False Allegations of Domestic Violence

Domestic violence is a terrible crime, perpetrated against those weaker than the aggressor is. It is a crime that is directly related to power, but the other side of domestic violence is also a crime driven by power.

Unfortunately, there are women who make false allegations of domestic violence against the men in their lives. It happens for various reasons. For example, a woman may hope to gain a more favourable ruling in a custody battle, or she may hope to manipulate the man. In some cases, reports are made out of sheer vengeance. Whatever reasoning the woman uses to justify her actions, she makes false allegations to gain the upper hand.

It is very simple to accuse someone of domestic violence due to the lax standards used in family court. Because of true abuse, family law employs a lax standard in order to move quickly to stop abuse from occurring. The problem with this method is it leads to a situation where a man accused of domestic violence is guilty until proven innocent, instead of the other way around.

In many areas, a women can have the court prepare a restraining order before the man even knows she filed a report. A domestic violence charge can affect many areas of a man’s life and can completely ruin his reputation. If it is a true report, the man gets what he deserves. However, what about those who are falsely accused?

Since family law does not require that guilt be proven beyond all reasonable doubt, a woman can basically say anything she wants to about a man and the burden of proof is shifted to him. He must then prove that he did not hurt, threaten, stalk, or otherwise harass the women in question. Proving a negative is a very difficult thing to do.

Add to this equation the fact that judges are pressured to take strong action against domestic violence, and rightly so, but an innocent man doesn’t have much of a chance against a false allegation. All a woman has to do is make her story sound reasonably believable, and the man will find himself labeled as an abuser.

Since the standard applied in most areas is a simple preponderance of the evidence, which essentially means the woman’s story is “more likely than not,” domestic violence proceedings have become a weapon for some women.

This country has a Constitution for a reason. When we step outside the parameter set out in the Constitution, abuse of the system becomes a reality.

Domestic violence is a crime and it should therefore be dealt with under the same constraints as other criminal cases. By allowing lax standards and sidestepping constitutional protections, we have allowed innocent men to be abused by the system. Not only are innocent men being branded for life, true victims of domestic violence are also being denied the help they deserve, because courts are overwhelmed by false allegations and judges cannot always separate true abuse from bogus accusations.

What we need is balance. Laws that protect the true victims of domestic violence that at the same time, do not allow innocent men to be made into victims of the system.

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