Memo regarding reporting child sex abuse from TBR lawyers

Posted by Lori Shull - Friday, November 18 2011
lshull@tntech.edu

Tennessee state law mandates that all persons make a report when they suspect sexual or physical abuse, neglect or exploitation of children. Failure to report is a Class A misdemeanor. The report must be made to the Department of Children's Services at 877-237-0004, online at https://reportabuse.state.tn.us or to law enforcement personnel, including the police, county and district attorneys and judges. Contact 911 if the situation is a life-threatening emergency.

T.C.A. 37-1-601 to 616 covers the reporting of known or suspected child sexual abuse. While child under this law is defined as children under 13, there are also provisions for reporting sexual abuse of minors between 13 and 17 years of age under certain circumstances. T.C.A. 37-1-401 to 414 covers the reporting of any wound, injury, disability, or physical or mental condition if the harm reasonably indicates that it has been caused by brutality, abuse or neglect, or reasonably appears to have been caused by brutality, abuse or neglect. Child under this law is defined as under 18.

The applicable state laws or other information are posed on the Tennessee Board of Regents website at www.tbr.edu/offices/generalcounsel.aspx?id=2420 

The TBR plans to schedule training by the Tennessee Children's Advocacy Center regarding detecting and reporting child sexual abuse for the Student Affairs Sub-council at its January 31, 2012 meeting. The training will also be made available to each institution as appropriate.

If you have any questions, feel free to call the office of Christine Modisher, general counsel for the TBR at 615-366-4438.