1- Child Abuse Virginia Code Ann. Section 18.2-371.1
The accused individual is reckoned guilty of child abuse under Virginia Law under the following conditions:
1- The individual responsible for the care of the child is a parent, guardian or someone responsible for taking care of the child who has, refused to provide appropriate care for the child’s health intentionally or due to other reasons such as an illness or bankruptcy.
2- The responsible individual allows or causes serious injury to the child.
Under Section 18.2-371.1(A), serious injury is inclusive of, but not limited to:
A- Maiming (Injuries that may have caused damage on permanent basis)
B- Broken or fractured bones
D- Forced ingestion of any substances, chemicals or objects that may be dangerous or harmful
E- Deep cuts that may prove fatal
F- Mutilation (Any injuries that may deprive the child of a limb or important body part)
G- Internal injuries that may prove to be fatal
Child abuse has been defined as a Class 4 felony. The individual who is guilty will face a felony conviction that will require him/her to spend two to ten years in jail and a fine up to $100,000.
If the actions of the parents are found to be blatantly deliberate and responsible reflecting a reckless disregard for humanity, the guardian or parent is guilty of child abuse or neglect as a Class 6 felony, Section 18.2-371.1.
The guilty personnel will face a felony conviction of one to five years in jail. It is although possible at the discretion of the court that the lessened penalty may be granted in which the individual has to spend up to twelve months in jail and/or pay a fine of $2500. Section 18.2-10.
2- Child Protection Services in Virginia
Child Protection Service in Virginia comprises investigating reports of suspected cases of children that may be suffering from physical abuse, sexual abuse, or neglect. Child Protective Services in Virginia use resources and services in order to prevent reoccurrences of future child abuse.
According to Virginia Law, Chapter 12.1, Section 631-248 requires the departments of the state related to social services to investigate all the cases of reported and suspected cases of child abuse and neglect. Child Protection services are a range of different casework services to exploited, neglected and abused families and children.
3- Conditions for Child Protection Services
The focus of this service is to identify asses and provide services in a dedicated effort to ensure the prevention of future maltreatment, preserve families, and protect children suffering from abuse.
When a case is reported, there are four main criteria call screeners that decide whether the case of the child will be forwarded to the Child Protection Services or not. The criteria points are:
1- The legal standards for neglect or abuse are met.
2- The abused should be under the age of 18 i.e. he/she should be a minor.
3- If the supposed offender was a parent, caretaker, or a guardian.
4- The incident should be on the premises of Virginia.
The ending criteria are crucially important and they can be subject to the interpretation of local agencies depending on jurisdiction. The definition of child abuse defined in The Code of Virginia 63.2-100 is as follows:
1- Placing the child in the care of a person who has a history as a sex offender.
2- Threatening of causing a non-accidental injury (physical or mental)
3- Any kind of sexual assault including indecent exposure, prostitution, or rape
4- Any injuries that may be caused by the sale of manufacturing of illegal drugs
5- Abandonment of the child
6- Refusal in providing sufficient shelter, food, or clothing