The number of child abuse cases being reported is increasing every day. This is mainly due to the increased awareness of child abuse. While the person reporting a suspected case of child abuse is doing so to protect the child, not all cases are true. Many reports of child abuse turn to be false. Sometimes false allegations are made with ulterior motives. For example, in a custody battle, one spouse may accuse the other of child abuse. If you have been wrongly reported for child abuse, here are a few things which you must and mustn’t do.
Avoid being alone with children. Ensure that there is another adult around. People who work with children are often the target of false allegations of child abuse. Coaches, scout leaders, day care workers and other such persons should always ensure that they are never alone with the children. There should be someone else who can testify that no abuse happened.
Attempt to settle child custody disputes out of court. This prevents the chances of false allegations by an upset spouse seeking to get even with you.
Avoid any conduct that is inappropriate or improper when you are with children. Such conduct includes overly aggressive horseplay, rough housing, cracking adult jokes or making sexually suggestive comments.
Hire the services of an experienced defense attorney to fight the allegations. You may know that you are innocent but you may not know how the legal system functions.
Read and understand as much as you can about false allegations of child abuse. This knowledge can help you protect yourself and you can work together with your attorney to fight the false charges.
Ask your attorney questions that you may have and keep the attorney informed of the developments in your case.
Contact family members, friends, fellow workers and others who can testify for you.
Maintain a positive relationship with the child(ren) in question especially if the allegations have been made by your spouse who is in a custody battle with you. It is not the child(ren) who made the allegations. Remember children can be easily manipulated and words can be planted in their mouth.
Understand that the authorities take all cases of child abuse seriously and investigate them. Even if the allegations against you are false, the investigations must be carried out. You should co-operate with the authorities.
Abuse physically, sexually or emotionally children.
Place yourself in a situation that can result in suspicion of child abuse such as bathing children or changing their clothes. If such activities are part of your job, ensure that there is another adult present when you are engaged in such activities.
Remain silent. You should immediately take action.
Refrain from asking questions to an attorney before hiring him or her or while your case is going on
Admit anything that you did not do. Sometimes it may appear to be the easy way but an admission will result in a conviction. A conviction is a serious matter and can adversely affect the rest of your life.
Lose your temper with the officers investigating your case. Remember, as the suspect, anything and everything that you say can be used in evidence against you.
Give up. Fight the charges.