Child Abuse Laws in Minnesota: These are Child Abuse Laws for the State of Minnesota
Findings of a recent survey have proven that more than 3 million cases of child abuses are reported every year in the U.S.A. child abuse can be in the form of physical, mental, emotional or sexual. In the U.S.A., every state has its laws to protect children from child abuse. Child abuse can be described as when a parent or a caregiver causes injury, emotional harm or even death to a child. Child abuse can be in different forms which include child neglect, maltreatment, physical abuse, emotional abuse, and sexual abuse.
Child abuse is held as a serious threat in the state of Minnesota. In Minnesota, child abuse is defined as an intentional mental or physical injury by parents or caregivers which may include neglect, deprivation, sexual abuse, harmful disciplinary techniques, abandonment, or using children for sex. Parents residing in this state are free to use corporal punishment to discipline their children, but t should not include potentially harmful methods such as using weapons, hitting the child with closed fists or kicking.
Mandated reporting on Minnesota child abuse
A mandated reporter is a person who has frequent access to children whose duty is to report credible cases of child abuse to the state. Every state has assigned mandated reporters who generally include teachers, social workers, police and medical professionals who are required to report cases of child abuse. Minnesota too has its assigned share of mandated reporters who are assigned their duty and failure of fulfilling their duty is charged as a misdemeanor.
Child abuse laws in Minnesota
There are laws for different forms of child abuse in Minnesota. They are as follows:
Neglect- taken as the most common form of child maltreatment, neglect occurs when the parent or caregiver:
- Fails to provide food, clothing, and shelter
- Fails to provide adequate education, medical or mental health
- Fails to protect the child from harm or a situation that might endanger the child
- Fails to initiate education as required by the state law
- Cause emotional harm to a child
- Fails to determine continual physical or sexual abuse of the child
Failure to go by these laws result in serious consequences, and penalties depend on the level of harm committed. Child neglect is punishable from 1 to 10 years in prison with a fine chargeable from $3000 to $20,000.
Physical abuse is defined as an infliction of physical injury on a child by the child’s parents or caregivers, or when they threaten the child to do substantial harm.
In Minnesota, there is no specific law against physical abuse and this offense is generally held as malicious punishment of a child, which is either classified as a gross misdemeanor or a felony. This depends on the extent of injury which is inflicted on the child. The offense is punishable by up to five years in prison and penalties can go up to $10,000.
Mental injury is defined when a parent or caregiver inflicts harm that can affect the mental health of a child to the extent that it can impair the normal mental functioning of the child. The offense of mental injury is also charged in Minnesota as malicious punishment of a child.
Sexual abuse is a case when the child is a victim of a criminal sexual act or is threatened in the act committed by a person who is responsible for the care of the child, a person who has a relationship with the child or simply a person who has authority.
The penalty for sexual abuse generally depends on the degree and kind of sex act in that is committed. However, child sexual abuse is a serious offense that is deemed as a felony and results in imprisonment.