All states designate certain professionals as mandated reporters – some states require all citizens to report. A mandated reporter is someone who is required by law to report reasonable suspicions of abuse. Check your state’s mandatory reporting laws to determine if your profession is designated as a mandated reporter.
Mandated Reporting for Children
- For unmarried children age 15 years or younger, this includes ALL forms of sexual conduct, physical abuse, or child neglect or maltreatment
- For children 14-15, consensual sexual conduct with a partner at least 14 years old and at most 18 years old is not a crime (Romeo and Juliet Clause)
- The age of consent in South Carolina is 16
Mandated Reporting for Adults
- Adults have the right to decide for themselves whether or not to report a sexual assault or other crimes
- The only exception to this is abuse or neglect of a person who meets definition of a “vulnerable adult”
- Eighteen or older
- Has a physical or mental condition that substantially impairs him or her from adequately providing for his or her own care or protection
- Any resident of a facility is a vulnerable adult.
Remember to tell the survivor that as a mandated reporter because of their age or physical state, you have to report their disclosure to law enforcement. Remind them that their safety is the most important fact tor you. Want more information on mandated reporting? Contact STSM staff at (803) 771-7273.