Child Abuse Laws in Ohio: These are the Child Abuse laws for the State of Ohio
Child abuse refers to a massively underreported crime related to sexual, emotional, or physical abuse of minors. Child abuse is a crime related to abandoning or neglect of a kid that is included within the statute of child abuse at times. Irrespective of a single statute or multiple statutes covering different forms of child abuse, a majority of the states in America consider it as a major crime.
There are two different statutes in the state of Ohio that safeguard children from abuse, neglect, and abandonment. The state has defined a child as an individual below 18 years of age, as well as, a person who is handicapped physically or mentally and is below 21 years.
Child abuse laws in Ohio also regard certain professionals as mandatory reporters. The laws need them to report any child abuse incident that they suspect is real. Mandatory reporters can report incidents related to child neglect or abuse at the state’s Department of Job and Family Services, local police, or any local public agency for children services.
Ohio prohibited conducts
The state’s law prohibits an individual from failing to offer sufficient support to their child or abandon the latter. Also, a guardian or a parent is prohibited from triggering risk to the safety or health of their offspring by not providing adequate support, protection or care. Acts, which can lead to the risk of that nature comprises of administering harsh physical disciplinary measures, forcing or encouraging a kid to be a part of child pornography, or abusing the child.
The law enables any person to report in case they have adequate reasons to believe that a child is being neglected or abused. It is not compulsory to furnish evidence while reporting a child abuse case. Also, it is not the responsibility of that person to do an investigation. The decision of reporting a child abuse case to a child protective services agency will depend on the place of residence of the guardian or the parent. Additionally, the jurisdiction of law enforcement depends on the place where the alleged incident of child abuse took place. One should report a case of child neglect or child abuse even when somebody tells him/her that the incident has been already reported previously.
Ohio penalties and charges for child abuse
The circumstances will determine the punishment for violating the statutes. They can vary from a first-degree misdemeanor to a 2nd, 3rd, 4th, or 5th-degree felony.
Ohio – Obligations of mandatory reporters
It is everybody’s business to protect people who may be suffering from family violence. However, specific professionals are required by law to come forward and report family violence acts to relevant authorities in the state. The following information should be included while reporting an incident related to child abuse:
- Victim’s age
- Victim’s address and name (who you feel is being neglected or abused)
- Reason for suspecting that a child is being neglected or abused
- The suspected person’s name, one you believe is neglecting or abusing the victim along with his address, if available
- Address and name of the caregiver, guardian, or parent (s)
- Other details, which may be helpful in conducting the investigation
In case a mandated reporter fails to report an act of child neglect or abuse that comes into his/her notice, the act is regarded as a misdemeanor offense. When a licensed professional does not report such an act, it could jeopardize his/her license. In case a report has been made in good faith, the reporter is immune from criminal or civil liability when complaints made against them for providing incorrect information are unfounded.