Definitions of Child Abuse and Neglect New Mexico

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Statute: § 32A-4-2

Standard


Knowingly,

Intentionally, or

Negligently

Exemption

Religious exemption

Categories of Maltreatment Defined in Statute

Physical abuse

Neglect

Sexual abuse

Sexual exploitation

Emotional/mental injury

Abandonment

Categories of Maltreatment Not Defined in Statute

DEFINITIONS

N.M. Stat. Ann. § 32A-4-2 (Michie, WESTLAW through 1999 1st Reg. Sess. & Spec. Sess.)

'Abandonment' includes instances when the parent, without justifiable cause:

Left the child without provision for the child's identification for a period of 14 days; or

Left the child with others, including the other parent or an agency, without provision for support and without communication for a period of 3 months if the child was under 6 years of age at the commencement of the 3-month period; or 6 months if the child was over 6 years of age at the commencement of the 6-month period.

'Abused child' means a child:

Who has suffered or is at risk of suffering serious harm because of the action or inaction of the child's parent, guardian or custodian;
Who has suffered physical abuse, emotional abuse, or psychological abuse inflicted or caused by the child¿s parent, guardian, or custodian;
Who has suffered sexual abuse or sexual exploitation inflicted by the child's parent, guardian, or custodian;

Whose parent, guardian, or custodian has knowingly, intentionally, or negligently placed the child in a situation that may endanger the child¿s life or health; or

Whose parent, guardian, or custodian has knowingly or intentionally tortured, cruelly confined, or cruelly punished the child.

'Great bodily harm' means an injury to a person that creates a high probability of death, that causes serious disfigurement or that results in permanent or protracted loss or impairment of the function of any member or organ of the body.

'Neglected child' means a child:

Who has been abandoned by the child's parent, guardian, or custodian;

Who is without proper parental care and control or subsistence, education, medical, or other care or control necessary for the child's well-being because of the faults or habits of the child's parent, guardian, or custodian or the failure or refusal of the parent, guardian, or custodian, when able to do so, to provide them;

Who has been physically or sexually abused, when the child's parent, guardian, or custodian knew or should have known of the abuse and failed to take reasonable steps to protect the child from further harm;

Whose parent, guardian, or custodian is unable to discharge his responsibilities to and for the child because of incarceration, hospitalization, or other physical or mental disorder or incapacity; or

Who has been placed for care or adoption in violation of the law.

'Physical abuse' includes, but is not limited to, any case in which the child exhibits evidence of skin bruising, bleeding, malnutrition, failure to thrive, burns, fracture of any bone, subdural hematoma, soft tissue swelling or death and:

There is not a justifiable explanation for the condition or death;

The explanation given for the condition is at variance with the degree or nature of the condition;

The explanation given for the death is at variance with nature of the death; or

Circumstances indicate that the condition or death may not be the product of an accidental occurrence.

'Sexual abuse' includes, but is not limited to, criminal sexual contact, incest or criminal sexual penetration, as those acts are defined by State law.

'Sexual exploitation' includes, but is not limited to:

Allowing, permitting, or encouraging a child to engage in prostitution;

Allowing, permitting, encouraging, or engaging a child in obscene or pornographic photographing; or
Filming or depicting a child for obscene or pornographic commercial purposes, as those acts are defined by State law.

EXCEPTIONS

N.M. Stat. Ann. § 32A-4-2(E)(5) (Michie, WESTLAW through 1999 1st Reg. Sess. & Spec. Sess.)

Nothing in the Children's Code shall be construed to imply that a child who is being provided with treatment by spiritual means alone through prayer, in accordance with the tenets and practices of a recognized church or religious denomination, by a duly accredited practitioner thereof, is for that reason alone a neglected child. No child shall be denied the protection afforded to all children under the Children's Code.
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