Most U.S. states have enacted mandatory reporting laws, which require the reporting of specified injuries and wounds and in some cases, suspected abuse or domestic violence for individuals being treated by a health care professional. The laws vary from state-to-state, but generally fall into four categories:
- states that require reporting of injuries caused by weapons;
- states that mandate reporting for injuries caused in violation of criminal laws, as a result of violence, or through non-accidental means;
- states that specifically address reporting in domestic violence cases; and
- states that have no general mandatory reporting laws.
In addition to IPV laws, teen dating violence can also raise questions about statutory rape laws. Make sure that you have accurate information about laws in your state.
In addition, providers need to be familiar with relevant state privacy laws and federal regulations regarding the confidentiality of health information.
To see your state’s law: Compendium of State Statutes and Policies on Domestic Violence and Health Care
For an overview of the potential risks of mandatory reporting and strategies to address your state's law click here.
Go to the confidentiality section to learn more about privacy laws and principles.
Even with state laws in place, implementation can vary county to county. Contact your local DV program and your local law enforcement to understand how your law is implemented in your county. Your state DV coalition can also help.
What to do if you are in a state that requires some form of mandated report for IPV?
- Disclose limits of confidentiality
- Trauma informed reporting
- Consider universal education instead of direct assessment
Next Section: Getting Started: Confidentiality