Child abuse laws criminalize physical, emotional, or sexual abuse of minors and also require certain third parties with knowledge of the abuse to report it to the authorities. In Wyoming, professionals with access to children (such as teachers and pediatricians) are required to report suspected cases of child abuse. Wyoming Child Protective Services, a division of the Department of Family Services, investigates reports of child abuse (and neglect) in the state.
The following table touches on the basics of Wyoming child abuse law.
||14-3-201, et seq.
|What Constitutes Abuse
||The inflicting or causing of physical or mental injury, harm or imminent danger to the physical or mental health or welfare of a child other than by accidental means including abandonment, excessive/unreasonable corporal punishment, malnutrition, intentional or unintentional neglect or the commission of a sexual offense
|Mandatory Reporting Required By
||Any person; member/staff of medical (public or private) institution, school, agency, or facility must also notify person in charge
|Basis of Report of Abuse/neglect
||Reasonable cause to believe or suspect that a child has been abused or neglected or who observes any child being subjected to conditions or circumstances which would reasonably result in abuse or neglect
|To Whom Reported
||Child protective agency or local law enforcement agency
|Penalty for Failure to Report or False Reporting
||Misdemeanor, fine up to $500 and/or up to 6 months in jail for disclosing confidential records of child abuse
Child abuse is broadly defined as when a parent or caretaker emotionally, physically, or sexually buses, neglects, or abandons of a child. Child abuse laws are intended to protect children from serious harm while still allowing parents to raise and discipline their children as they see fit. Cases of child abuse are more frequent in the United States than most people realize: every year there more than 3 million reports of child abuse made, involving almost 6 million children. Four or five children are killed by child abuse or neglect every day.
If you suspect that someone is abusing a child, you can contact child abuse resources in your state or visit FindLaw’s Where to Get Help for Child Abuse section for more information on what to do. Of course, if it is an emergency, diall 911 and contact law enforcement first.
Wyoming Child Abuse Laws Related Resources:
Physical, psychological, and emotional effects of child abuse can be extreme. You should always report possible child abuse cases to the authorities as soon as possible. For more introductory information about this topic, you can visit FindLaw’s child abuse section. If you would like to talk to a lawyer concerning an existing or possible case of child abuse, you can contact a Wyoming criminal defense attorney in your area.