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New Jersey Child Abuse Laws

Note: If you or someone you know is the victim of child abuse, contact the New Jersey Child Abuse Hotline at 1-877-NJ-ABUSE (1-877-652-2873).

Child abuse is charged as a serious crime in all states, including New Jersey. The crime includes acts of exploitation, neglect, abandonment, willful isolation from social contact, and sexual abuse, in addition to physical abuse. Physical signs of child abuse may include everything from cigarette or rope burns to unexplained bruises on the face or other parts of the body (often forming clusters in certain areas). Behavioral indicators may include withdrawal or aggressiveness toward others.

New Jersey law requires anyone who has witnessed an act of child abuse (or has reason to believe it has occured) to contact the state's Division of Youth and Family Services. While many states provide a list of specific roles and professional titles (such as "teacher" or "physician"), New Jersey's law is written much more broadly. Regardless, mandatory reporters of child abuse typically include teachers, clergy members, doctors, dentists, social workers, youth group counselors, and other adults who have regular access to children. New Jersey's Department of Children and Families provides details about how to report an instance of child abuse.

Learn more about New Jersey child abuse laws below, incluyding mandatory reporting requirements and the official definition of the crime.

Code Section Children Juvenile and Domestic Relations Courts 9 § 6-1, et seq.
What Constitutes Abuse Physical injury by other than accidental means; causing substantial risk of death or serious disfigurement or protracted impairment of physical or emotional health; sexual abuse or acts of sexual abuse; willful abandonment; willful isolation of ordinary social contact to indicate emotional or social deprivation; inappropriate placement in institution; neglect by not supplying adequate care, necessaries or supervision
Mandatory Reporting Required By Any person
Basis of Report of Abuse/neglect Having reasonable cause to believe that a child has been subjected to child abuse or acts of child abuse
To Whom Reported Division of Youth and Family Services (they also maintain a 24-hour hotline) in Department of Human Services
Penalty for Failure to Report or False Reporting Knowing violation: disorderly person

Note: State laws are always subject to change through the passage of new legislation, rulings in the higher courts (including federal decisions), ballot initiatives, and other means. While we strive to provide the most current information available, please consult an attorney or conduct your own legal research to verify the state law(s) you are researching.

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New Jersey Child Abuse Laws: Related Resources

Facing Child Abuse Charges? Get Immediate Legal Help

If you are facing charges of child abuse, child neglect, or child abandonment, you will want a trusted legal professional on your side. These cases are very much dependent on the facts, so you will want a skilled attorney to help you state your case and defend yourself against these serious charges. Get started today by contacting an experienced New Jersey criminal defense attorney today.

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