Being falsely accused of any criminal offense – be it stealing a piece of candy or cheating on your taxes – can be a nerve-wracking experience. There’s the shock of the accusation, the bitterness of knowing it’s not true, the resentment from not being believed, and the anger at the entire situation.
But being falsely accused of domestic violence, a particularly heinous crime that impacts everyone that knows the people involved, can be especially traumatic.
In the event you or someone you love has been falsely accused of domestic violence, take these steps quickly.
1. Seek Help Immediately
Whatever the situation, if you should find yourself falsely accused of domestic violence, do not hesitate to seek out professional legal help immediately.
As stated above, while any criminal accusation carries the burden of being convicted in the court of public opinion even before the accused gets their day in court, accusations of domestic violence operate on a personal level. Accusations of crimes that potently impact more people, such as a bank manager being accused of embezzlement, don’t necessarily carry the emotional gut-punch as being accused of domestic abuse.
When it comes to false accusations, especially with a crime so close to home as domestic abuse, do not wait to see if the situation will blow over or resolve itself. Get help, and get ready to defend yourself.
2. Prepare for Social Fallout
While your legal team helps you navigate the legal challenges of a false domestic abuse allegation, it’s important to prepare yourself for the realities of social fallout in the short and long terms.
Basically, that means you should be prepared to face some levels of social ostracism, especially by groups that equate you with the person making the false accusation. That could mean being asked to no longer attend social gatherings or participate in organizations, such as the church or volunteer organizations.
Should the social fallout occur, it’s important to remember that not all of the ostracism will be permanent. The court of public opinion can be fickle; people will dislike a thing one week and then change their minds, so it’s very likely many of those groups will invite you to rejoin once the allegations have been proven false.
3. Don’t Overthink the Situation
A false accusation of a crime can start from a variety of places. Maybe the accuser does not fully understand the situation, or maybe they’ve leveled the false accusation to gain leverage on another situation. It’s not common for accusations of domestic violence to be leveled during particularly contentious divorce hearings, one party seeking to weaponize the accusation to gain a better decision regarding the divorce case.
Should that happen, the falsely accused individual can experience intense feelings of anger and fear that can leave them isolated and unable to engage in their basic day-to-day responsibilities like work and family events. It’s therefore very important to have a social support network in place when dealing with false accusations of domestic abuse.
As previously stated, the court of public opinion can poison relationships and endanger social standing, which only adds to the misery and confusion of suffering a false accusation. Legal help remains essential, but personal help becomes a point of stability and focuses while managing the reality of a false accusation.
Never isolate when feeling overwhelmed, and don’t overthink the possibilities. Get help and stay focused. Contact The Clarke Law Firm today. We have the expertise to handle your case with the care and attention it deserves.