Abuses of the Domestic Violence System
False accusations can occur in domestic violence cases. An accuser with malice and bad intentions can easily take advantage of the domestic violence response system. Abuses do occur.
The system is designed to respond quickly to ensure the safety of victims. There are immediate arrests and no contact orders are put in place at the first hearing. Repeat domestic violence is presumed before the facts have been fully aired in court.
The accused is often put out of his or her home and cut off from access to the children, at the first hearing.
Meanwhile, the accuser/victim is given a victim's advocate. The advocate's role is not to investigate or doubt the accuser. Part of the role of the advocate is to support the victim, help the victim give input into the prosecution, and help the victim participate in the prosecution.
It is not hard for a false accuser to gain a lot of power through a false domestic violence allegation. The system can be easily played by someone with bad intent.
Abuses of the domestic violence system are not condoned.
If the court or prosecutor believe an abuse has occurred, the legal matter will not be pursued.
Confronting Gender Bias
The system believes that it makes objective decisions, fair and rational, gender-neutral decisions. Unconscious bias still exists in this world and the legal system is not immune from unconscious bias. This bias is fueled in part by the fact that more women are reported as victims of domestic violence than men.
Gender bias needs to be confronted.
When False Allegations Look Like Real Allegations
True domestic violence allegations do not require corroboration so a false allegation will look a lot like a true allegation.
Petitions for domestic violence protection orders and criminal domestic violence charges are allowed without any corroboration.
Why? - True domestic violence often happens in the home and behind closed doors. Assaults can happen without leaving a mark. A true victim may not report domestic violence for any number of valid reasons.
For domestic violence to be pursued, the following are not required:
- Visible injury
- A witness
- Prior disclosures
- A timely report
- A timely report to law enforcement
Despite the challenges of a false allegation mimicking a true allegation, there is still hope for the falsely accused.
Fighting a False Allegation
What are the signs of a false allegation?
- Lack of physical injury when the false allegation would suggest there should be injury.
- Inconsistent statements
- The accuser has something to gain
- Lack of timely reporting when one would expect there to be
- Lack of a timely report to law enforcement when one would expect there to be
- Lack of witnesse when one would expect there to be
- The accuser hates or has animus toward the accused
- The allegations are retaliatory in some way
- Prior threats to retaliate with domestic violence allegations
It is important to have a domestic violence attorney who understands how to identify the signs of a false allegation and make the proper arguments to the right person.
It is important to have a domestic violence attorney who understands both sides of the coin. Victims who are accused of false allegations and false reporting, need advocacy. The falsely accused who are facing jail and significant losses, need advocacy.
Our domestic violence attorneys have zealously protected those falsely accused of or impacted by domestic violence. We help people in domestic violence protection order proceedings and domestic violence criminal charges. Please feel free to call us about how we can help you. (206) 933-2414
DISCLAIMER - This information is for general informational purposes and is not legal advice. Every case and every client has a different situation. Do not rely on this information as legal advice for your matter.