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South Carolina Child Abuse Laws

Child abuse laws are designed to protect children from physical, emotional, or sexual abuse. To this end, child abuse statutes in South Carolina require certain third parties and professionals with access to children, like school employees and physicians, to report knowledge or suspicion of abuse to law enforcement. Here are the basics of child abuse laws in South Carolina.

Child Abuse Statutes

State child abuse laws may vary in what they prohibit and their reporting requirements. The chart below highlights some of South Carolina’s child abuse statutes.

Code Section

South Carolina Code of Laws 63-1-10, et seq.: Children’s Code

What Constitutes Abuse

Child whose death results from or whose physical or mental health or welfare is harmed or threatened with harm including physical or mental injuries sustained as a result of excessive corporal punishment, sexual abuse/exploitation, neglect or abandonment, encouraging delinquency

Mandatory Reporting Required By

Physician, nurse, dentist, coroner, EMT, mental health or allied health professional, clergy, Christian Science practitioner, religious healer, school teacher/counselor, social or public assistance worker, child care or day care center worker, police or law enforcement officer, undertaker, funeral home director/employee, judge, optometrist, film processor

Basis of Report of Abuse/neglect

Having reason to believe that a child's physical or mental health or welfare has been or may be adversely affected by abuse or neglect

To Whom Reported

County Department of Social Services or law enforcement agency in county where child resides or is found

Penalty for Failure to Report or False Reporting

Failure to report: misdemeanor, and fine up to $500 and/or jail up to 6 months; False report: subject to civil action for actual & punitive damages, costs and attorney's fees

Child abuse is in the United States is more prevalent than many people realize: every year there are more than 3 million reports of child abuse involving almost 6 million children. And every day four or five children are killed by child abuse or neglect. There are state child abuse resources available if you suspect a child is the victim of abuse or neglect and you can visit FindLaw’s Where to Get Help for Child Abuse section for additional information on reporting abuse.

South Carolina Child Abuse Laws Related Resources:

Child abuse is a serious crime and can have destructive physical and emotional effects. If you think a child is being neglected or abused, you should report child abuse cases to the authorities as soon as possible. For more articles and resources on this topic you can visit FindLaw’s Child Abuse section. If you would like legal assistance concerning a possible or existing child abuse matter, you can contact a South Carolina criminal defense attorney.

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