Child Abuse Laws in Kentucky: These are the child abuse laws for the State of Kentucky
Child abuse is the intentional or continuous mistreatment or neglect of a child’s physical, emotional or mental needs. The failure to support the child or provide them with necessities also falls under child abuse. There are various scenarios under which a minor can find themselves not being allowed to develop holistically. Dysfunctional families, substance abuse problems among family members and any range of other circumstances can see children having to face situations where they feel helpless.
Laws have been provisioned to provide these children with a chance to lead healthy, happy lives and grow into good citizens of the future.
What constitutes child abuse in the State of Kentucky?
Kentucky classifies child abuse into three different sections based on the intention of the abuser at the time the abuse was performed.
- First degree: Causing serious physical injury, confining, torturing or deliberately placing anyone under the age of 12 with the intention to harm constituted this group. Harming minors who are physically or mentally incapable of defending themselves, or holding the victim while another person performs the abuse all fall under this category in the classifications.
- Second degree: People who perform the actions listed under the first degree, but not to intentionally harm, yet choosing to ignore the possibility that the victim could get hurt fall under this category. These include people who know that hitting a child somewhere could cause harm but choose to ignore that thought and perform that action anyway.
- Third degree: Similar to the above scenarios, except in this situation the abuser has lost control of his faculties and did not fully comprehend the ramification of his actions.
Other than these, an individual found to assault or kidnap a child sexually can also be held under child abuse laws. Knowingly allowing or encourage a child to engage in pornography or obscene acts is also punishable under the law.
Emotional neglect and a failure to financially care for and support the child fall under dependency laws. Parents or legal guardians who are unable to care for their children, due to issues such as alcohol or drug addiction, financial instability and other factors may have their children taken away by the state to be placed in foster homes.
What are the penalties for child abuse in Kentucky?
The State of Kentucky charges:
- Abusers charged with First Degree or a Class C felony can spend between five to fifteen years in prison and have to pay between $1000 to 10,000 dollars.
- Abusers charged with Second Degree or a Class D felony can be imprisoned for one to five years and have to pay between $1000 to $10,000.
- Abusers charged with Third Degree face a Class A misdemeanor and can be imprisoned for up to twelve months and have to pay a fine of $500.
Mandatory Reporting of Child Abuse in Kentucky:
All residents living within the State of Kentucky can report child abuse should they suspect a minor is being harmed. The report can be made either verbally or in the written format at the local police department or the Department of Kentucky State Police. Reports can also go to the Cabinet for Health and Human Services, who can be reached at 1-877-597-2331. The county’s attorney or the attorney of the Commonwealth can also be approached.
Knowingly failing to report a case of child abuse constituted a Class B misdemeanor. If this is repeated, then it becomes a Class A misdemeanor and finally a Class D felony for every offense after that. Anyone who has reasons to believe that a child is being abused should immediately report to the authorities.