Most allegations of domestic violence are genuine, and domestic abuse is statistically an underreported offense. However, false allegations can and do happen on occasion.
While domestic violence should never be tolerated, falsely accusing someone is unacceptable, too. False domestic violence allegations can have devastating consequences, and they exploit laws put into place to protect actual victims.
Let’s take a look at the how and why of false domestic violence allegations, and the fallout you could face if you’ve been falsely accused.
Common Reasons for False Domestic Violence Allegations in Illinois
Most people falsely accuse someone of domestic violence to gain legal leverage or personal benefits. False domestic violence allegations are often made in divorce and child custody cases or property claims.
If you have a tense relationship with your ex-spouse to be, he or she could make false domestic violence allegations to retaliate. A vindictive ex may choose to make up stories of abuse to make the judge more sympathetic to his or her viewpoint in the division of assets or to simply make your life difficult.
Your spouse may seek to gain full control over your assets by discrediting you. If your spouse is falsely claiming domestic violence against you, seek the help of an expert attorney immediately.
Child Custody Cases
In breakups that involve children, once spouse may allege the other abuses them and/or the children when fighting for full custody of the children in an attempt to remove them from the children’s lives.
While a criminal defense attorney will be necessary to help you combat criminal charges, a family lawyer can help you successfully navigate your child custody case.
We have also seen cases where an ex or family member makes false domestic violence allegations against a client in an attempt to acquire property or assets in a civil case.
In any case, allegations may be made by a child, current or former partner, or another person with whom you have or have had an intimate relationship, in order to take what’s rightfully yours.
How an Illinois Protective Order Can Be Used Against You
Claims of domestic violence against you will likely be followed by a protective order. This order is designed to effectively keep you away from your accuser, and most likely any children you have together, for its duration.
In some cases, your partner or ex might falsely request a protective order to remove you from the home and prevent you from contacting the children.
Understand that even when a protective order is requested on false pretenses, if the order is granted, it is imperative you abide by it. Violations can lead to further criminal consequences, and will further complicate your domestic violence case.
The Fallout of False Allegations in Illinois
The problem with false domestic violence allegations is twofold.
First, false allegations result in unnecessary and unjust consequences for the accused. That much is obvious. If you are innocent of something but are facing charges, there’s no question that it is unfair to you.
The second issue, however, is a broader-reaching one. False domestic abuse allegations help perpetuate a truly horrific problem in our society.
Women in particular are more likely to be murdered by an intimate partner or family member than by any other perpetrator. False allegations of domestic violence bring the laws intended to protect genuine victims under scrutiny.
In order to maintain the efficacy of the laws and treatment programs currently in place, we have a duty to expose false accusers.
Otherwise, they are being allowed to continue making a mockery of a system our legislators have worked hard to develop.
It took a long time to create legislation that allows real victims to be taken seriously, and that offers both victims and offenders get the help desperately needed in order to figure out a better path for themselves and their families.
About the Author
Sami Azhari has been working as a lawyer since 2007, after receiving his Juris Doctor from the Michigan State University College of Law. He has handled numerous state and federal cases, and is known throughout the Chicago and Rolling Meadows area for providing his clients with high-quality, skilled representation. He has been recognized by SuperLawyers, the National Trial Lawyers Association, and other notable organizations, and has spoken at a number of legal conferences.