Code of the District of Columbia

§ 22–3020.52. Reporting requirements and privileges.

(a) Any person who knows, or has reasonable cause to believe, that a child is a victim of sexual abuse shall immediately report such knowledge or belief to the police. For the purposes of this subchapter, a call to 911, or a report to the Child and Family Services Agency, shall be deemed a report to the police.

(b) Any person who is or has been a victim of sexual abuse is not required to report pursuant to subsection (a) of this section if the identity of the alleged perpetrator matches the identity of the victim’s abuser.

(c) No legally recognized privilege, except for the following, shall apply to this subchapter:

(1) A lawyer or a person employed by a lawyer is not required to report pursuant to subsection (a) of this section if the lawyer or employee is providing representation in a criminal, civil, or delinquency matter, and the basis for the knowledge or belief arises solely in the course of that representation.

(2)(A) The notification requirements of subsection (a) of this subsection do not apply to a priest, clergyman, rabbi, or other duly appointed, licensed, ordained, or consecrated minister of a given religion in the District of Columbia, or a duly accredited practitioner of Christian Science in the District of Columbia, if the basis for the knowledge or belief is the result of a confession or penitential communication made by a penitent directly to the minister if:

(i) The penitent made the confession or penitential communication in confidence;

(ii) The confession or penitential communication was made expressly for a spiritual or religious purpose;

(iii) The penitent made the confession or penitential communication to the minister in the minister’s professional capacity; and

(iv) The confession or penitential communication was made in the course of discipline enjoined by the church or other religious body to which the minister belongs.

(B) A confession or communication made under any other circumstances does not fall under this exemption.

(d) This section should not be construed as altering the special duty to report by persons specified in § 4-1321.02(b).


(May 23, 1995, D.C. Law 10-257, § 252; as added June 8, 2013, D.C. Law 19-315, § 4, 60 DCR 1702.)

Effect of Amendments

The 2013 amendment by D.C. Law 19-315 added this section.