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FALSE ALLEGATIONS OF DOMESTIC VIOLENCE IN DIVORCE CASES

In the words of one man, "She called 911 and smiled at me like a cat who had just caught the largest mouse." Unfortunately, when it comes to false domestic violence allegations, the statistics are not good.

Seven hundred thousand individuals are wrongfully arrested for domestic violence each year. While women can be the victims of false domestic violence allegations, men are more often targeted.

Fathers' organizations now estimate that up to 80% of domestic violence allegations against men are false allegations. Furthermore, 70% of restraining orders are trivial or false. The definition of domestic violence has been so broadened it can include almost any touching or any act that upsets your partner in any way.

The Center for Disease Control now defines abuse as, "Domestic violence is abuse or violent action that occurs between two individuals in a close relationship. Physical abuse includes acts of violence in which one partner physically hurts the other by kicking, hitting or using other methods of physical force. Sexual abuse occurs when a partner is forced to have sexual contact without his or her consent. Emotional abuse includes acts such as controlling finances or outside relationships with friends and family, making verbal threats, or routinely making comments that damage a partner's sense of autonomy and self-worth."

When a separation or divorce is pending, it is not uncommon for domestic violence allegations to be exaggerated, misconstrued or fabricated entirely. RADAR (Respecting Accuracy in Domestic Abuse Reporting) reports that allegations of domestic abuse and requests for protection orders are increasingly used for tactical advantages in divorces.

According to Saveservices.org, in an estimated 25% of divorces, domestic violence allegations are made. In 1994, the government passed the "Violence Against Women Act." While this act has significantly helped women who were in actual abusive situations, it has also allowed women to falsely accuse their spouses of domestic violence and get away with it.

Because this act allows a woman to receive action without proof, it has the potential for abuse. Mandatory arrest laws can result in men being arrested regardless of the circumstances- even if no violence occurred whatsoever.

One woman who filed for domestic violence, later admitted under oath on a deposition that "my attorney told me to file, that it's customary." Claiming their spouse is violent can result in the victim receiving custody of the children and spousal support. Who wouldn't want to secure the cars, household or other assets accumulated during a marriage? Domestic violence victims can also receive other benefits such as free food, free shelter and free legal representation.

States have laws that require domestic violence training for police officers and encourage them to make arrests whenever allegations are made. If officers are becoming more predisposed to making arrests, are more individuals getting arrested unlawfully- without substantiated evidence or probable cause? False allegations of domestic violence can wreak havoc on a person's life and make a divorce case much more difficult and dragged out.

Allegations of domestic violence can cause both civil and criminal consequences.   The increasingly false claims that are investigated create a sense of jadedness in the minds of police officers that could potentially hurt actual future victims.

Barring any physical injury apparent to a potential victim of domestic violence, police may not take the claimant seriously until evidence suggests otherwise. Although the claim may be proven, with the absence of actual physical injury, the alleged injured spouse will have to wait longer to have their case heard since the police will need to spend even more time and resources investigating the validity of the false report.

A false report would seem to occupy a significantly more amount of time and manpower than an obviously truthful one. Ultimately, the less truthful the statement is, the more time that investigation is needed to clear up the falsely accused.
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