A few people asked me to write more about the silver bullet – false allegations. It’s been getting a lot of coverage in the media because of the Johnny Depp defamation trial, but so many who experience parental alienation are all too aware of how destructive it can be, and how inept are the courts. I posted this on my Instagram feed a few days ago. Please do follow me there: https://www.instagram.com/charliemccready1/
Genuine victims of abuse need to be protected. But the system can be abused. In UK law, a person is supposed to be innocent until proven guilty but, often, a court will rely on the ‘nature and seriousness of the offence’. Since 1999 when gamblers (investment bankers) needed help and Public funding had to be slashed to avoid economic collapse, one of the sacrifices was legal aid provision, even though they knew it could lead to an increase in false allegations. The consequences can be disastrous for the accused. Something like 70% of cases involving allegations of abuse during custody disputes are deemed false or unnecessary. Domestic violence can include feeling threatened, it’s a broad spectrum. There is a low standard of proof. Only minimal evidence is needed and a protection order is handed out. All the accuser need do is say there was abuse. That’s it! The accused can’t defend themselves as it’s done ex parte (at the request of and for the benefit of one party, which means you can be served without even knowing charges had been filed), and without the slightest bit of evidence brought forward. No judge wants to be responsible for the abuse, so they’re quick to act. Allegations of abuse (emotional, physical, sexual) are so lethal that the alleged abuser usually loses, with immediate effect, all custody and visitation rights.
It has been determined that false accusers are much more likely to have a personality disorder such as narcissistic/borderline personality disorder traits, histrionic, borderline, passive-aggressive, or paranoid. Parents with this high conflict personality are abusive and unable to resolve conflict in a healthy way. Often, they are highly sensitive to how others perceive them, defensive, and with a tendency to deny any personal shortcomings, confusing feelings with facts. They may ‘feel’ abused, or that their child is abused, but nothing has actually occurred. False accusers react to stressful situations in maladaptive ways, having difficulty handling anger and conflict. They cannot collaborate, co-parent or mediate. They also do NOT follow court orders. And they are quite willing to lie and make any kind of false allegation in order to ‘win’. The parental alienator is teaching their child that lies get rewarded and that the truth and the justice system can be abused, along with the target parent.
Our homes should be sanctuaries. Justice should be fair. Truth should be honoured. We have made some progress in that psychological abuse and coercive control are seen as crimes, not only physical or sexual abuse. But we have such a long way to go.