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What not to do when falsely accused of abuse

You've been accused of abuse by a family member. You know you didn't do anything wrong, and you think the other person has an ulterior motive. For instance, perhaps your spouse is using the accusations as a way to get full custody of the children during divorce.

You may feel outraged at these accusations, but it's not time to act rashly. Don't make the situation worse for yourself. Below are a few things you should not do after the accusations are leveled.

  • Never remain passive, just hoping it all blows over. These are very serious accusations. You must understand all of your legal rights and your options.
  • Do not do anything that could make it look like you tried to illegally tamper with the case, such as destroying evidence. You may just be trying to clear your name, and you may have felt like the evidence was fake, manufactured by your spouse, but destroying it could incriminate yourself.
  • Never yell at the authorities or lose your temper. They see many real abuse cases every day. They'll take the accusations seriously, and you may find it frustrating when you know you're innocent, but losing your temper only hurts your position.
  • Do not admit you did it if you did not. Some people think it will be faster and easier to just make a false confession, but you must realize the true ramifications of doing so. You may never see your children again.

Above all else, take the time to understand your legal options and do not give up. These cases can be long and very difficult to endure emotionally, but focus on fighting for your rights and working toward the light at the end of the tunnel.

Source: FindLaw, "Do's and Don'ts: False Allegations of Child Abuse," accessed March 23, 2018

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