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Legal Information: Puerto Rico

Restraining Orders

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Laws current as of
November 25, 2023

What is the legal definition of child abuse in Puerto Rico?

Abuse is when a parent or guardian does something, or fails to do something, that intentionally harms a child or puts a child at risk of mental, physical, or emotional harm, including sexual abuse or human trafficking. The following are also considered abuse:

  • obscene behavior or using a child to behave in an obscene manner;
  • allowing another person to harm or endanger the physical, mental, or emotional health of a child;
  • voluntarily abandoning a child;
  • when a parent or guardian exploits the child or allows another person to do so by forcing or allowing the child to perform any act, including but not limited to, using the child to perform an obscene act in order to make money or receive some other benefit;
  • doing an act that if it were criminally prosecuted would be a crime against the child’s physical, mental, emotional health and integrity, including sexual abuse of the child or human trafficking; and
  • committing domestic violence in front of a child.1

​1 8 L.P.R.A. § 1101(w)