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Child Abuse Laws in Iowa: These are Child Abuse Laws for the State of Iowa

In the U.S.A., the rate of child abuse is quite shocking, and according to a recent survey, more than 3 million cases of child abuses are reported every year. Child abuse can be in the form of physical, mental, emotional or sexual. In the U.S.A., every state, due to organization and maintenance of norm,  has their child abuse laws to protect children. You might be surprised to hear that the Department of Human Services (DHS) in Iowa in 2009, formally received 25,814 reports of child abuse.

When it comes to child abuse, all states in America generally follow the same rules. However, the degree of penalties varies as it depends upon state law.

One cannot get away with child abuse in Iowa as it is held as a heinous crime in the state. In Iowa, child abuse is defined as a non-accidental or intentional mental or physical injury by parents or caregivers. Actions by parents or caregivers such as physical neglect, sexual abuse, deprivation, strict methods of discipline, abandonment, or using children for sex is held as child abuse.

Mandated reporting of Child Abuse in Iowa

Iowa has mandated reporters which generally include teachers, social workers, police, lawyers and medical professionals who are required to report cases of child abuse. A charge of a misdemeanor will be charged upon mandated reporters if they fail to fulfill their duties adequately. If a person spots an incident of child abuse in Iowa,  he or she has to contact the State Department of Human Services or call the hotline number- 1-800-362-2178.

Iowa Child Abuse Laws

Child abuse laws in Iowa

The statutes for different forms of child abuse in Iowa are as follows:

Denial of critical care – in Iowa, essential denial of care is the same as child neglect. Unfortunately, it is a very common incident. In Iowa, physical neglect or denial of critical care occurs when the parent or caregiver:

  • Fails to provide clothing, food, and shelter
  • Does not offer adequate education, adequate medical or mental health
  • Fails to protect the child from any physical harm or a situation that might be risky for the child
  • Fails to offer general hygienic condition for the child to grow
  • Fails to initiate primary education for the cognitive progression of the child
  • Cause emotional harm to a child
  • Fails to successfully spot cases of physical or sexual abuse of the child

Child Physical Abuse Laws in Iowa

Physical abuse is another kind of child maltreatment, and it is defined as the intentional infliction of bodily injury by the child’s parents or caregivers on the child, and also includes conditions when they threaten the child to harm. Physical abuse includes actions which may cause internal skin bleeding, excruciating pain, bruising of skin, burns, fractures, disfigurement of body parts and impairment of organs.

Also, actions from caregivers or parents which involve kicking, biting, shaking, punching, choking, beating and stabbing also falls under physical abuse.

Iowa Child Abuse Law

Child Mental abuse in Iowa

Mental or psychological neglect or abuse is again widespread in Iowa. Mental injury or abuse may be defined as thwarting of intellectual capability, and it refers to a process where parents, caregivers or guardians inflict psychologically destructive or harmful pattern of behavior towards the child which may include despicable actions such as terrorizing, rejection, ignorance, isolation and so on.

Child Sexual abuse in Iowa

Sexual abuse in Iowa has different subcategories. In general, any act of forceful sex by a parent, caregiver, or any person of authority on the child is held as sexual abuse.

A child in need of assistance

in section 232.2, subsection 6, of Iowa Code, a child in need of assistance is defined as a child whose parent or caregiver has abandoned or deserted the child or a case when the child living in the parent’s or caregiver’s house is physically neglected or abused.


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