Reporting of Child Abuse and Criminal Activity

Child safety is of paramount importance in conducting youth programs. Program leaders, employees and volunteers must be aware of the obligation to report child abuse and safety violations.

What is my obligation to report child abuse on campus?

Anyone who is aware of child abuse on campus should report it to the ISU Police (515-294-4428). This includes children who come on to campus, where there is evidence of child abuse, even if the abuse may not have occurred on campus. For off campus activities, call the police for the local jurisdiction.

Volunteers should also contact youth program leaders to indicate their concern so that emergent situations can be addressed.

University employees by policy are obligated to report physical and sexual child abuse in accordance with the university’s Reporting Responsibility Policy.

Employees covered as Statutory Mandatory Reporters of child abuse under Iowa Code Chapter 232 also must report all forms of child abuse to the Department of Human Services in accordance with law.

What is a Child for reporting purposes?

A child is anyone under the age of 18.

When do I report?

If you suspect physical or sexual child abuse, report as soon as possible to ISU Police (515-294-4428).

Again, if you are covered as a Mandatory Reporter under Iowa Code Chapter 232, you also must report all forms of child abuse such as child neglect (not just physical or sexual abuse).

What is physical abuse?

Physical abuse is defined as any non-accidental physical injury, or injury which is at variance with the history given of it, suffered by a child as the result of the acts or omissions of a person responsible for the care of the child. Common indicators could include unusual or unexplained burns, bruises, or fractures.

What is sexual abuse?

Sexual abuse is defined as the commission of a sexual offense with or to a child as a result of the acts or omissions of the person responsible for the care of the child. The commission of a sexual offense includes any sexual offense with or to a person under the age of 18 years. Physical indicators of sexual abuse could include things such as bruised or bleeding genitalia, venereal disease, or even pregnancy. See footnote for procedural guideline.

What if it’s not physical or sexual abuse that I suspect?

If you suspect child abuse other than physical or sexual abuse, and you are not a Mandatory Reporters under Iowa Code Chapter 232, you can still report to ISU POLICE (515-294-4428) or to the Department of Human Services.

Do I have an obligation to report other crimes?

Any crime that may affect child safety on campus is a concern. The process is the same, for emergencies, call to 911, otherwise call ISU Police (515-294-4428).

Where do I report?

Reports of events on campus should be made to the Department of Public Safety (ISU Police). Call 515-294-4428 or go to the Armory located at the intersection of Pammel Drive and Bissell Road. Anyone, even if you are not a mandatory reporter under law, may also report to the Department of Human Services. For events off campus, contact the police for the local jurisdiction.

Mandatory Reporters under Iowa Code Chapter 232 must also report to the Department of Human Services (1-800-362-2178).

I am afraid to report…

Many are afraid to report because they fear retaliation or because of allegations of false reporting. Be aware that the law forbids retaliation against employees who in good faith report child abuse, and provides immunity from civil and criminal liability for persons reporting in good faith.

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