Georgia Definition of Child Abuse and Neglect

Physical Abuse: Citation: Ann. Code § 19-7-5(b)
'Child abuse' means physical injury or death inflicted upon a child by a parent or caregiver by other than accidental means.

Neglect: Citation: Ann. Code § 19-7-5(b)
The term 'child abuse' includes neglect or exploitation of a child by a parent or caregiver.

Sexual Abuse/Exploitation: Citation: Ann. Code § 19-7-5(b)
'Sexual abuse' occurs when a person employs, uses, persuades, induces, entices, or coerces a minor who is not that person's spouse to engage in any act that involves:
  • Sexual intercourse, including genital-genital, oral-genital, anal-genital, or oral-anal, whether between persons of the same or opposite sex
  • Bestiality or masturbation
  • 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
  • Penetration of the vagina or rectum by any object except when done as part of a recognized medical procedure

'Sexual exploitation' means conduct by any person who allows, permits, encourages, or requires a child to engage in prostitution or sexually explicit conduct for the purpose of producing a visual or print medium depicting such conduct.

Emotional Abuse:
This issue is not addressed in the statutes reviewed.

This issue is not addressed in the statutes reviewed.

Standards for Reporting: Citation: Ann. Code § 19-7-5(b)
A report is required when there is reasonable cause to believe that a child is abused.

Persons Responsible for the Child: Citation: Ann. Code § 19-7-5(b)
The term 'responsible person' includes the parent or caregiver.

Exceptions: Citation: Ann. Code § 19-7-5(b)
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 does not include consensual sex acts between persons of the opposite sex who are minors or a minor and adult who is no more than 5 years older than the minor.