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Failure to Reduce or Remove the Risk of Child Abuse

Failure to Reduce or Remove the Risk of Child Abuse is an offence under Section 43B of the Crimes Act 1900 which carries a maximum penalty of 2 years in prison.

To establish the offence, the prosecution must prove beyond reasonable doubt that:

  1. You were an adult working in an organisation engaged in child-related work
  2. There was a serious risk that an adult worker in that organisation

Would commit a child abuse offence

  1. You were aware of that risk
  2. You had the power or responsibility to reduce or remove that risk, and
  3. You negligently failed to reduce or remove that risk

An ‘adult’ is a person at least 18 years of age.

A ‘child’ is a person under the age of 18.

A ‘child abuse offence’ includes:

  1. Murder, intent to murder and manslaughter
  2. Choking, suffocation and strangulation
  3. Wounding and assaults causing harm
  4. Poisoning and drink spiking
  5. Sexual offences including sexual assault, sexual touching and sexual act
  6. Child abuse material, and
  7. Attempting to commit any of the above

‘Child related work’ includes that which involves direct contact with a child or children and the contact is a usual part of, and more than incidental to, the work.

Defence to the charge include:

  1. Self-defence
  2. Duress, and
  3. Necessity

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