False Sexual Abuse Allegations in Child Custody DisputesWritten by: Rob Print This Article
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Biological parents are not likely to sexually abuse their own children. But in recent decades, there has been an epidemic of false sexual abuse claims against biological parents. This epidemic started in earnest along with changes in laws and policies to allow fathers to have partial or full custody of children after a divorce.
The false claims of sexual abuse may be made by either parent. However, they are more common coming from mothers trying any method they can to prevent the children’s fathers from having contact, custody, and/or visitation with the children. This is a despicable strategy related to parental alienation. It is also particularly effective because of societal taboos and the difficulty of proving innocence of a crime which according to the false accuser was seen by nobody but the alleged perpetrator and a small child (who may not even be able to talk!) and of which there is frequently no physical evidence because the false reports are made about false incidents which supposedly occurred weeks or months earlier.
If the children can talk, frequently they are taught by the alienating parent and criminally incompetent CPS social workers and their allies, often consisting of biased police and therapists, to recite “facts” and false accusations about sexual abuse which never occurred. These are taken as reasons to deprive the children of contact with the falsely accused parent and his or her family.
Cases like this can drag on for years, even when there are never any charges filed or convictions against the falsely accused parent. The accuser “wins” by default and the target is devastated. If by some chance the malignant parent is caught lying, seldom is there any prosecution or other punishment for the crime. Therefore such malignant parents are encouraged to repeatedly use false accusations as a weapon to harm their children’s other parent and to deprive their children of contact with the other parent and his or her family.
Family court lawyers often refer to false sexual abuse allegations as “the nuclear option” in child custody cases. Once the bomb goes off, the resulting damage can never be fully repaired. The children and falsely accused parent are permanently harmed by the false accuser and a “child protection” system that insists accused people are guilty without proof. Often contact is permanently severed, one of the aims of parental alienators. The parent who is slimed with the defamatory claims of being a child molester may lose his or her job and be turned into a pariah, forcing him or her to leave the area and making it even more likely the children will not see the falsely accused parent for years, if ever.
Let’s not beat around the bush — CPS social workers, police, therapists, and judges who exhibit bias, refuse to examine or consider evidence that shows false accusations to be false and malicious, and participate in the alienation are at best emotional child abusers. In some ways, they are worse child abusers than the falsely accusing parent. The toxic parents could not on their own cause so much damage. But they are assisted by civil servants who do immense damage to children and innocent parents by backing false accusations, ignoring evidence to the contrary, and insisting upon “no contact” between children and accused parents to supposedly assist investigations that should take days or weeks but which they manage to drag out for months or years. They so barrage the falsely accused parent with threats and attacks that they cause mental illness (particularly depression and anxiety), bankruptcy, and even in some cases suicides. As such, these government and the toxic parents are effectively a conspiracy to harass and kill the falsely accused and victimize the very children they are supposed to protect.
Such abusive parents flinging maliciously false accusations routinely end up with months or years of sole custody, instill fear and hatred of the other parent in their children, and generally at a minimum psychologically and financially ruin the other parent. If they are “lucky” their lies will result in the death of the target parent, possibly by health problems or suicide brought on by the false allegations and the systemic abuse. This ensures the 100% custody of the children by an abusive parent will continue.
Children who are in the custody of a parental alienator are in a bad situation. The parental alienation and false accusations are often just the tip of the iceberg with regards to the problems these parents have. Such parents have demonstrated that they are incapable of good parenting, have poor moral character, and are likely to suffer from a variety of mental illnesses that resulted in their abusive behaviors. Ultimately, the children are set up for long-term emotional abuse. They may be programmed to believe they were victims of trauma which never occurred, thus causing very real emotional damage over something that never happened. Depending upon how messed up the malignant parent is, it may extend to other forms of child abuse. Verbal abuse is highly likely to accompany the emotional abuse, especially as many of the alienating and falsely accusing parents are victims of child abuse themselves and had these behaviors modeled for them by their own parents. Physical abuse is also a strong possibility. Growing up in such an abusive and alienating environment, the children are likely to develop long-term psychological problems and many may become child abusers themselves.
Upon some reflection, it is very clear the government encourages false child abuse reports and false sexual abuse reports in particular. False sexual abuse reports are treated with a special ferocity of persecution, refusal to even consider the innocence of the false accused, and dismissal of a lack of evidence as being important. Even when the government “gets it right” and quickly comes to the conclusion that the accusations were false and even maliciously motivated, they do nothing to correct the mess. The abusive parent is let off without even a hand slap, likely not even a warning. The target parent doesn’t even get an apology. The government seldom if ever prosecutes the falsely accusing parents, even when the proof that the accusations were false and malicious becomes evident.
