What is Child Abuse & Neglect


In Nevada, abuse or neglect of a child includes physical and/or mental non-accidental injury; sexual abuse or sexual exploitation; or negligent treatment or maltreatment of a child under age 18 caused or allowed by a person responsible for his/her welfare (NRS.432B.020)

  • PHYSICAL ABUSE includes non-accidental physical injuries to a child, such as a sprain or dislocation of an arm or leg; damage to cartilage tissues, such as a broken nose; fracture of a bone or the skull; injury to an internal organ; burns or scalding, cuts, lacerations, punctures, bites; bruising; permanent or temporary disfigurement; or a permanent or temporary loss or impairment or organ of the body.
  • EMOTIONAL ABUSE or “mental injury” means an injury to the intellectual or psychological capacity or the emotional condition of a child. This type of injury results in observable and substantial impairment of a child’s behavior. SEXUAL ABUSE Sexual abuse occurs when sex acts are forced on children.
  • SEXUAL EXPLOITATION occurs when children are forced, allowed, or encouraged to engage in prostitution, pornography or to engage in any other type of sexual activity such as posing for live sex shows.
  • STATUTORY SEXUAL SEDUCTION occurs when someone under the age of 16 engages in consensual sexual penetration with someone over the age of 18 years old.NEGLECT Neglect treatment or maltreatment of a child occurs if a child has been abandoned, is without proper care, control and supervision or lacks; food, education, shelter, medical care or other care necessary for the well being of the child. This includes leaving young children unsupervised or alone, locked in or out of the house.


Any person who has reasonable cause to believe child abuse may be occurring or has occurred may report to a Child Protective Services (CPS) or law enforcement agency. Under NRS 432B.121 (1) a person has “reasonable cause to believe” based on known facts or circumstances, events or conditions that would cause a reasonable person to believe that child abuse has occurred or may be occurring. This should be reported by the person as soon as reasonably possible to a CPS or law enforcement agency.


The Nevada Revised Statute, Chapter 432B.220, Protection of Children from Abuse and Neglect, requires any person who has reasonable cause to believe child abuse may be occurring or has occurred to make a report to a Child Protective Services (CPS) or law enforcement agency.


  • Emergency medical personnel
  • Physician
  • Dentist
  • Dental hygienist
  • Chiropractor
  • Optometrist
  • Podiatric physician
  • Medical examiner professional or practical nurse
  • Physician’s assistant
  • Psychiatrist psychologist
  • Marriage and family therapist
  • Clinical social worker
  • Musical therapist
  • Alcohol or drug abuse counselor
  • Other medical services licensed or certified in Nevada
  • Personnel of a licensed medical facility
  • Coroner
  • Clergyman
  • Social worker
  • Any person working in a school
  • Child care provider of private or public facility
  • Any person licensed to conduct a foster home
  • Officer or employee of a law enforcement agency or an adult or juvenile probation officer
  • Attorney under certain circumstances
  • Volunteer for an agency which advises persons regarding child abuse or neglect.

In addition, any person who delivers or provides medical services to a newborn infant and who, in his professional or occupational capacity, knows or has reasonable cause to believe that the newborn infant has been affected by prenatal illegal substance abuse or has withdrawal symptoms resulting from prenatal drug exposure is a mandated reporter.

A mandated reporter who knowingly and willfully fails to report child abuse or neglect is guilty of a misdemeanor for the first violation, and a gross misdemeanor for each subsequent violation.

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