General Statue 7B-101(1) defines an abused child as any juvenile less than 18 years of age whose parent, guardian, custodian or caretaker inflicts, or allows to be inflicted, serious physical injury by other than accidental means; creates or allows to be created substantial risk of serious injury; uses, or allows to be used, cruel or grossly inappropriate procedures or devices to modify behavior; commits, permits, or encourages sexual abuse of the juvenile; and creates or allows to be created serious emotional damage to the juvenile.
Physical abuse, for purposes of the reporting law, occurs if the child's parent, guardian, custodian, or caretaker inflicts or allows someone else to inflict upon the child a serious, non-accidental physical injury. A child also is abused if any of those persons create, or allow to be created, a substantial risk of serious, non-accidental physical injury.
A child is abused considered to be abused if the parent, guardian, custodian or caretaker uses or allows someone else to use cruel or grossly inappropriate procedures, devices or instruments to modify or change the child's behavior.
Emotional abuse, for purposes of the reporting law, is creating or allows others to create serious emotional damage to the child by the parent, guardian, custodian, or caretaker. Evidence of serious emotional damage includes a child's severe anxiety, depression, withdrawal, or aggressive behavior toward himself, herself or others.
Sexual abuse, for purposes of the reporting law, occurs when a child's guardian, custodian, or caretaker commits, permits, or encourages the commission of any of the following criminal offenses by, with, or upon the juvenile:
- Crime against nature
- Displaying or disseminating material to juvenile
- Dissemination of obscene material to juvenile
- Employing or permitting the juvenile to assist in a violation of the obscenity laws
- First or second degree rape
- First and second degree sexual exploitation of the juvenile
- First or second degree sexual offense
- Preparation of obscene photographs, slides or motion pictures of the juvenile
- Promoting the prostitution of the juvenile
- Sexual act by custodian
- Taking indecent liberties with the juvenile regardless of the age of the parties
Contributing to Delinquency
A child is considered to be abused, for purposes of the reporting law, if the parent, guardian, custodian, or caretaker encourages, directs, or approves of delinquent acts that involve moral turpitude committed by the juvenile. In North Carolina a "delinquent act" is conduct by a juvenile under age 16 (who is neither emancipated nor in the armed services) that would be a crime if committed by an adult.