Utah Child Abuse Laws

Criminal statutes are in place to keep people safe. Utah’s child abuse laws are designed to protect children from harm by prohibiting the physical, emotional, and sexual abuse of children. These child abuse statutes assist in prosecuting child abusers and mandate certain third parties and professionals with access to children to report knowledge or suspicion of child abuse to the authorities. Utah’s Department of Child and Family Services also provides resources statewide to protect the welfare of children.

Child Abuse Statutes

State child abuse laws may differ in their prohibitions and reporting requirements, depending on your jurisdiction. The table below lists Utah’s child abuse statutes.

Code Section

Utah Code 62A-4a-401, et seq.: Child Abuse and Neglect Prevention and Treatment

What Constitutes Abuse

Causing harm or threatened harm to a child's health or welfare through neglect or abuse including nonaccidental physical or mental injury, incest, sexual abuse/exploitation, molestation, or repeated negligent treatment

Mandatory Reporting Required By

Physicians, nurses, other licensed health care professionals, other officials and institutions, any person (except priest/clergy unless person making confession consents)

Basis of Report of Abuse/neglect

Reason to believe that a child has been subjected to abuse or observe a child being subjected to conditions or circumstances which would reasonably result in abuse

To Whom Reported

Nearest peace officer, law enforcement agency, or office of the division

Penalty for Failure to Report or False Reporting

Class B misdemeanor (must be commenced within 4 years from date of knowledge of offense)

All of us want to make sure children are safe from harm, but many of us may not realize just how prevalent child abuse is in the United States. There are over 3 million reports of child abuse each year, involving almost 6 million children, and between four and five children are killed by child abuse or neglect every day. If you suspect a child is being abused or neglected, there are state child abuse resources available that can help. And FindLaw has additional information on Where to Get Help for Child Abuse.

Related Resources for Utah Child Abuse Laws

Child abuse and neglect can have awful and lasting physical and emotional effects, and you should report child abuse cases to the authorities as soon as possible. If you would like legal assistance regarding a possible or existing child abuse matter, you can consult with a Utah criminal defense attorney. You can also find additional articles and information by visiting FindLaw’s section on Child Abuse.