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False accusations aren't as unusual as you may think

Domestic violence is a horrible crime that puts people at risk of serious injuries. While the victims deserve protection, some people take advantage of the presumption that victims are telling the truth. They make up stories and accuse those they're in relationships with of being violent or manipulative to get them into trouble with the law.

Why do people do that? Some do it for revenge. For instance, if you break up with someone and that person threatens you by saying he or she will make accusations of domestic abuse against you, you're a victim yourself. Others make allegations as a way to influence the court's perception of their partners during custody battles or other situations.

There are around 1.5 million restraining orders issued in the United States each year that are based solely on false accusations. Approximately $20 billion from taxpayers go to welfare and benefits for alleged victims who used false allegations to obtain those services. Some of that money is spent on families in which children are raised by a single parent due to false claims of violence.

For a person to be accused and convicted of domestic violence, the prosecutor has to show that the defendant did commit a crime. For instance, the prosecutor has to show that the alleged victim is protected by the domestic violence statutes, that the assault, harassment or stalking did occur and that the defendant committed the crime. The prosecution has to prove every point of the crime for it to hold up in court.

Source: Ms. JD, "Domestic Violence, Abuse and the Shocking Statistics," Shirley Wray, accessed Nov. 14, 2017

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