This governmental inaction constitutes an implicit approval of false allegations as a weapon in child custody battles. Abused parents typically cannot afford to bring civil cases against the abusive parents. They have been mentally and financially drained just trying to protect their children and themselves. Even if they could afford to pursue a civil case, they stand to gain zero financial reparations as the cost of litigation is likely to approach or exceed the judgment. And even with a judgment, there is no guarantee the abused parent could ever collect it anyway. A person who is so willing to victimize their children and an innocent parent using lies and manipulations is also the kind of person who does not cooperate with court orders. Furthermore, after such a legal battle, they are not likely to have the funds left to pay a just judgment award.
In the end, malignant parents who make false abuse allegations are taught to make them again and again. And they often do. There is no disincentive. It costs them nothing but a small amount of time to make false allegations, they are prone to doing parental alienation so teaching their children to lie about false abuse is no significant additional effort on their parts, and if they are caught they are not punished in any way. In the meantime, they inflict massive damage upon the other parent and get rewarded by an incompetent and irresponsible government with 100% child custody for months or years. They are also likely to get child support awards based upon their 100% custody obtained with lies, thus being financially rewarded for their crimes. In short, these malignant parents not only get away with their crimes, they are amply rewarded for them even when they are caught in their lies.
The failure to prosecute false accusers is just one of the many ways in which law enforcement and the courts encourage crime and victimization of children and parents. It is well known that perjury is seldom if ever prosecuted and is an epidemic in family law courts. Court order violations are also commonly ignored. That’s because the victim of the court order violations frequently would have to pay for the quasi-criminal prosecution of contempt of court, potentially costing tens of thousands of dollars or more to fight a battle to simply get a toxic parent to follow court orders that may be as clear, simple, and beneficial to the children as allowing frequent parent / child telephone contact as ordered by the court.
Emotional child abuse and parental alienation by government agencies in false child abuse cases is a well documented phenomenon, but is little discussed by the general population. Government oversight agencies such as grand juries have attempted to force these agencies to correct their misconduct and stop the child abuse, but to little avail. Without severe corrective action, it is likely government agencies will continue to abuse children and assist in parental alienation.
As a particular example, the San Diego County Grand Jury has repeatedly investigated misconduct of DSS (Department of Social Services) and CWS (Child Welfare Services, also known as Child Protective Services or CPS) in the last two decades. They have found that it is commonplace for social workers to perjure themselves in court testimony, routinely show bias against fathers and take the side of mothers even if they are abusive, refuse to consider evidence that conflicts with their opinions, and refuse to consider possible innocence of the accused at all. These social workers go so far as to idiotically claim that because guilty people deny their crimes, anybody who denies an accusation is therefore guilty. They place falsely accused parents into the catch 22 situation of having to falsely admit guilt and submit to more government abuses to restore contact with their children or to fight in courts for years possibly to no avail as even if they are found to be innocent in a criminal court, the family law and juvenile courts can ignore these decisions and continue to treat them as guilty by accusation.
In a July 1992 report of a San Diego County Grand Jury study of how child sexual abuse allegations were mishandled in the area, there was severe criticism of the results:
There is no dispute within the Juvenile Dependency System that false allegations of sexual molest during custody disputes occur and that the system fails to deal with them properly. There is, however, considerable dispute about how to handle these cases. The Jury has found that a parent making a false allegation of abuse or molest during a custody dispute is very likely to achieve the desired result. These accusations are made primarily to avoid visitation and joint custody provisions and the accuser frequently succeeds.
Particularly with allegations of molest, visitation will almost certainly be at least temporarily terminated. The longer the accused parent goes without visitation, the more difficult resolution of the case becomes. The Jury has studied numerous cases of allegations of molest in custody disputes which have never been at Juvenile Court and where the father has had no further visitations. Parents who knowingly make false allegations generally seek to contaminate the child’s relationship with the other parent. The children are subjected to a range of contamination starting with simple personal deprecation and escalating in the worst cases to brainwashing. Parents who do this are not stable, not protective, and doing permanent harm to the child.
