Duty to Report
Duty to report is the most important of all child abuse laws.
In Canada, if someone knows of or suspects that a child is being abused, that person has a legal obligation to report the known or suspected abuse. Failure to report can result in charges being laid, as well as a fine of up to $10,000.
When I inform students of the existence of this duty to report law, typically they bawk and cite how unfair that is.
Until we discuss actual child abuse cases, and what happens to children in abusive homes when no one intervenes.
The abuse continues, often gets worse, and can result in death.
Duty to report is in place among child abuse law in order to ensure that children do not suffer life-long abuse, and in order to ensure that abused children are protected. All of us must take responsibility when we suspect abuse is taking place, not only from a legal standpoint, but from moral and ethical obligations as well.
Before you say "it's none of my business", consider this:
The children of today will go on to be our teachers, politicians, and law-makers of tomorrow. These children will eventually hold our futures in their hands. We owe them--and ourselves--the best, appropriately disciplined childhood possible.
In the U.S.A., most states have a duty to report law that falls only on mandatory reporters such as teachers, health care professionals, daycare providers, and social workers. For state by state information, check out U.S. mandatory reporters
It should be noted that there are some states in the United States that have broad statutes requiring any person to report. I am aware of several organizations and private citizens in the U.S. trying to change federal child protection laws to make reporting child abuse EVERYONE'S duty.
|Child Abuse Law||Age of Majority||Duty to Report|
|Abuse Headlines||History of Abuse|
|Sexual Abuse Signs||Child Abuse Stats|
|Sexual Abuse Effects||Emotional Abuse|
|Sexual Abuse Stats||Emotional Abuse Types|
|Sexual Abuse Victims||Emotional Abuse Signs|
|Male Victims||Emotional Abuse Effects|
|Victims w/ Disability||Emotional Abuse Stats|
|Sexual Abuse Disclosures||Physical Abuse|
|Sex Offenders||Physical Abuse Signs|
|Male Sex Offenders||Abuse & Discipline|
|Female Sex Offenders||Physical Abuse Effects|
|Child Sex Offenders||Physical Abuse Stats|
|Adolescent Sex Offenders||Child Neglect|
|Incestuous Sex Offenders||Child Neglect Signs|
|Internet Sex Offenders||Child Neglect Effects|
|Child Abuse Law||Child Neglect Stats|
|Age of Majority||Poverty & Neglect|
|Abuse Intervention||Sexual Abuse|
|Abuse Prevention||Sexual Abuse Defined|
NOTE: Information pages on this site were based on material from the Canadian Red Cross RespectED Training Program. Written permission was obtained to use their copyrighted material on this site.