Types of Abuse
The Virginia Administrative Code establishes five categories of abuse or neglect: physical abuse, physical neglect, medical neglect, mental abuse or neglect, and sexual abuse.
PHYSICAL ABUSE occurs when a caretaker creates or inflicts, threatens to create or inflict, or allows to be created or inflicted upon a child a physical injury by other than accidental means or creates a substantial risk of death, disfigurement, or impairment of bodily functions.
PHYSICAL NEGLECT occurs when there is failure to provide food, clothing, shelter, or supervision for a child to the extent that the child’s health or safety is endangered. This also includes abandonment and situations where the parent or caretaker’s own incapacitating behavior or absence prevents or severely limits the performing of childcaring tasks.
MEDICAL NEGLECT occurs when there is failure by the caretaker to obtain and or follow through with a complete regimen of medical, mental or dental care for a condition which if untreated could result in illness or developmental delays.
MENTAL ABUSE OR NEGLECT occurs when a caretaker creates or inflicts, threatens to create or inflict, or allows to be created or inflicted upon such child a mental injury by other than accidental means or creates a substantial risk of impairment of mental functions.
SEXUAL ABUSE occurs when there is any act of sexual exploitation or any sexual act upon a child in violation of the law which is committed or allowed to be committed by the child’s parents or other persons responsible for the care of the child.
Source: VDSS Division of Family Services