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May 2010 Archives

"Battered Wife Syndrome" and Domestic Violence Allegations

In response to my blog about false allegations and domestic violence, a few woman advised me that their request for a restraining order had been denied or that their attorney advised against pursuing it and that such a result conflicted with the findings that the system was set up to encourage false allegations of domestic violence by actually rewarding the accusers. Interestingly, each of those woman claim to have suffered from "Battered Wife Syndrome", which is defined as "a pattern of signs and symptoms, such as fear and a perceived inability to escape, appearing in women who are physically and mentally abused over an extended period by a husband or other dominant individual."

The Real Problem with the Department of Children and Family Services

On May 16, 2010, in a news story entitled, "Many tips on LA's child abuse hotline unresolved", the Los Angeles Times reported on the fact that thousands of tips (more than 18,000) go uninvestigated within the time mandated by the State, even though the deadline for completing such investigations was recently increased from 30 to 60 days. In response, Troist Ploehn, the Director of the Los Angeles County Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS) blamed the fact that the Department is short staffed and stated, "All of the things that equate with quality do take time."

False Allegations of Domestic Violence

Domestic violence and child abuse are terrible crimes, and those who commit such crimes should be severely punished. An allegation of domestic violence is made in approximately 25% of divorces. Moreover, such allegations are more common in relationships involving children. What is the relationship betweendomestic violence and the existence of children in the relationship? Do children somehow provokedomestic violence in a relationship? It is estimated that as high as 80% of allegations of domestic violence and child abuse are completelyfalse. What would cause someone to make a false allegation of domestic violence? It is widely recognized that false claims of domestic violence are often made in divorce and paternity actions in order to gain a legal advantage. It can be of no surprise that child custody tends to be awarded to the accusing parent. Why would someone make such false allegations against the person they once loved, considering that the claim stigmatizes and humiliates the person and may require the expenditure of substantial sums to defend against? When a relationship ends, the emotions involved are anger, hurt, frustration, rage and bitterness. In fact, when a couple with children together are breaking up, they almost cannot help themselves from somehow using the children as weapons or pawns. Who would do such a thing? As many as 4 out of 5 people making such allegations are treating their children as pawnsin an effort to seek revenge for something. If 80% of all domestic violence allegations are false and such allegations are made in 25% of divorce cases, then in 1 out of every 5 divorce or paternity cases, a parent is using their child as nothing more than a weapon to achieve a desired result. This is fascinating, considering that parents almost always say that their children mean more to them than anything else. Considering that as high as 80% of the allegations of domestic violence are false, it is interesting that a person accused of domestic violence is guilty until he/she is proven innocent. How do we punish those who make such false allegations? We give them complete custodial control, the destruction of the life of their former mate, and the destruction of any semblance of a normal relationship between the other parent and his/her children. What about the fact that the U.S. spends $4 billion a year on domestic violence programs and that such claims have been found to contribute to $20 billion in public costs and taxpayer burden associated with fragmented families? Persons who knowingly make such accusations are almost never subject to legal sanctions. Children who succeed after divorce, have parents who can communicate effectively and work together as parents. Numerous studies have shown that a high conflict divorce involving children not only leaves its mark on the children, but also the grandchildren, great-grandchildren, etc. At least the person making such false allegations should know that the collateral damage to the children as a result of their behavior is virtually irreparable. 

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