Many studies have shown that domestic violence continues to be a big problem in the U.S. The CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) keeps track of national statistics on domestic violence and reports that 1 in 4 women and 1 in 7 men have been victims of intimate partner violence.
While the problem is prevalent in our society, there are also occasions when one party is falsely accused of domestic violence. When this happens, it is usually an attempt by the other party to gain an advantage in divorce or child custody proceedings. If the accusing party is able to obtain a temporary restraining order (TRO) based on false testimony, the process of disproving the allegation can be costly both emotionally and financially for the accused.
In order to disprove these allegations or avoid being falsely accused of domestic violence, you should:
- Use a body camera or the video feature on your phone to record your interactions with the accuser. However, you should only do this to protect yourself since taking video of someone without his or her knowledge could be considered harassment under the Prevention of Domestic Violence Act.
- Avoid being alone with the accuser as much as possible and walk away from any arguments that could give a potential accuser ammunition to use against you as evidence.
- Use email and text messaging to communicate with the potential accuser. If you communicate by phone, the accuser could allege that you made verbal threats.
- Avoid making any statements that could be misconstrued by your accuser or witnesses as threatening. Even if you were just attempting to make a joke, the person who heard you could be called to testify at trial and it would be up to the judge to decide if your statement was misinterpreted or not.
Making a false accusation of domestic violence is a serious matter, as it can destroy a good reputation and put the falsely accused at serious risk of losing their rights in a divorce or custody case. It also trivializes the real plight of domestic violence victims and is a serious misuse of the laws designed to help them.
By handling cases with the dignity and respect they deserve, we have helped many families in New Jersey civilly resolve their divorce, rebuild a satisfying life, and confidently step into the next chapter of their lives. Contact us today for your free consultation.