Child Abuse Laws in Wyoming: These are Child Abuse Laws for the State of Wyoming
Child abuse happens when usually a known person to the child like a parent, relative, caregiver abuses the child physically, mentally or sexually. This abuse can have deep psychological effects on the child. All over the world, Governments have made stringent laws to deal with child abuse, which is a major crime.
The following is the law in the State of Wyoming that deals with child abuse.
The Wyoming Law for child abuse
Wyoming has framed the child abuse statutes to deal with cases of child abuse. The Wyoming Department of Family Services is the authority that deals with child abuse. The Child Protective Services also is a key authority helping victims of child abuse.
A child is defined as one who is below the age of eighteen years.
Abuse is defined as physical or mental abuses done with or without knowledge of the parent. It also refers to the sexual abuse of exploitation. Sale of a child, Domestic violence against a child, injury due to corporal punishment.
Definition of child abuse
Child abuse or neglect is defined as an act or omissions of a person related to, staying with or responsible for the child’s care that leads to physical or psychological harm for a child.
For this definition, one who is under the age of eighteen are considered as a ‘child’.
Following would be considered as child abuse in Wyoming:
- When the child has evidence of injury or bleeding, burns, fracture, poisoning, hematoma, swelling of soft tissue, emotional distress, degradation or death; when any of the above has not happened accidentally.
- Sexual contact or conduct with a child including incest, molestation, fondling, prostitution, pornographic filming,
- Neglect of the child, i.e: not providing a child with food, shelter, clothing, physical care, health care, etc.
Reporting child abuse in Wyoming
Any instance of child abuse that comes to notice must be reported by a physician or health practitioner or pharmacist, school employee, law enforcement agency members, providers of child care. An oral report must first be given to the department or the police, followed by a detailed written report. Failure to report will be treated as a misdemeanor and can lead to imprisonment for 6 months and jail sentence and a fine of $500.
Any person can report an instance of child abuse coming to their notice.
Action after discovering child abuse
The Child Protective Services co-ordinate with the law enforcement agencies to provide due protection for the affected child. This can include placing the child at a child protection center or at a foster center.
In Wyoming, the Juvenile Justice Court handles all proceedings related to child abuse. Perpetrators of child abuse and neglect would be subject to criminal action under the provision of the state laws and penal code.
The Juvenile court may hand over custody of the child to a protective care center if it feels that the child is not safe at home. Depending on the conduct of the case, the juvenile court may even order the child to be sent to a foster home and placed under a guardian.
The proceedings of the Juvenile court are not open to the public and the judge conducts the proceeding only with the parties being present. A preliminary hearing is first conducted before the final hearing or the permanency hearing.
If for 15 out of the past 22 months, a child has not been in the custody of the parents, then a petition can be moved to terminate the parental rights. Based on the hearing, this petition can be granted and the permanent custody of the child can be handed over to a guardian.