A Department of Children and Families (DCF) false allegation of child abuse and/or neglect is terrifying. It is an assault on your pride, dignity, and spirit. You can be shocked, angry and bewildered by who could levy such false allegations against you. The allegations may even come from an anonymous person, which can only add to your frustration, fright, and shame. Your self-esteem, self-ego and self-worth can be severely harmed by such heinous accusations. These allegations of false child abuse reports can be filed out of spite, for revenge, or to gain leverage in custody proceedings.
Case Example: False allegations of sexual abuse were made by a Mother out of spite, as she did not want the Father to have visitation. The three-year-old child in this case was seen by many collaterals. Mother claimed to the various collaterals that the child made various statements. These statements were then deduced to be of a sexual abuse nature attributed to the Father. The concept of “competency of the child” should immediately come to mind; how could a child of such tender years utter such statements? The 3-year-old child’s statements should be closely scrutinized, however, often these statements are NOT, and are taken as being true. The case took on a life of its own as many DCF cases tend to do. The facts and circumstances of the alleged statements kept shifting. The Mother’s statements changed with each collateral that she spoke with. The written record of several collaterals referred to the child talking about a “cozy seat” and “comfy chair”. The child was referring to The Big Comfy Couch, a children’s program on public television. The child’s statements were taken at face value as being sexual abuse by the Father.
This is the ultimate nuclear bomb when false allegations of sexual abuse are hurled. Everything stops until the allegations can be investigated. Too often in custody battles such allegations surface. DCF is fully aware of this type of conduct and behavior, and DCF is faced with having to ferret out the false allegations from the truthful ones.
Sometimes false allegations are made unintentionally; a misunderstanding where multiple layers of statements made by some people take on a life of their own.
Some of the statements are not accurately stated or heard by the DCF investigator. The DCF Investigator could have not adequately recorded what was stated in the transcription of the allegations. Some allegations are open to misinterpretation bids and other professionals who do not know your child or you. This is especially true with young children who may or may not have a good command of the English language to adequately communicate or remember details. A contentious relationship with the other parent, grandparent, or family member can be an extremely important factor that is too often easily overlooked.
When a murder has been committed, there is usually a body left behind. In a robbery, there are stolen items that can be used as evidence. When allegations of child abuse are false, there may be no physical evidence left behind. You must prove that something that did not happen did not happen. Even normally occurring physical “evidence” such as the bumps, scrapes, and bruises, that children get during the normal course of play, can be misinterpreted and later distorted as sexual and/or physical abuse.
Compounding the problem is the fact that reports of child abuse can be made anonymously. Even when the name of the reporter is known, the DCF cannot tell you who filed the report. Innocent people have believed that when they are completely open and honest, DCF will realize that the accusations are absurd. Instead, they find that their attempts at openness and honesty with DCF have backfired. When an allegation of sexual abuse occurs DCF has no discretion and MUST report this allegation to the District Attorney referral. Criminal charges may be implemented, and even if these criminal charges are dismissed, your name can remain on the DCF Central Registry as a perpetrator of sexual abuse. This could harm your chances of employment, becoming a foster/adoptive parent, or of having a normal relationship with your children and others.
When you have been falsely accused of sexual abuse, do not talk to anyone. Do not sign anything. Do not do anything until you have spoken with Attorney Kevin Seaver, who will provide you with trusted, battle-tested, and competent representation.