Men and women who primarily work with children or vulnerable populations as part of their job are often considered mandatory reporters. A mandatory reporter is someone who is required to report when they suspect or know that child abuse is going on. This includes any suspicion or knowledge of sexual abuse.
Professions most likely to be mandatory reporters
Most people in New Mexico already know that teachers and daycare workers are mandatory reporters. However, there are many other professions that also fall under this umbrella. An incomplete list of professions that are generally considered to be mandatory reporters of abuse include:
- Other hospital personnel
- Staff at doctor’s offices
- Police officers
- Psychologists and psychiatrists
- Paraprofessionals and school administrators
In New Mexico, mandatory reporting is a responsibility shared by everyone in the state. This means that aside from these professionals, all residents — including those who do not work with children or who do not work at all — are required to report knowledge of any kind of abuse. Failing to do so could lead to potential criminal penalties, such as a misdemeanor charge.
The responsibility of being a mandatory reporter can feel quite heavy at times. However, this feeling is often nothing compared to the pain and suffering that a victim of child sexual abuse might be going through. Anyone who is a mandatory reporter can play a vital role in protecting children and holding abusers legally responsible for their actions, and should take this responsibility seriously. A mandatory reporter might also be able to provide invaluable information for use in criminal proceedings or related civil claims for monetary damages.