Oregon Department of Justice

Karly's Law

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.

Karly’s Law has specific requirements regarding the handling of cases involving suspicious physical injury that must be met by law enforcement, the Department of Human Services (DHS), and designated medical providers that have recieved specialized training to assess injuries that may have been caused by child physical abuse. Suspicious physical injury include, but are not limited to::

  • Burns or scalds

  • Extensive bruising or abrasions on any part of the body

  • Bruising, swelling or abrasions on the head, neck or face

  • Fractures of any bone in a child under the age of three

  • Multiple fractures in a child of any age

  • Dislocations, soft tissue swelling or moderate to severe cuts

  • Loss of the ability to walk or move normally according to the child’s developmental ability

  • Unconsciousness or difficulty maintaining consciousness

  • Multiple injuries of different types

  • Injuries causing serious or protracted disfigurement or loss of impairment of the function of any bodily organ

  • Any other injury that threatens the physical well-being of the child

Suspicion that injuries are caused by abuse must be addressed in the coordinated comprehensive way required by Karly’s Law. For more information about protocol and procedures please see Karly's Law ORS 419B.022 through 419B.024.