Whose Failure to Protect?

It should be easy to protect women and children from abuse.

In each state, there is a code with which someone can be charged that involves failing to protect a child. This means that Parent A “knew or reasonably should have known” that Parent B or a Third-Party is harming the child through any number of ways (physically, sexually, even emotionally). So if the County or State learns that Parent B or a Third-Party is harming the child, and Parent A “knew or reasonably should have known” about the harm, the County or State can remove the child from Parent A’s custody and charge them with a crime.

This is a scary prospect, but seems reasonable. Parents should protect their children. Shouldn’t they? So what happens then, when Parent A leaves Parent B due to domestic violence, sexual abuse, exposure to domestic violence, etc. and takes the child in an effort to protect them as supported by the law?

The family court system calls you a “restrictive gatekeeper” and maybe even a participant in the bogus claim of “parental alienation” if the child reacts negatively towards their abusive Parent B. You are labeled “high-conflict” and “emotional” and “angry about the end of the relationship.” You are then forced to either: 1. back off your concerns about the abuse you experienced in your home or 2. be ordered to have supervised visitation with the child you were attempting to protect, lest you (continue to) brainwash them while their abusive Parent B holds sole custody.

So. Whose “failure to protect” is that? (I’ll give you a hint: it is not Parent A.)

Alabama

Ala. Code § 13A-13-6 | Endangering the welfare of a child.

Alaska

Alaska Stat. § 11.51.100 | Endangering the welfare of a child in first degree.

Arizona

Ariz. Rev. Stat. § 13-3623 | Child abuse

Arkansas

Ark. Code Ann. § 5-27-221 | Permitting abuse of a minor child.

California

Cal. Penal Code § 273a | 

Colorado

Colo. Rev. Stat. § 18-6-401 | Child abuse

Connecticut

Conn. Gen. Stat. § 53-21 | Injury or risk of injury to, or impairing morals of, children.

Delaware

Del. Code § 1102 | Endangering the welfare of a child.

Florida

Fla. Stat. § 827.03 / Neglect of a child.

Georgia

Code Ann. § 16-12-1 | Contributing to the deprivation of a minor.

Hawaii

Hawaii Rev. Stat. § 709-903.5 | Endangering the welfare of a minor in the first degree.

Idaho

Idaho Code Ann. §18-1501 | Injury to children.

Illinois

720 Ill. Comp. Stat. 5/12C-5 | Endangering the life or health of a child.

Indiana

Ind. Code § 35-46-1-4 | Neglect of a dependent.

Iowa

Iowa Code § 726.6 | Child endangerment.

Kansas

Kan. Stat. Ann. § 21-5601 | Endangering a child; aggravated endangering a child.

Kentucky

Ky. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 508.100 | Criminal abuse in the first degree.

Louisiana

La. Rev. Stat. § 14:93; La. | Cruelty to juveniles.

Maine

Me. Rev. Stat. tit. 17-A, § 554 | Endangering the welfare of a child.

Maryland

Md. Code, Com. Law § 3- 602.1 | Neglect.

Massachusetts

Mass. Gen. Laws ch. 265, § 13J | Assault and battery upon a child.

Michigan

TBD

Minnesota

Minn. Stat. § 609.378 | Neglect or endangerment of a child.

Mississippi

Miss. Code Ann. § 97-5-39 | Neglect of a child.

Missouri

Mo. Rev. Stat. § 568.045 | Endangering the welfare of a child in the first degree.

Montana

Mont. Code Ann. § 45-5-622 | Endangering the welfare of children.

Nebraska

Neb. Rev. Stat. § 28-707 | Child abuse.

Nevada

Nev. Rev. Stat. § 200.508 | Abuse, neglect or endangerment of a child.

New Hampshire

N.H. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 639:3 | Endangering welfare of child or incompetent.

New Jersey

TBD

New Mexico

N.M. Stat. § 30-6-1 | Abandonment or abuse of a child.

New York

N.Y. Penal Code § 260.10 | Endangering the welfare of a child.

North Carolina

N.C. Gen. Stat. § 14-318.4 | Child abuse a felony.

North Dakota

N.D. Cent. Code § 14-09-22 | Abuse or neglect of a child.

Ohio

Ohio Rev. Code § 2903.15 | Permitting child abuse.

Oklahoma

Okla. Stat. tit. 21 § 852.1 | Child endangerment by permitting child abuse.

Oregon

Or. Rev. Stat. § 163.200 | Criminal mistreatment in the second degree.

Pennsylvania

13 Pa. Cons. Stat. § 4304 | Endangering welfare of children.

Rhode Island

R.I. Gen. Laws § 11-9-5 | Cruelty to or neglect of a child.

South Carolina

S.C. Code Ann. § 16-3-95 | Infliction or allowing infliction of great bodily injury upon a child.

South Dakota

S.D. Codified Laws § 26-10- 30 | Permitting physical or sexual abuse of child as felony.

Tennessee

Tenn. Code Ann. § 39-15-401 | Child abuse and child neglect or endangerment.

Texas

Texas Penal Code § 22.04 | Injury to a child.

Utah

Utah Code § 76-5-109 | Child abuse — Child abandonment.

Vermont

Vt. Stat. Ann. § 1304 | Cruelty to children under 10 by one over 16.

Virginia

Va. Code Ann. § 18.2-371.1 | Abuse and neglect of Children.

Washington

Wash. Rev. Code § 9A.42.020 | Criminal mistreatment in the first degree.

West Virginia

W. Va. Code § 61-8D | Child abuse.

Wisconsin

Wis. Stat. § 948.03 | Physical abuse of a child.

Wyoming

Wyo. Stat. § 6-4-403 | Abandoning or endangering children.

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