On average, nearly 20 people are physically abused by an intimate partner every minute in the United States. Unfortunately, since it is so common, there are people who take advantage of this horrible statistic by falsely accusing others of domestic violence. Jealousy, anger and sadness can make people do stupid things, but a false accusation of domestic violence is so much more than that.
A false accusation can lead to a tarnished reputation, strained relationships, loss of employment, and mental health issues. No one should go through that, but alas, it happens all the time. If you are falsely accused of domestic violence, these are a few things you can do to protect yourself.
1. Contact an Attorney Immediately
Before you go any further, seek legal guidance from an experienced domestic violence attorney. Your lawyer will help you understand the situation you are in and put you in the best position to prove your innocence. Also, avoid speaking to law enforcement without a lawyer present. Anything you say can be used against you in court and a lawyer can prevent you from making a simple mistake.
2. Have a Witness Present During All Meetings with Your Ex
If you have kids or shared belongings, contact with your ex-partner is inevitable. Have a witness present for every single meeting with your ex-partner, no matter how trivial it may seem, to avoid any further false accusations of domestic violence. Schedule your meetings in a public place, if possible.
3. Notify Family & Friends
Cases involving alleged domestic violence hinge on victim and witness testimony, with family at the forefront. If your ex-partner has falsely accused you of domestic violence, it’s not farfetched to think they might try to turn your friends and family against you. Although domestic violence isn’t a pretty subject to talk about, notifying your friends and family (and your ex-partner’s friends and family, if possible) about the false accusations is important.
4. Avoid Actions That Can Be Used Against You in Court
Avoid lashing out at your ex-partner, getting in a physical altercation with a stranger, making sarcastic comments about domestic violence and any other actions that may reflect poorly on you in court. The prosecution can build a stronger case with these reckless actions.
5. Change Your Login Information on Accounts and Devices
An ex-partner who knows your social media and email passwords may log in to your accounts and send themselves threatening messages to bolster their false accusations. Change the passwords on all accounts your ex-partner may have access to.
6. Gather Evidence of THEIR Abuse
An ex-partner who falsely accuses someone of domestic abuse may be the one perpetrating the abuse. If this is the case, collect evidence of their abuse, whether it’s physical or mental. Screenshots of text messages and recorded phone calls can prove useful.
7. Take Care of Yourself
Most importantly, remember to take care of yourself during this stressful time. It’s only natural to be filled with anger, confusion, anxiety and sadness, so take the steps necessary to heal those wounds. Eat healthy, exercise, surround yourself with a support system, talk to a therapist and remember the false accusations will not last forever.
Get Help from a Rhode Island Domestic Violence Lawyer
If you have been falsely accused of domestic violence, you need to immediately enlist the legal guidance of the Rhode Island domestic violence attorneys at The Law Office of Thomas C. Thomasian, Esq. We have successfully and aggressively defended the rights of the accused for over 10 years.
Call (401) 312-4385 or contact us online for a free consultation.