Child Abuse Laws in Virginia: These are the Child Abuse Laws for the State of Virginia
In the U.S.A., every state has its laws to protect children from child abuse. 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. Child abuse can be described as when a parent or a caregiver causes injury, emotional harm or even death to a child.
Child abuse is held as a severe threat in the state of Virginia. In Virginia, if any parent, guardian, caregiver of a child fails to act in a way that results in a severe injury of the child that may include neglect, deprivation, sexual abuse, harmful disciplinary techniques, abandonment is known as 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. Virginia too has its designated share of mandated reporters who are assigned their duty and failure of fulfilling their duty is charged as a misdemeanor.
Child abuse laws in Virginia
There are five categories of abuse and neglect according to the Virginia Administrative Code. They are physical abuse, physical neglect, medical neglect, mental abuse or neglect, and sexual abuse.
Child physical Abuse
Physical abuse is defined as an infliction of bodily injury on a child by the child’s parents or caregivers, or when they threaten the child to do substantial harm. Types of physical injuries include bone fracture, asphyxiation, head injuries, burns, cuts, bruises or abrasions, spraining, internal injuries, poisoning, dislocation or disfigurement.
Child physical neglect
Taken as the most common form of child maltreatment, negligence 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
- Cause emotional damage to a child
- Abandonment of child
- Fails to provide adequate personal hygiene to the child
- Knowingly leaving the child to a registered sex offender
Failure to go by these laws result in severe consequences, and penalties depend on the level of harm committed.
Child medical Neglect
Medical neglect is defined by the failure of the parent or caregiver to obtain or diligently follow the complete process of medical, mental or dental care of a child which if untreated may result in sickness or severe health hazards.
Mental abuse or neglect
Psychological abuse 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. Mental abuse may result from dangerous actions from the parent or caregiver such as indifference, apathy, overprotection, verbal abuse, violent or hostile behavior or bizarre disciplinary actions.
Child sexual abuse
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 just a person who has authority. Types of sexual abuse include sexual exploitation, sexual molestation, intercourse, and sodomy or establishing sexual gratification or arousal.
Penalties for child abuse in Virginia
Child abuse in Virginia is punishable as Class 4 felony which is punishable from 2 to 10 years in prison with a fine not exceeding $100,000.