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Child Abuse Laws in New Jersey: These are Child Abuse laws for the State of New Jersey

The Federal Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act (CAPTA) defines child abuse as “Any recent act or failure to act on the part of a parent or caretaker which results in death, serious physical or emotional harm, sexual abuse or exploitation; or an act or failure to act which presents an imminent risk of serious harm to a child.”

New Jersey child abuse laws

Most State and Federal child protection laws do not include harm caused by acquaintances or strangers. They primarily refer to the closest family and friends, or other caregivers. The first step in helping an abused child is to recognize the signs of abuse and to get immediate help that the child needs. Department of Children and Families have formulated certain statutes regarding child abuse.

Abuse, cruelty, abandonment, and neglect of the child; what constitutes

The following constitutes as child abuse

  • permitting or employing a child to be employed in a hazardous environment
  • Disposing of the custody of the child contrary to law
  • Employing or permitting a child to be employed in occupations that involve alcohol
  • Use of profane, indecent or obscene language in the presence of a child
  • Performing any indecent, immoral or unlawful act or deed, in the presence of a child
  • Allowing or permitting any other person to perform any indecent, immoral or unlawful act in the presence of the child
  • using excessive physical restraint on the child
  • willfully isolating a child from ordinary social contact

Child abandonment refers to willfully forsaking a child, failing to protect and care for the child, and exposing the child to physical and moral risk.

New Jersey Child Abuse Laws

Cruelty to a child constitutes of - 

  • inflicting unnecessary and severe corporal punishment
  • intentionally inflicting unnecessary suffering or pain, either mental or physically
  • habitually tormenting the child
  • willfully permitting to inflict suffering or pain to the child
  • exposing the child to unnecessary hardship, fatigue, mental or physical strains 

Child neglect involves - 

  • willfully failing to provide sufficient and proper food, clothing, maintenance, and a proper home
  • willfully failing to provide regular school education as required by law
  • willfully failing to provide medical attendance or surgical treatment deemed necessary to the child
  • failure to do any act necessary for a child's physical or moral well-being

Abused child

Abused child refers to a child under the age of 18 whose parents, guardians, relatives, siblings, friends, or any person having his custody or control:

  • Intentionally inflicts or allows inflicting physical injury which creates a substantial risk. The risk may be of death, disfigurement, impairment of physical or emotional health; loss or impairment of the function of any bodily organ
  • Ignores the substantial or ongoing risk of physical injury over the child
  • Commits or allows to be committed an act of sexual abuse on the child
  • Intentionally neglecting the child's basic needs and inflicting cruel behavior towards the child
  • Willfully abandoning the child

When a person intentionally hurts the child, it is considered to be an abuse. A child who is neglected, abandoned or is shown cruelty, the New Hampshire law reports it as child abuse.

New Jersey Child Abuse Law

Reports of child abuse in New Jersey
If a person has a reasonable cause to believe that a child is a victim of abuse, it has to be reported immediately to the Department of Child and Families' Child Protection and Permanency. The report shall contain details of the child, family, custodian, nature, and extent of abuse, injuries, evidence of previous injuries or abuse. It also involves information about the possible perpetrator.

The person making the report; immunity from liability; action for relief from discharge or discrimination
Anyone who reports a child abuse case shall have immunity from any liability, civil or criminal that might otherwise be imposed. The same immunity is given to the person concerning the testimony given in judicial proceedings. A person who is discharged from employment or in any manner discriminated for reporting abuse may file a cause of action for appropriate relief. The cause of action has to be filed in the family part of the Chancery Division of the Superior Court.

Violation including failure to make the report; disorderly person
Any person intentionally violating the provisions of this act and failing to report an act of child abuse is deemed a disorderly person.

Abuse can occur within the family, in a community or an institutional setting such as a school or a daycare. The abuser may be someone the child knows or a stranger, an adult or another child. To protect the child from abuse, several laws are framed, and reporting abuse is the first and foremost step to be followed. As a human, we must stop abuse.

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