Mandatory reporting of suspected child abuse

Optometric Physicians: as a Mandatory Reporter you must report suspected child abuse.

Oregon law recognizes these types of abuse:

Physical injury

Bruises, welts, burns, cuts, broken bones, sprains, bites, etc., which are deliberately inflicted.

Injuries may:

  • Be in the shape of the article used (electric cord, belt buckle, etc.)
  • Not match children's description of how they occurred (fracture from falling off the sofa, etc.)


Failure to provide food, shelter, medicine, etc. to such a degree that a child's health and safety are endangered.

Children often:

  • Don't want to leave school
  • Are constantly tired
  • Are left alone with no supervision
  • Have unmet physical, emotional, or medical needs

Sexual abuse and sexual exploitation

Any sexual contact in which a child is used to sexually stimulate another person is illegal. This may be anything from rape to fondling to involving a child in pornography.

Children often have:

  • Difficulty walking or sitting; pain or itching in the genital area; torn, stained, or bloody underclothing
  • Poor peer relationships; fantasy or infantile behavior; fear of being left with someone
  • Inappropriate interest in, knowledge of, or acting out of sexual matters
  • Any of the behavioral problems listed under "Mental Injury."

Threat of harm

Any action, statement, written, or non-verbal message which is serious enough to make a child believe he or she is in danger of being abused.

Children may exhibit any of the behaviors listed on this page.

Mental injury

A continuing pattern of rejecting, terrorizing, ignoring, isolating, or corrupting a child, resulting in serious damage to the child.

Children often:

  • Have speech or sleep disorders
  • Fail to grow normally
  • Are very aggressive or withdrawn
  • Show an abnormal need for emotional support

Child selling

Buying, selling, or trading for legal or physical custody of a child.Does not apply to legitimate adoption or domestic relations planning. 

If you think a child is being abused, you must report it to the State Office for Services to Children and Families (SCF) or a law enforcement agency. More than half of the children seen by SCF were referred by mandatory reporters. You may be their best hope.....​​​

DHS Reporting Abuse and Neglect web page for more information on mandatory reporting requirements​