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Special Victims Unit
Perhaps the most sensitive and difficult area of investigation facing law enforcement is that of sexual abuse, physical abuse, and neglect of children. Recognizing the necessity of a proper, immediate and thorough response to this problem, a specialized unit of trained investigators and attorneys, on call 24/7, comprises the Passaic County Prosecutor's Special Victims Unit. It is the policy of this unit that the welfare of the child will be the primary goal of investigations.

An abused child is defined as a child under the age of 18 whose parent, guardian or other person having custody or control of the child engages in behavior that endangers the child's welfare or well-being. Child abuse can take several different forms: (1) physical injury upon the child by other than accidental means which causes or creates a substantial risk of death or serious injury: (2) an act of sexual abuse against the child; or (3) failure to exercise a minimum degree of care in supplying the child with adequate food, clothing, shelter, medical care or supervision, resulting in the suffering of the child's physical or emotional condition.

The Prosecutor's Special Victims Unit investigates all sexual assaults, serious verified physical abuse cases, all serious neglect cases and all allegations of child pornography and prostitution. Whenever information is received regarding possible abuse, an investigator is assigned and a team of child maltreatment professionals respond. Many of our cases are conducted jointly with the Department of Child Protection and Permanency (DCPP). The unit primarily handles cases involving the sexual and physical abuse of children by persons known to the victim. Approximately 200 cases of abuse are investigated by the unit each year.

Programs unique to the Special Victims Unit include: