Glossary

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Note: Terms in this Glossary are defined in the context of Bad Samaritan laws. Definitions describe either filters in this database or terms in Bad Samaritan laws themselves.

Alphabetical Order

All
A
B
C
D
E
F
G
H
I
J
K
L
M
N
O
P
Q
R
S
T
U
V
W
X
Y
Z

Categories

A

Abuse

Legal duty to report or rescue arises in the event of cruel or violent treatment of someone; specifically, physical or mental maltreatment, often resulting in mental, emotional, or physical injury.

Authorities

Official organizations or government departments with particular responsibilities and decision-making powers.

Atrocity crimes

Legal duty to report or rescue arises in the event of genocide, war crimes, ethnic cleansing, or crimes against humanity.

B

Bad Samaritan laws

Statutes that impose a legal duty to assist others in peril through intervening directly (also known as “the duty to rescue”) or notifying authorities (also known as “the duty to report”).

C

Crime generally

Legal duty to report or rescue applies in the event of criminal acts, without further specification.

Child abandonment

Legal duty to report or rescue applies when a caretaker has willfully left a child without an intent to return.

Car accident

Legal duty to report or rescue arises when the driver of a vehicle is involved in an accident resulting in injury to or death of a person or damage to a vehicle that is driven or attended by a person.

Campaign finance

Legal duty to report applies to offers of prohibited campaign contributions, donations, expenditures, or disbursements.

Crime endangering human life or welfare

Legal duty to report or rescue arises in the event of an act punishable by criminal law that threatens another’s life or well-being.

Crime

Legal duty to report or rescue arises in the event of intentional or neglectful physical or emotional harm inflicted on a child.

D

Duty to Rescue

Legal duty to assist others in peril through intervening directly.

Duty to Report

Legal duty to assist others in peril by notifying authorities.

E

Exemptions

Freedom from a legal duty to report or rescue; an exception.

Enumerated felonies

Legal duty to report or rescue applies to a specific list of serious crimes (e.g., murder, rape, and kidnapping)

F

Felony

A serious crime usually punishable by imprisonment for more than one year or by death.

Felonies

Legal duty to report or rescue arises in the event of serious crimes usually punishable by imprisonment for more than one year or by death.

H

Hazing

Legal duty arises when newcomers to an organization are physically or emotionally abused, especially as a means of initiation.

I

In the course of combat

Legal duty exists during time of armed conflict.

L

Law enforcement authorities

Police officers and other members of the executive branch of government charged with carrying out and enforcing the criminal law.

M

Misdemeanor

A crime that is less serious than a felony and is usually punishable by fine, penalty, forfeiture, or confinement.

N

National

Law applicable to entire nation.

Non-criminal crisis

Legal duty to report or rescue arises in the event of an emergency unrelated to a criminal act.

O

Online Exploitation

Use of online platforms by an individual or group to take advantage of an imbalance of power to coerce, manipulate, or deceive a child or young person under the age of 18 into sexual and/or criminal activity that can occur online or offline.

P

Person in Peril

Legal duty arises when a person is exposed to grave physical risk or danger.

Public health emergency

Legal duty to report or rescue arises when there’s an emergency need for health care services to respond to a disaster, significant outbreak of an infectious disease, bioterrorist attack, or other significant or catastrophic event.

Punishment

A sanction — such as a fine, penalty, confinement, or loss of property, right, or privilege — assessed against a person who has violated the law.

S

Sexual abuse

Legal duty to report or rescue arises in the event of abusive sexual behavior by one person upon another.

Sub-national

Law applies below a national level, such as to a state or province.

V

Violent Offenses

Legal duty to report or rescue applies when a crime is committed that has as an element the use, attempted use, threatened use, or substantial risk of use of physical force against the person or property of another.