Alabama's Definition of Child Abuse and Neglect

Physical Abuse, Citation: Ala. Code § 26-14-1(1)-(3);
'Abuse' means harm or threatened harm to the health or welfare of a child through:

  • Nonaccidental physical injury
  • Sexual abuse or attempted sexual abuse
  • Sexual exploitation or attempted sexual exploitation

Neglect, Citation: Ala. Code § 26-14-1(1)-(3);
'Neglect' means negligent treatment or maltreatment of a child, including the failure to provide adequate food, clothing, shelter, medical treatment, or supervision.

Sexual Abuse/Exploitation, Citation: Ala. Code § 26-14-1(1)-(3);
'Sexual abuse' includes:

  • The employment, use, persuasion, inducement, enticement, or coercion of a child to engage in, or to have a child assist any other person to engage in sexually explicit conduct
  • Any simulation of the conduct for the purpose of producing a visual depiction of the conduct
  • The rape, molestation, prostitution, or other form of sexual exploitation of children
  • Incest with children

'Sexual exploitation' includes:

  • Allowing, permitting, or encouraging a child to engage in prostitution
  • Allowing, permitting, encouraging, or engaging in obscene or pornographic photographing, filming, or depicting a child for commercial purposes

Emotional Abuse, Citation: Ala. Code § 26-14-1(1)-(3);
The term 'abuse' includes nonaccidental mental injury.

This issue is not addressed in the statutes reviewed.

Standards for Reporting, Citation: Ala. Code § 26-14-13;
A report is required when the child is known or suspected to be a victim of child abuse or neglect.

Persons Responsible for the Child, Citation: Ala. Code § 26-14-7.2;
Responsible persons include the child's parent or legal guardian.

Exceptions, Citation: Ala. Code § 26-14-7.2;
A parent who fails to provide medical treatment to a child due to the legitimate practice of religious beliefs shall not be considered negligent for that reason alone. This exception shall not preclude a court from ordering that medical services be provided to the child.