Mandated reporters must tell the police or CPS if they “reasonably suspect” child abuse. Child abuse can mean physical abuse, neglect, sexual abuse, and sometimes even sex that you agreed to have.

Mandated reporters should only tell the police or CPS about your sexual relationships if they learn that

  • you are 15 or younger and you say that you had sexual intercourse with someone 21 or older,
  • you are 15 or younger and you say that you had any kind of sexual activity (including touching) with someone at least 10 years older than you,
  • you are 13 or younger and you say you had any kind of sexual activity (including touching) with someone 14 or older, or
  • you are 14 or older and you have had any kind of sexual activity (including touching) with someone younger than 14.

They are also required to report

  • any sexual contact with a minor that the minor may not have agreed to, even if the partners are the same age, and
  • sex if one minor partner is being hurt or taken advantage of.

Note: If you are pregnant, trying to get birth control, or if you have an STI, that alone does not mean that a child abuse report needs to be made.

Child abuse is different than statutory rape. Mandated reporters of child abuse do not have to report statutory rape, but they must report child abuse. Learn more about statutory rape here.

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