Chandler, AZ asked in Criminal Law and Family Law for Arizona

Q: Hypothetical situation given in the details.

A girl experienced sexual abuse by her father as a baby. The mother of the baby found out but could not report or leave the father because she lacked evidence. With a long history of psychiatric issues the mother was afraid that her child would be taken from her and end up living with the father. The father knew how to make himself look like the perfect parent and knew how to appear in court. Given the circumstances the abuse went unreported and the family is happy and well together 20 years later. According to the child the abuse never occurred again and she is now safe and does not live in fear despite living in the same house as her father (abuser). The mother desperately needs therapy to speak on this issue but the law seems to state that a therapist would have to report this situation if it were true. Is there any way this could be spoken about in a safe setting without getting reported.

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1 Lawyer Answer
Mike Branum
Mike Branum
  • Criminal Law Lawyer
  • Saint George, UT
  • Licensed in Arizona

A: Mandatory reporting requirements are meant to ensure the safety of the child or vulnerable adult who could be abused or neglected. According to the facts you have provided, the child no longer exists (because they are now an adult). Without a potential victim, I would argue the duty to report does not exist.

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