Definitions of Child Abuse and Neglect - Nevada

Date: May 2022

Physical Abuse

Citation: Rev. Stat. §§ 432B.020; 432B.090; 432B.150

'Abuse or neglect of a child' means physical or mental injury of a nonaccidental nature, sexual abuse or sexual exploitation, or negligent treatment or maltreatment of a child caused or allowed by a person responsible for their welfare under circumstances that indicate that the child's health or welfare is harmed or threatened with harm.

'Physical injury' includes, without limitation, the following:

  • A sprain or dislocation
  • Damage to cartilage
  • A fracture of a bone or the skull
  • An intracranial hemorrhage or injury to another internal organ
  • A burn or scalding
  • A cut, laceration, puncture, or bite
  • Permanent or temporary disfigurement or loss or impairment of a part or organ of the body

Excessive corporal punishment may result in physical or mental injury constituting abuse or neglect of a child.


Citation: Rev. Stat. § 432B.140

Negligent treatment or maltreatment of a child occurs if a child has been subjected to harmful behavior that is terrorizing, degrading, painful, or emotionally traumatic; has been abandoned; is without proper care, control, or supervision; or lacks the subsistence, education, shelter, medical care, or other care necessary for the well-being of the child because of the faults or habits of the person responsible for the welfare of the child or the neglect or refusal of the person to provide them when able to do so.

Sexual Abuse/Exploitation

Citation: Rev. Stat. §§ 432B.100; 432B.110

'Sexual abuse' includes acts upon a child constituting any of the following:

  • Incest
  • Lewdness with a child
  • Sadomasochistic abuse
  • Sexual assault
  • Statutory sexual seduction
  • Mutilation of the genitalia of a female child; aiding, abetting, encouraging, or participating in the mutilation of the genitalia of a female child; or removal of a female child from this State for the purpose of mutilating the genitalia of the child

'Sexual exploitation' includes forcing, allowing, or encouraging a child to do any of the following:

  • To solicit for or engage in prostitution
  • To view a pornographic film or literature
  • To engage in filming, photographing, recording on videotape, posing, modeling, depiction, or a live performance before an audience that involves the exhibition of a child's genitals or any sexual conduct with a child

Emotional Abuse

Citation: Rev. Stat. § 432B.070

'Mental injury' means an injury to the intellectual or psychological capacity or the emotional condition of a child as evidenced by an observable and substantial impairment of their ability to function within their normal range of performance or behavior.


Citation: Rev. Stat. § 432B.140

'Negligent treatment or maltreatment' of a child occurs if a child has been abandoned.

Standards for Reporting

Citation: Rev. Stat. § 432B.220

A report is required when a mandatory reporter, in their professional or occupational capacity, knows or has reasonable cause to believe that a child has been abused or neglected.

Persons Responsible for the Child

Citation: Rev. Stat. §§ 432B.080; 432B.130

The term 'parent' means a natural or adoptive parent whose parental rights have not been terminated.

The term 'person responsible for a child's welfare' includes any of the following:

  • The child's parent, guardian, or stepparent with whom the child lives
  • An adult person continually or regularly found in the same household as the child
  • A public or private home, institution, or facility in which the child actually resides or is receiving care outside of the home for all or a portion of the day
  • A person directly responsible or serving as a volunteer for or employed by such a home, institution, or facility


Citation: Rev. Stat. § 432B.020(2)

Relinquishment of a newborn in accordance with the law is not considered abuse or neglect.

It is not considered abuse or neglect when a parent or guardian, in good faith, selects and depends upon nonmedical remedial treatment for the child, if such treatment is recognized and permitted under the laws of the State in lieu of medical treatment. This paragraph does not limit the court in ensuring that a child receive a medical examination and treatment pursuant to § 62E.280.