Abuse & Neglect / Domestic Violence

Abuse & Neglect

Reporting Abuse or Neglect

A primary concern of the Brookings County State’s Attorney’s Office is to protect children from abusive or neglectful homes. In conjunction with the investigations of Law Enforcement and the Department of Social Services, this office brings legal actions to protect children who are suspected victims of abuse and/or neglect. Any individuals who believe a child may be being abused and/or neglected should report their observations to Law Enforcement, 605-692-2113, or the Department of Social Services, 605-688-4330.

Certain professionals are also required to report abuse or neglect of any child under the age of 18, if they may have reasonable cause to suspect such is occurring. SDCL 26-8A-3. The intentional failure to make this required report is a Class 1 Misdemeanor. SDCL 26-8A-3.

Protection of the Child

Under South Dakota law, the primary goal of an abuse or neglect matter is the protection of the child. SDCL 26-8A-1. The adjudication of a child as an abused or neglected child is an adjudication of the status or conditions of the child who is the subject of the proceedings and is not necessarily adjudication against or in favor of any particular parent, guardian, or custodian of the child. SDCL 26-8A-1.

Domestic Violence

Defining Domestic Violence

When Law Enforcement is called to a domestic dispute, they understand that many different situations may have occurred. Domestic abuse is defined by South Dakota law as physical harm, bodily injury, or attempts to cause physical harm or bodily injury, or the infliction of fear or imminent physical harm or bodily injury between family or household members. SDCL 25-10-1(1).

What Law Enforcement Will Do

Upon the investigation of this type of crime, and confirmation that probable cause exists that this crime has been committed, Law Enforcement is required to arrest the primary, dominant aggressor.