Few people can dispute the fact that domestic violence and stalking laws protect people from harm in altercations with those they should be able to love and trust. However, there are those who will make a false accusation, which can result in ruining innocent lives and destroyed relationships. Colorado residents should understand how and why this can happen, as well as the long-lasting consequences.
Domestic violence encompasses physical attacks such as hitting, kicking and sexually assaulting a spouse, romantic partner or children. It can also include emotional, psychological and financial abuse. Those who claim to be the victims of domestic abuse can seek an emergency protective order, which immediately prohibits the alleged abuser from contacting or going near the victim and minor children. During a later hearing, the accuser may be able to obtain a protective order that lasts several months to a year or longer.
Protective orders give real victims legal protections that may deter their abusers from attacking them, out of the fear of criminal repercussions. However, protective orders are also relatively easy for false accusers to obtain. Why might someone falsely claim a spouse is being abusive? The following scenarios are reportedly common:
- A spouse is angry after an argument and tries to get revenge against his or her partner.
- During divorce proceedings, one spouse makes false accusations of physical violence to get full custody of the children.
- One person interprets shouting, touching or blocking during an argument as violence and calls authorities on the other spouse.
The person who is falsely accused of domestic violence often loses rights without having a voice, such as the right to see his or her children or to live in the family home. He or she may also face fines and jail time. It is imperative for those facing false charges to seek experienced legal counsel.