Definitions of Child Abuse and Neglect Oklahoma

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Statute: Tit. 10, 7102(B); 7103(E); 7106(A)(3)


Harms or threatens to harm


Religious exemption

Corporal punishment

Categories of Maltreatment Defined in Statute

Physical abuse


Sexual abuse

Sexual exploitation

Emotional/mental injury


Categories of Maltreatment Not Defined in Statute


Okla. Stat. Ann. tit. 10, 7102(B) (West, WESTLAW through 2002 Reg. Sess.)

'Abuse' means harm or threatened harm to the child's health, safety or welfare by a person responsible for the child's health, safety or welfare including sexual abuse and sexual exploitation.

'Harm or threatened harm to a child's health or safety' includes, but is not limited to:

Nonaccidental physical or mental injury;

Sexual abuse;

Sexual exploitation;


Failure or omission to provide protection from
harm or threatened harm; or


'Neglect' means failure or omission to provide:

Adequate food, clothing, shelter, medical care,
and supervision;

Special care made necessary by the physical or
mental condition of the child; or


'Child' means any person under the age of 18 years except any person convicted of a crime specified in statute or any person who has been certified as an adult and convicted of a felony.

'Person responsible for a child's health, safety or welfare' includes a parent; a legal guardian; custodian; a foster parent; a person 18 years of age or older with whom the child's parent cohabitates or any other adult residing in the home of the child; an agent or employee of a public or private residential home, institution, facility or day treatment program; or an owner, operator, or employee of a child care facility.

'Sexual abuse' includes, but is not limited to, rape, incest and lewd or indecent acts or proposals, as defined by law, by a person responsible for the child's health, safety or welfare.

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

Allowing, permitting, or encouraging a child to
engage in prostitution, as defined by law, by a
person responsible for the child's health, safety
or welfare; or

Allowing, permitting, encouraging, or engaging in
the lewd, obscene, or pornographic photographing,
filming, or depicting of a child in those acts as
defined by the State law, by a person responsible
for the child's health, safety or welfare.


Okla. Stat. Ann. tit. 10, 7103(E) (West, WESTLAW through 2001 1st Ex. Sess.)

Nothing in this section shall be construed to
mean a child is abused or neglected for the sole
reason that the parent, legal guardian or person
having custody or control of a child, in good
faith, selects and depends upon spiritual means
alone through prayer, in accordance with the
tenets and practices of a recognized church or
religious denomination, for the treatment or cure
of disease or remedial care of such child.

Nothing in this subsection shall prevent a court
from immediately assuming custody of a child and
ordering whatever action may be necessary,
including medical treatment, to protect the
child's health or welfare.

Okla. Stat. Ann. tit. 10, 7106(A)(3) (West,
WESTLAW through 2000 1st Ex. Sess.)

If an investigation or assessment conducted by the Department of Human Services in response to any report of child abuse or neglect shows that the incident reported was the result of the reasonable exercise of parental discipline involving the use of ordinary force, including, but not limited to, spanking, switching or paddling, the investigation or assessment will proceed no further, and all records regarding the incident shall be expunged.
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