South Dakota Child Abuse Laws
In South Dakota, child abuse or neglect includes physical, emotional, or sexual abuse of minors (as well as exploitation) and is taken seriously by the South Dakota criminal justice system. Speficically, child abuse and neglect occurs when a child is mistreated, resulting in injury or risk of harm.
South Dakota Mandatory Reporting Requirements
Adults with regular access to or communication with children who have reason to believe a child has been abused are required to report it to the authorities. Mandatory reporters in South Dakota include teachers, police officers, and child care workers.
How to Report Child Abuse
If you suspect a child is being abused or neglected, or is at risk of abuse or neglect, you should make a report to your local Department of Social Services office. If after hours or on the weekend, contact your local law enforcement.
The following chart lists the main provisions of South Dakota child abuse laws, including mandatory reporters and sentencing. See Child Abuse Background and History to learn more.
|Code Section||26-8A-1, et seq.|
|What Constitutes Child Abuse||Child who is threatened with substantial harm; sustained emotional harm or mental injury (evidenced by observable and substantial impairment of child's ability to function); subject to sexual abuse/exploitation; who lacks proper parental care; whose environment is injurious to child's welfare; who is abandoned, or who has been prenatally subjected to illegal drug or alcohol abuse, or who is knowingly exposed to an environment used to manufacture methamphetamines.|
|Mandatory Reporting Requirement||
|Basis of Report of Abuse/Neglect||Know or have reasonable cause to suspect that a child is abused or neglected|
|Where to Report Suspected Abuse||State's attorney in county where child resides or is present, department of social services or to law enforcement officer|
|Penalty for Failure to Report or False Reporting||Class 1 misdemeanor|
|Definition of "Abused or Neglected" Child||
Note: State laws are constantly changing -- contact a South Dakota criminal attorney or conduct your own legal research to verify the state law(s) you are researching.
Research the Law:
- South Dakota Code
- Official State Codes - Links to the official online statutes (laws) in all 50 states and DC.
South Dakota Child Abuse Laws: Related Resources
You Don’t Have To Solve This on Your Own – Get a Lawyer’s Help
Meeting with a lawyer can help you understand your options and how to best protect your rights. Visit our attorney directory to find a lawyer near you who can help.
Next Steps: Search for a Local Attorney
Contact a qualified attorney.