Oregon Department of Justice

Child Abuse

In Oregon, child abuse is defined by the affect abusive actions have on a child, not by a parent’s intention. Child abuse describes many different types of behavior including:

  • Physical injury to a child that is not accidental

  • Sexual abuse or exploitation

  • Rejecting, abandoning, or neglecting a child

  • Endangering a child’s health or safety by exposing them drugs, alcohol or near the manufacture of methamphetamine

  • Teaching a child inappropriate behavior in areas such as aggression, sexuality or substance abuse

  • Exposing a child to violence

  • Buying or selling a child

If a child is in immediate danger please call 9-1-1. If you suspect a child is being abused please file a report with the Oregon Department of Human Services (DHS) or local law enforcement. Please see DHS Child Abuse and Neglect Reporting Numbers for local agency contact information.

Since 2008 Karly’s Law has helped thousands of Oregon children receive the medical care and support they need to find protection from abuse. Named after a 3 year old Corvallis girl who died from abuse after allegations went unchecked; Karly’s Law mandates that children in Oregon who exhibit suspicious physical injuries in the course of a child abuse investigation must receive medical attention within 48 hours.

Child abuse intervention centers coordinate local service providers in response to child abuse in our communities. These non-profit centers provide medical assessments; treatment and support services to help children and non-offending family members find safety from abuse. For more information including a list of child abuse intervention centers in your area please see www.childabuseintervention.org.

For related information please see Domestic Violence, Rape and Sexual Assault, and Kidnapping and Trafficking.