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Virginia Child Abuse Laws

Child abuse includes physical, emotional, or sexual abuse of minors (as well as neglect or exploitation) and is taken seriously by criminal courts. Adults with regular access to or communication with children who have reason to believe a child has been abused are required to report it to the authorities. Mandatory reporters in Virginia include teachers, police officers, and child care workers. The Virginia Department of Social Services CPS division investigates child abuse reports in the state and can be contacted at (800) 552-7096.

The following chart lists the main provisions of Virginia child abuse laws, including mandatory reporters and sentencing. See Child Abuse Overview to learn more.

Code Section 63.2-1501, et seq.; 63.2-100
What Constitutes Abuse To create, inflict or threaten to create or inflict or allow to be created or inflicted upon a child a physical or mental injury by other than accidental means or create a substantial risk of death or impairment; neglect; abandonment; sexual abuse/exploitation
Mandatory Reporting Required By Any person licensed to practice medicine or healing arts, nurses, social worker, probation officer, child care worker, school employee, teacher, Christian Science practitioner, mental health professional, law enforcement officer, mediator, any employee of facility which takes care of children, special advocate
Basis of Report of Abuse/neglect Have reason to suspect that a child is abused or neglected
To Whom Reported Department of Social Services toll-free child abuse or neglect hotline or to department of public welfare or social services in county where child resides
Penalty for Failure to Report or False Reporting Failure to report within 72 hours of first suspicion of child abuse: fine up to $500; subsequent failures: $100-$1,000 fine False report: Class 1 misdemeanor (first offense); Class 6 felony (subsequent offenses)

Note: State laws are constantly changing -- contact a Virginia criminal attorney or conduct your own legal research to verify the state law(s) you are researching.

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