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Has your child been accused of domestic violence?

Young love can be beautiful. But it can also lead to stress, anxiety and depression. Young people who find themselves in a relationship are inexperienced, experiencing the highs while trying to navigate the lows. One emotionally unstable partner might physically abuse the other, but sometimes the allegations are unfounded. It can be especially difficult if the victim is not telling the truth. Even more so, when the accused is your teenage son.

According to a study cited by the National Sexual Violence Resource Center, roughly 7% of 2,059 reports of sexual abuse are false. That doesn’t seem like a lot, but when you consider the emotional and psychological (and sometimes physical) damages suffered by the falsely accused, that percentage starts to feel a lot larger.

Understanding domestic abuse

The lines between domestic conflict and abuse can be fuzzy. The National Domestic Violence Hotline defines domestic abuse as, roughly, “a pattern of behaviors used by one partner to maintain power and control over another partner.” But when does this pattern become illegal?

Basically, domestic abuse refers to any unwanted act—physical, sexual or verbal—that threatens or implies threat toward a domestic partner.

If you feel that your child has been wrongly accused of domestic abuse, it’s first important to understand exactly what domestic abuse encompasses. Here are a few examples, which range in seriousness:

  • Verbally controlling forms of abuse that inhibits your child’s partner’s rights for independence—these include threats or intimidation tactics
  • Controlling the household money, including taking the partner’s money or preventing them from obtaining their own employment
  • Denying abuse, gaslighting (or manipulating your partner into questioning her own perceptions of the situation), shifting blame and responsibility
  • Making verbal or physical threats, including damaging property (punching holes in walls), abusing her pet, or brandishing weapons

Then, of course, there’s physical abuse. This is not a gray area.

Rights for the wrongly accused

If you feel that your child has been wrongly accused of domestic abuse, you must understand that they’re facing very serious allegations. The accuser must first prove that your son attempted or caused physical harm, implied or threatened physical harm, or enacted violence in any way toward that person.

However, with or without proof, allegations of domestic abuse against your son are very serious. If you and your family find yourselves in this predicament, you should quickly contact an aggressive criminal defense attorney. The wrongly accused deserve swift justice—because even false accusations can ruin reputations.

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