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New Hampshire Child Abuse Laws

Note: If you or a loved one are the victim of child abuse or any kind of domestic violence, contact New Hampshire Child Protection Services at (800) 894-5533 (M-F, 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.) or your local police department.

State criminal codes define child abuse as an act (or failure to act) that results in serious harm to a child's health and welfare, or creates the risk for such harm. Child abuse includes physical, emotional, and sexual abuse, as well as exploitation, neglect, and abandonment. Anyone under the age of majority (18 in most states) is considered a child and protected by these statutes, while the offender is either a family member (such as a parent) or someone in close or regular proximity to children (such as a teacher). State "mandatory reporter" laws require parents and caregivers to report any credible suspicions of child abuse to the proper authorities.

New Hampshire Child Abuse Laws at a Glance

The state requires doctors, teachers, and others with similarly regular access to children to report any signs or knowledge of child abuse. Those who fail to report as mandated may be charged with a misdemeanor. See the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Child Maltreatment section for more information about child abuse, statistics, and how it's defined by most states.

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

Code Section 169-C:3, 169-C:29, et seq.
What Constitutes Abuse Sexual abuse, intentional physical injury, psychological injury such that child exhibits symptoms of emotional problems generally recognized to result from consistent mistreatment or neglect, or physical injury by other than nonaccidental means
Mandatory Reporting Required By Physician, surgeon, medical examiner, psychiatrist, optometrist, psychologist, therapist, nurse, dentist, chiropractor, hospital personnel, Christian Science practitioner, school teacher or official, social worker, day care worker, foster/child care worker, law enforcement official, priest, minister, rabbi, any other person
Basis of Report of Abuse/neglect Having reason to suspect that a child has been abused or neglected
To Whom Reported Department of Health and Human Services
Penalty for Failure to Report or False Reporting Knowing violation: misdemeanor

Note: State laws are always subject to change in a number of different ways, including the enactment of newly signed legislation and decisions from higher courts. You should contact a New Hampshire criminal defense attorney or family law attorney, or conduct your own legal research to verify the state law(s) you are researching.

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