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Nebraska Child Abuse Laws

Child abuse is not limited to the act of physically striking a child and also includes neglect, exploitation, emotional, and sexual abuse. As defined by criminal codes, child abuse is an act (or the failure to act) resulting in serious harm to a child's health and welfare (or the risk thereof). The victim must be legally considered a child (under 18 in most states) and the offender must be a parent or someone with responsibility for the child's well being, such as a teacher or pediatrician. Additionally, state "mandatory reporter" laws require parents and caregivers to report any credible suspicions of child abuse to the proper authorities.

Overview of Child Abuse Laws in Nebraska

Nebraska's child abuse statute is similar to those in other states, but also explicitly includes the act of leaving a child under six in a vehicle unattended. Mandatory reporters include nurses and social workers but may include any other person who fits the criteria.

Additional details about child abuse laws in Nebraska, including a list of mandatory reporters, can be found in the following chart. See FindLaw's Child Abuse section to learn more.

Code Section 28-710-717
What Constitutes Abuse Knowingly, intentionally or negligently causing or permitting a child to be: placed in a situation endangering life or physical or mental health, cruelly confined or punished, deprived of necessaries, child under 6 years left unattended in vehicle, or sexually abused or exploited
Mandatory Reporting Required By Physician, medical institution, nurse, school employee, social worker, or other person
Basis of Report of Abuse/neglect Reasonable cause to believe that a child has been subjected to abuse or neglect or observes child being subjected to conditions and circumstances which would reasonably result in abuse or neglect
To Whom Reported Department of Health and Human Services or law enforcement agency (also a state-wide toll-free number)
Penalty for Failure to Report or False Reporting Class III misdemeanor (up to 3 months in jail and/or fine of up to $500)

Note: State laws are always subject to change through the enactment of newly signed legislation, decisions by higher courts, or other means. You may want to contact a Nebraska family law attorney or criminal defense attorney, or conduct your own legal research to verify the state law(s) you are researching.

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