The Jury has studied many of these cases. Not one of them has been resolved despite years of conflict. Because all of these cases involve mothers who made allegations against fathers, we will speak in those terms. It does happen the other way around, and is, of course, equally damaging to the child.
Family Court Services has recognized the seriousness of this problem and has instituted the Family Court Case Study Team to try to help resolve some of these long term cases and to reestablish fathers’ visitations wherever possible. Unfortunately, by the time a case gets to that point the child is usually so contaminated that (s)he fears the father and psychologists are loathe to force the child to see a feared parent. Furthermore, only a fraction of such cases stay in domestic court where they reach the attention of this team. Most of the cases end up in Juvenile Court where there are no resources to redress the problem.
The Grand Jury went on to point out that even parents who are found innocent of criminal charges continue to be treated as guilty by other courts:
Guilt or innocence is not determined in Juvenile Court. That is a standard of criminal court. Perpetrators of in-house molest are sometimes charged in criminal court and tried by a jury. A verdict of not guilty in a criminal court will not effect the “true finding” in Juvenile Court because that finding is based on a different and lower evidentiary standard.
Further, it is routine for government employees to refuse to correct mistaken charges and convictions when they do occur. Again, as cited by the San Diego County Grand Jury:
In one case investigated by the jury, the father was accused of 13 felonies. After 18 months in Juvenile Court and personally bankrupt, he decided, upon the advice of counsel, to plea to a single misdemeanor. After reunification with his family, he asked to have his case reexamined. He contacted a ranking detective in the Child Abuse Unit and asked how he could do this. It was suggested that he take a polygraph exam. He did. He followed other procedures recommended to him. The detective began to believe that this man was innocent. He talked to the Deputy District Attorney on the case who treated the exonerating evidence as irrelevant and refused any action.
One of the major problems with obtaining objective investigations of child abuse reports is that the “experts” involved by the government are frequently biased and benefit from claiming things that are not child abuse indeed are child abuse. They will get more follow-up business this way, both from new cases and from ongoing services such as trauma counseling, forensic interviews of children, and so forth. In San Diego, non-government organizations such as Chadwick Center at Rady Children’s Hospital are routinely involved in biased and unobjective “forensic interviews”. If the government doesn’t get the evidence it wants, then instead of using it to show innocence of the falsely accused, it covers up the interviews! Chadwick Center routinely refuses to comply with court subpoenas. That organization and others like it appear to believe they are above the law and can do whatever they want. They receive the full conspiratorial cooperation of law enforcement and child protective agencies who are also interested in covering up evidence that would show they persecuted and prosecuted the wrong people, often with no substantive evidence.
Finally, when government employees have been shown to have violated their duties and committed severe misconduct, they often escape any and all appropriate disciplinary action. Consider the case of Elizabeth Jane Via, the deputy DA who prosecuted James Wade for the alleged rape of his daughter Alicia Wade. (See the full story in Torture of the Wade Family by San Diego CPS.) Via ignored evidence that Albert James Carder committed the rape, even when directly questioned about the possibility by the judge in the case. She conspired with San Diego County DSS social workers to keep the prosecution going to allow Alicia Wade to be adopted by another family. When the whole scheme unraveled, she kept her job! This woman should have been fired and disbarred for her misconduct, yet she continues to work for the San Diego government.
The San Diego County Grand Jury found that widespread lying, perjury, bias, corruption, and misconduct is so endemic that they supported legislation to strip social workers of official immunity. They believed that this level of individual accountability is necessary. The threat of one’s job ending and being thrown into court with a civil rights abuse suit and one’s assets being taken to compensate for the misconduct was the only real way the system would eventually be corrected. Unfortunately, this has not happened.
The ongoing epidemic of false child abuse claims, and of particularly damaging false child sexual abuse claims, will continue for as long as the government continues its present policies. Correction of this problem requires compliance with the US Constitution and civil rights laws, vigorous prosecution of false police reports and perjury, and dismissal and prosecution of government employees who participate in false prosecution and child abuse and encourage them to continue. This dismissal and prosecution policy must extended beyond the line social workers and police officers all the way to the upper ranks and into the courts. Judges must be held accountable for their misconduct, also.
Anything short of these reforms simply means the government and its employees intend to continue to involve themselves in the persecution of innocents, commission of child abuse, and violation of the letter and spirit of the US Constitution and civil rights laws. And so long as that persists, this nation’s children will continue to be harmed by abusive parents and an abusive government. This is a travesty of human and civil rights abuses of monumental proportions.