New Hampshire Definitions of Child Abuse and Neglect

Physical Abuse - Citation: Rev. Stat. § 169-C:3
'Abused child' means any child who has been:

  • Sexually abused
  • Intentionally physically injured
  • Physically injured by other than accidental means

Neglect - Citation: Rev. Stat. § 169-C:3
'Neglected child' means a child:

  • Who is without proper parental care or control, subsistence, education as required by law, or other care or control necessary for his or her physical, mental, or emotional health, when it is established that his or her health has suffered or is very likely to suffer serious impairment, and the deprivation is not due primarily to the lack of financial means of the parents, guardian, or custodian
  • Whose parents, guardian, or custodian are unable to discharge their responsibilities to and for the child because of incarceration, hospitalization, or other physical or mental incapacity

Sexual Abuse/Exploitation - Citation: Rev. Stat. § 169-C:3
'Sexual abuse' means the following activities under circumstances that indicate that the child's health or welfare is harmed or threatened with harm:

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

Emotional Abuse - Citation: Rev. Stat. § 169-C:3
The term 'abused child' includes any child who has been psychologically injured so that the child exhibits symptoms of emotional problems generally recognized to result from consistent mistreatment or neglect.

Abandonment - Citation: Rev. Stat. § 169-C:3
'Abandoned' means the child has been left by his or her parent, guardian, or custodian without provision for his or her care, supervision, or financial support, although his or her parent, guardian, or custodian is financially able to provide such support.

Standards for Reporting - Citation: Rev. Stat. § 169-C:329
A report is required when there is reason to suspect that a child has been abused or neglected.

Persons Responsible for the Child - Citation: Rev. Stat. § 169-C:3
'A person responsible for a child's welfare' includes the child's parent, guardian, or custodian, as well as the person providing out-of-home care of the child, if that person is not the parent, guardian, or custodian. The term 'parent' means mother, father, or adoptive parent, but the term shall not include a parent whose parent-child relationship has been terminated by judicial decree or voluntary relinquishment.

Exceptions - Citation: Rev. Stat. § 169-C:3
No child who is, in good faith, under treatment 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 a neglected child under this chapter.