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Mandatory Reporters of Child Abuse and Neglect
Vermont Ann. Stat. Tit. 33, § 4913 sets forth a list of professionals who are required to report suspected child abuse and neglect (including sexual abuse) to authorities. The list includes medical and mental health care providers, child care workers, school employees, police officers, camp employees, and members of the clergy.
In addition, any other person who has reasonable cause to believe that a child has been abused or neglected may report.
Reports must be made within 24 hours.
Sexual Abuse and Exploitation
Vermont Ann. Stat. Tit. 33, § 4912 provides that ‘abused or neglected child’ means a child whose physical health, psychological growth and development, or welfare is harmed or is at substantial risk of harm by the acts or omissions of his or her parent or other person responsible for the child’s welfare.
‘Harm’ can occur by physical injury.
‘Physical injury’ means death, permanent or temporary disfigurement, or impairment of any bodily organ or function by other than accidental means.
The term ‘abused or neglected child’ includes a child who is sexually abused or at substantial risk of sexual abuse by any person.
‘Sexual abuse’ consists of an act or acts by any person that involves sexual molestation or exploitation of a child including, but not limited to, incest, prostitution, rape, sodomy, or any lewd and lascivious conduct involving a child.
The term ‘sexual abuse’ also includes aiding, abetting, counseling, hiring, or procuring a child to perform or participate in any photograph, motion picture, exhibition, show, representation, or other presentation that, in whole or in part, depicts sexual conduct, sexual excitement, or sadomasochistic abuse involving a child.