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Nevada Child Abuse Laws

Child abuse laws prohibit the physical, emotional, or sexual abuse of children. In an effort to protect children from abuse, Nevada's child abuse statutes require certain third parties and professionals with access to children (such as physicians and school employees) to report suspicion or of knowledge abuse to the authorities. Nevada's Child Protective Services has statewide systems to protect the welfare of children.

CPS agencies respond to reports of abuse or neglect of children under the age of eighteen. Abuse or neglect complaints are defined by statute, and include:

  • Mental injury,
  • Physical injury,
  • Sexual abuse and exploitation,
  • Negligent treatment or maltreatment, and
  • Excessive corporal punishment. 

Referrals are also made to community-based services to assist families to prevent their entry into the child welfare system. Clark County Department of Family Services receives 50 percent of the referrals to CPS agencies, 32 percent are received by Washoe County Department of Social Services and the balance are received by DCFS agencies.

Child Abuse Statutes

Each state's child abuse laws may differ. The following table outlines Nevada's child abuse statutes.

Code Section 432B.010, et seq.
What Constitutes Abuse Physical or mental injury of a non-accidental nature; sexual abuse or exploitation; negligent treatment or maltreatment such that child's health or welfare is harmed, excessive corporal punishment (432B-150)
Mandatory Reporting Required By Physician, dentist, coroner, chiropractor, nurse, psychologist, psychiatrist, marriage/family therapist, drug/alcohol counselor, EMT, hospital administration and personnel, clergyman, religious healer, Christian Science practitioner, social worker, foster home employees, child care employees, law enforcement officer, probation officer, attorney, volunteer referral abuse service, school employees, persons who maintain youth shelters or foster homes, optometrist, athletic trainer
Basis of Report of Abuse/neglect Know or have reason to believe a child has been abused or neglected
To Whom Reported Law enforcement agency or local office of Division of Child and Family Services of the Department of Human Resources (they also provide a toll-free telephone number for reporting)
Penalty for Failure to Report or False Reporting Knowing or willful violation: misdemeanor

Many of us don't realize just how prevalent child abuse is in the United States. Every year there are more than 3 million reports of child abuse, involving almost 6 million children. And four or five children are killed by child abuse or neglect each day. You can visit FindLaw's Where to Get Help for Child Abuse section for additional information on reporting abuse. There are also state child abuse resources available if you suspect a child is the victim of abuse or neglect.

Nevada Child Abuse Laws Related Resources:

Child abuse can have devastating physical and emotional effects. If you think a child is being abused, you should report child abuse cases to the authorities as soon as possible. If you would like legal assistance concerning a possible or existing child abuse case, you can contact a Nevada criminal defense attorney. You can also visit FindLaw's Child Abuse section for more articles and information on this topic.

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