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Definitions of Child Abuse and Neglect Georgia

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Statute: 19-7-5(b)


Inflicted by non-accidental means


Religious exemption

Corporal punishment

Categories of Maltreatment Defined in Statute

Physical abuse


Sexual abuse

Sexual exploitation

Categories of Maltreatment Not Defined in Statute

Emotional/mental injury



Ga. Code Ann. 19-7-5(b) (WESTLAW through 2001)

'Abused' means subjected to child abuse.

'Child' means any person under 18 years of age.

'Child abuse' means:

Physical injury or death inflicted upon a child by a parent or caretaker thereof by other than accidental means; provided, however, physical forms of discipline may be used as long as there is no physical injury to the child;

Neglect or exploitation of a child by a parent or caretaker thereof;

Sexual abuse of a child; or

Sexual exploitation of a child.

'Sexual abuse' means a persons employing, using, persuading, inducing, enticing, or coercing any minor who is not that persons spouse to engage in any act which involves:

Sexual intercourse, including genital-genital, oral-genital, anal-genital, or oral-anal, whether between persons of the same or opposite sex;



Lewd exhibition of the genitals or pubic area of any person;

Flagellation or torture by or upon a person who is nude;

Condition of being fettered, bound, or otherwise physically restrained on the part of a person who is nude;

Physical contact in an act of apparent sexual stimulation or gratification with any person's clothed or unclothed genitals, pubic area, or buttocks or with a female's clothed or unclothed breasts;

Defecation or urination for the purpose of sexual stimulation; or

Penetration of the vagina or rectum by any object
except when done as part of a recognized medical procedure.

'Sexual exploitation' means conduct by a child's parent or caretaker who allows, permits, encourages, or requires that child to engage in:

Prostitution, as defined in 16-6-9; or
Sexually explicit conduct for the purpose of producing any visual or print medium depicting such conduct, as defined in 16-12-100.


Ga. Code Ann. 19-7-5(b)(3), (3.1) (WESTLAW through 2001)

Physical forms of discipline may be used as long as there is no physical injury to the child.

No child who in good faith is being treated solely by spiritual means through prayer in accordance with the tenets and practices of a recognized church or religious denomination by a duly accredited practitioner thereof shall, for that reason alone, be considered to be an 'abused' child.

'Sexual abuse' shall not include consensual sex acts involving persons of the opposite sex when the sex acts are between minors or between a minor and an adult who is not more than five years older than the minor. This provision shall not be deemed or construed to repeal any law concerning the age or capacity to consent.
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