How Should You React If A Victim Does Not Want You To Disclose Sexual Abuse?
Commentary and Checklist
Police arrested a Florida high school teacher's aide who failed to report an alleged sexual assault of a student on school premises.
According to investigators, a female student had informed the aide that she had been raped. The student had also informed a school resource deputy about the incident. Investigators discovered the aide already knew about the abuse, but failed to notify authorities.
When interrogated, the teacher's aide admitted the student had told him she was a victim of sexual assault. He said he did not report the incident because the victim did not want it to be reported. Athina Morris "Pasco teacher's aide arrested for failing to report sexual assault allegation" (http://www.wfla.com/news/pasco-county/pasco-teachers-aide-arrested-for-failing-to-report-sexual-assault-allegation/1030551405) (Feb. 23, 2018).
- In Florida, a mandatory reporter who fails to report child abuse can be charged with a felony.
- In 40 states, American Samoa, Guam, and the Virgin Islands, failure to report is classified as a misdemeanor or a similar charge.
- For failure to report more serious situations, misdemeanors are upgraded to felonies in Arizona and Minnesota.
- In Connecticut, Illinois, Kentucky, and Guam, second or subsequent violations are classified as felonies.
- Upon conviction, a mandatory reporter who fails to report can face jail terms ranging from 30 days to 5 years; fines ranging from $300 to $10,000; or both fines and jail terms in 20 states.
- In Florida, a fine of up to $1 million is imposed on any institution of higher learning, including any state university and nonpublic college that fails to report or prevents any person from reporting child abuse committed on the property of the institution or at an event sponsored by the institution.
- In 10 states, penalties are imposed against any employer who discharges, suspends, disciplines, or engages in any action to prevent or prohibit an employee or volunteer from making a report of suspected child maltreatment.
- In six states, preventing a report of abuse is considered a misdemeanor.
- In Connecticut, employers who interfere with making a report will be charged with a felony.
Finally, your opinion is important to us. Please complete the opinion survey: