There aren’t a lot of things in life more horrifying, more gut-wrenching, than being accused of something you didn’t do. Especially if the lies being told about you are to do with heinous crimes. Yet it happens all the time. But as awful as this topic is to read about, it is important that you understand the scenarios in which these types of lies and fabrications tend to come up.
False allegations of abuse are made for a whole host of reasons. So we have put together a breakdown of the four most common scenarios where people, both adults and children, will lie about abuse. We hope this helps to keep you informed, and aware of even the most outlandish possibilities.
Common Scenarios Where False Allegations Happen:
Contentious Divorces and Custody Battles
One of the more common instances where false allegations of abuse come up is during high conflict divorce and custody battles. Usually in these scenarios one partner reports the other for domestic abuse or child abuse in the hopes of gaining an advantage. Most often it is the custodial parent who makes the report.
A spouse who is viewed as a victim of abuse, or as a parent defending their child against an abuser, has a lot to gain. They frequently get to keep the family home when the “abuser” is forced to move out by the police, the court, or CPS. They are also more likely to get full custody of the children, which means larger child support payments, along with other free support services. In addition, they receive social approval and are hailed as survivors and overcomers, where their ex is labeled a monster.
If the abuse is real, and they really are victims, then all of this is as it should be. But when the allegations are no more than lies created to manipulate a situation, it can destroy the life of the accused spouse, and have disastrous long term emotional effects on the children.
Fostered and Adopted Children
Foster children who come out of abusive situations, in which they have formerly been the victim of physical, sexual or emotional abuse, come with a lot of ‘baggage.’ They are known to use false allegations of abuse as a weapon, or a manipulation tool, to get what they want. Foster children have been known to report fabricated abuses as a way to get attention, or as a method of control over circumstances where they feel powerless and helpless.
Sometimes children in the foster care system will open up to an adult and share information about abuse that actually happened, but not recently. However, because the child doesn’t correctly specify the time period in which the abuse took place, an adult hearing about it for the first time may not realize that it’s not current. They might then report the abuse, not realizing that they are reporting events that took place long ago in a previous foster home.
There are statistics that suggest that up to one half of reported abuses against foster children never happened, but were instead fabricated by the self-assumed victim. In many of these cases, because the child has been a victim of abuse in the past, their stories are very convincing. This can make refuting their stories very hard.
Join us next time, when we will be looking at other instances where abuse is fabricated and then reported to authorities. We understand that this is a difficult subject to talk about and makes many people uncomfortable. However, we also know that pretending it doesn’t happen never solved any problems, and won’t make it any less real. Knowledge is power. Equip yourself.