State Laws


ALABAMA: Statute defines child abuse as harm or threatened harm of physical abuse, neglect, sexual abuse, sexual exploitation, or emotional/mental injury against a child under the age of 18. Statute contains an exemption for religious reasons for a parent’s failure to obtain medical help for the child.

ALASKA: Statute defines child abuse as harm or threatened harm of physical abuse, neglect, sexual abuse, sexual exploitation, or emotional/mental injury of a child under the age of 18. Statute contains an exemption for religious reasons for a parent’s failure to obtain medical help for the child.

ARIZONA: Statute defines child abuse as inflicting or allowing physical abuse, neglect, sexual abuse, sexual exploitation, emotional/mental injury, or abandonment of a child under the age of 18. Statute contains an exemption for Christian Scientists or unavailability of reasonable resources for a parent’s failure to obtain medical help for the child.

ARKANSAS: Statute defines child abuse as intentionally, knowingly, or negligently without cause inflicting physical abuse, neglect, sexual abuse, sexual exploitation, abandonment or emotional/mental injury of a child under the age of 18. Statute contains exemptions for poverty or corporal punishment.

CALIFORNIA: Statute defines child abuse as inflicting by non-accidental means physical abuse, neglect, sexual abuse, or sexual exploitation of a child under the age of 18. Statute contains exemptions for religion, reasonable force, and informed medical decision.

COLORADO: Statute prohibits threats to a child’s health and welfare due to physical abuse, neglect, sexual abuse, sexual exploitation, emotional/mental injury, or abandonment. Statute contains exemptions for corporal punishment, reasonable force, religious practices, and cultural practices.

CONNECTICUT: Statute prohibits injuries inflicted by non-accidental means involving physical abuse, neglect, sexual abuse, sexual exploitation, emotional/mental injury, or abandonment. Statute contains exemption for Christian Scientists.

DELAWARE: Statute prohibits injuries inflicted by non-accidental means involving physical abuse, neglect, sexual abuse, sexual exploitation, emotional/mental injury, or abandonment. Statute contains exemption for religion.

DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA: Statute prohibits persons from inflicting and requires people to take reasonable care not to inflict injuries involving physical abuse, neglect, sexual abuse, sexual exploitation, or emotional/mental injury. Statute contains exemption for poverty and religion.

FLORIDA: Statute prohibits willful or threatened act that harms or is likely to cause harm of physical abuse, neglect, sexual abuse, sexual exploitation, abandonment, or emotional/mental injury. Statute contains exemptions for religion, poverty, or corporal punishment.

GEORGIA: Statute prohibits injuries inflicted by non-accidental means involving physical abuse, neglect, sexual abuse, or sexual exploitation. Statute contains exemption for religion and corporal punishment.

HAWAII: Statute prohibits acts or omissions resulting in the child being harmed or subject to any reasonably foreseeable, substantial risk of being harmed with physical abuse, neglect, sexual abuse, sexual exploitation, or emotional/mental injury. Statute contains no exemptions.

IDAHO: Statute prohibits conduct or omission resulting in physical abuse, neglect, sexual abuse, sexual exploitation, abandonment, or emotional/mental injury. Statute contains exemption for religion.

ILLINOIS: Statute prohibits persons from inflicting, causing to be inflicted, or allowing to be inflicted, or creating a substantial risk, or committing or allowing to be committed, physical abuse, neglect, sexual abuse, sexual exploitation, or emotional/mental injury. Statute contains exemptions for religion, school attendance, and plan of care.

INDIANA: Statute prohibits act or omission resulting in physical abuse, neglect, sexual abuse, sexual exploitation, abandonment, or emotional/mental injury. Statute contains exemptions for religion, prescription drugs, or corporal punishment.

KENTUCKY: Statute prohibits harm or threat of harm, or infliction or allowance of infliction of physical abuse, neglect, sexual abuse, sexual exploitation, abandonment, or emotional/mental injury. Statute contains exemptions for religion.

MARYLAND: Statute prohibits harm or substantial risk of harm resulting in physical abuse, neglect, sexual abuse, sexual exploitation, or emotional/mental injury. Statute contains no exemptions.

MICHIGAN: Statute prohibits harm or threatened harm of physical abuse, neglect, sexual abuse, sexual exploitation, or emotional/mental injury. Statute contains exemptions for religion.

MISSISSIPPI: Statute prohibits persons from causing or allowing to be caused physical abuse, neglect, sexual abuse, sexual exploitation, or emotional/mental injury. Statute contains exemption for religion and corporal punishment.

NEBRASKA: Statute prohibits knowingly, intentionally, or negligently causing or permitting physical abuse, neglect, sexual abuse, sexual exploitation, or emotional/mental injury. Statute contains no exemptions.

NEW MEXICO: Statute prohibits knowingly, intentionally, or negligently causing or permitting physical abuse, neglect, sexual abuse, sexual exploitation, abandonment, or emotional/mental injury. Statute contains exemption for religion.

NORTH DAKOTA: Statute prohibits serious harm caused by non-accidental means resulting in physical abuse, neglect, sexual abuse, sexual exploitation, abandonment, or emotional/mental injury. Statute contains no exemptions.

OKLAHOMA: Statute prohibits harm or threat of harm resulting in physical abuse, neglect, sexual abuse, sexual exploitation, abandonment, or emotional/mental injury. Statute contains exemptions for religion or corporal punishment.

PENNSYLVANIA: Statute prohibits recent act or failure to act resulting in physical abuse, neglect, sexual abuse, sexual exploitation, or emotional/mental injury. Statute contains exemptions for religion or poverty.

SOUTH DAKOTA: Statute prohibits threat with substantial harm resulting in physical abuse, neglect, sexual abuse, sexual exploitation, abandonment, or emotional/mental injury. Statute contains no exemptions.

TENNESSEE: Statute prohibits persons from committing or allowing to be committed physical abuse, neglect, sexual abuse, sexual exploitation, or emotional/mental injury. Statute contains no exemptions.

UTAH: Statute prohibits harm or threat of harm resulting in physical abuse, neglect, sexual abuse, sexual exploitation, or emotional/mental injury. Statute contains no exemptions.

WASHINGTON: Statute prohibits harm of health, welfare, or safety resulting from physical abuse, neglect, sexual abuse, or sexual exploitation. Statute contains exemptions for Christian Scientists, corporal punishment, or physical disability.