Abuse/neglect

Reasonably believes a child has suffered abuse

To Whom Reported

State Department of Human Services

Penalty for Failure to Report or False Reporting

Knowingly and willfully fails to report: simple misdemeanor and civilly liable for proximately caused damages; knowing false report: simple misdemeanor

Many of us may just don't know how prevalent child abuse is. There are over 3 million reports of child abuse in the United States each year, involving almost 6 million children. Every day four children are killed by child abuse or neglect. If you suspect someone is abusing or neglecting a child, there are state child abuse resources that can help. Additionally, FindLaw has information in its Where to Get Help for Child Abuse section.

Iowa Child Abuse Laws Related Resources:

The physical and emotional damage of child abuse and neglect can be terrible. If you think a child is being neglected or abused, it is best to report child abuse cases to the authorities as soon as possible. You can also find additional articles and resources in FindLaw's section on Child Abuse. You can also consult with an Iowa criminal defense attorney if you would like legal advice regarding a possible or existing child abuse issue.

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