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What incentives exist for false domestic violence allegations?

Many domestic violence allegations are true, but there certainly is the possibility that the accusations are false. While accusations need to be taken seriously, it's important to remember that everyone has a right to be presumed innocent unless proven guilty -- and not the other way around.

So, why would people make up allegations? While each case is different, some possible incentives include:

1. Trying to get custody of a child.

During a divorce, one parent may accuse the other of domestic violence in order to strengthen his or her own bid for custody of the child. This could also be done to cut the other parent out, perhaps out of spite.

2. Use of the home.

Accusations of domestic violence could also be aimed at removing the other person from the home. After all, with a restraining order in place saying that person can't come within a certain distance of the other, that person is then forced out of the house.

3. Financial compensation.

The person making the accusations may have costs that they want the other person to cover, and claiming that domestic violence occurred could lay the groundwork for the case.

These are just three examples, but they help to show why it's always wise to consider allegations from all sides. Again, this doesn't mean there aren't legitimate cases, but it's dangerous to assume they're always legitimate when there could be other contributing factors.

If you have been falsely accused of a crime, be sure you know how these factors may influence the case and what legal rights you have.

Source: SAVE, "How do Domestic Violence Laws Encourage False Allegations?," accessed July 05, 2017

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