A false accusation of domestic violence can be hurtful, shocking, overwhelming, and angering. More importantly, however, a wrongful domestic abuse accusation can have extremely serious long-term consequences, including criminal charges, expensive court cases, a ruined reputation, and even restricted time with your children. Although a false domestic violence accusation will understandably result in an overflow of emotions, it is very important for you to stay calm and take immediate action.
Where to Start
• Stay calm and accept the situation. Many people who have been wrongfully accused of domestic abuse may try to shrug off the charges with a “she’s crazy” or an “I didn’t do it, so I don’t have to worry” attitude. That’s a dangerous path to take. Domestic abuse claims are very serious and have very serious consequences. Even if you are innocent, you are going to have to fight hard to prove it.
• Collect all of the evidence you can. One of the biggest problems in domestic abuse cases is that they are sometimes “he-said, she said” affairs – and some spouses may think they can make false claims. As soon as you learn about domestic abuse allegations, write out a timeline of the events in question, collect any evidence you can (were there witnesses?) and think about anything else that might be able to prove the allegations wrong.
• Don’t contact your spouse or partner. It can be very tempting to contact your accuser and ask them why they have done what they have done. However, trying to contact your partner or have someone else send them a message can be very damaging to your case, especially if there is a protection order or restraining order involved.
• Educate yourself. There are a number of helpful online resources that can help you understand exactly what is happening and what the coming process will be as you try to clear your name.
• Talk to a family law attorney. Do not speak with anyone else before you speak to your lawyer. Anything you say could be used against you. An attorney can help you collect evidence, build your case, and understand why you have been falsely accused of violence (usually, child custody is a factor).