Child abuse by definition is subjecting a child to any form of cruelty including mental and physical abuse, sexual assault, exploitation, and neglect. There are debates over how to raise and discipline children, but child abuse laws aim to protect children from serious harm. Although these laws intend to shield children from harm, when a false accusation is made it can ruin a person’s life and reputation. These claims could result in the accused parent losing custody of their child or having visitation rights limited or even revoked. Unfortunately, baseless accusations of abuse can be common, specifically during child custody disputes. If you’re in this situation it is in your best interest to reach out to a Red Buff Criminal Lawyer.
How Should I Respond to an Accusation of Child Abuse?
If you have been falsely accused of child abuse you will want to prove your accuser wrong as quickly as possible. Although all claims will be thoroughly investigated, an accusation as serious as this can have extreme consequences. Several actions can be taken to help the investigation reveal the truth.
Cooperate with the investigation.
Comply with all reasonable requests from the judge, law enforcement, and any other persons involved. It is important to show that you have nothing to hide and are welcoming the opportunity for your name to be cleared.
Gather evidence to disprove their story.
An unfounded accusation will usually hinge on a story from one person. Obtaining positive character witness statements from friends, family, neighbors, teachers, and anyone who has regularly seen you interact with your child can turn a case in your favor. Find people willing to vouch for your character who can honestly say that you have never mistreated or harmed your child. Having the support of their word will go a long way with a judge in proving that you are not abusive.
Be willing to testify.
You may have to swear an oath to tell the truth and state your case. Tell the truth and be consistent.
The best first action would be to contact and hire an experienced attorney. An attorney can aid in the legal process and offer advice specific to your case. They are well-versed in your parental rights and will fight to clear your name.
How to Disprove a False Allegation
If you have been falsely accused then you have at least one thing on your side – the truth. Your accuser has the burden of proof. You don’t have to lie to prove your innocence, you just have to point out that your accuser has no proof of abuse since it never actually happened. There are many ways to disprove a false accusation, including the following:
- Target your accuser’s credibility
- Point out a motive to lie or if someone coached the accuser on what to say. Use any relevant text messages, social media posts, and witness testimony.
- Promote your credibility
- Collect witness testimony in your favor, take and pass a polygraph test, take and pass a psychological evaluation, and overall tell the truth.
- Home in on the evidence against you
Since the allegation is false, there will most likely be insufficient evidence against you, as well as inconsistencies and holes in the opposing side’s investigation. Witnesses will more than likely contradict themselves and/or show biases. Focus on exposing these inconsistencies in order to dismantle their case against you.