LETTER TO THE EDITOR: False allegations becoming an epidemic

October is officially recognized as Domestic Violence Awareness Month.

In the 24 years since the Violence Against Women Act was passed by Congress, great strides have been taken toward in both the prevention of and the enhancement to laws against domestic violence.

It is safe to say, at this point, that we as a country are more than aware of domestic violence, and the federal government has, via the states, implemented much more aggressive policies against domestic violence.

Unfortunately, as with many federal government initiatives, it has often become subject to exploitation and fraud.

The government’s criteria is not necessarily the effectiveness of a program, but conversely, its in showing a continual need for such program(s).

This is best accomplished by diluting the very definition of domestic violence, i.e. hurt feelings, and defining the mere allegation as a probable cause. In adopting this de facto policy one is virtually assured of the “higher numbers”

Since 1994, states have continually sought to show an ever-increasing need for perpetual federal funding for its various agencies by showing the numbers of those who are alleged perpetrators and alleged victims.

This has created what is best described as a False Allegations Industry, an industry that conceptualizes a symbiotic relationship between the government, that needs the (false) victims for numbers and the (false) victims who see the opportunity for upper hand in custody, divorce proceedings, revenge in a relationship gone bad, free legal representation, rental assistance or just plain sociopathic tendencies. This cottage industry is dependent on a model of bygone days in which the male was the defined primary aggressor.

Statistically, this idea is falling by the way side — at least one out of four males are the victims of domestic violence, with that ratio lessening every year. Our headlines are reflecting this paradigm shift as well with the growing numbers of women who are arrested for making false allegations, adult women having sex with children, or violent attacks upon the male.

We are confronted with the fact that gender violence is not mutually exclusive to males. In a recent nationwide survey, one in six persons said they knew someone who had been falsely accused of abuse, and one in 10 said they had been falsely accused themselves.

Also, according to the American Coalition for Fathers and Children (ACFC), 2 million false allegations of domestic violence are made each year. The ACFC also reports that two-thirds of all reports of domestic violence are found to be unnecessary or false. Furthermore, 11 percent of all Americans surveyed reported being victims of false allegations of sexual assault, child abuse or domestic violence.

In truth, our states face an epidemic of false claims, false accusations, and false allegations — all of which are a clear misuse of our legal system.

America’s legal system has become awash in false allegations of abuse, including false accusations of domestic violence, child abuse, and sexual assault. False allegations are harmful because they:

• Take away scarce protections and services from real victims

• Can be devastating to the falsely accused

• Undermine due process and cause misuse of our legal system

• Force children into single-parent households, placing them at higher risk of social pathologies

I survived, overcame, and have successfully moved beyond the Kafkaesque experience from my encounter with the state of Delaware. I went full circle with the state paying to have each of the 21 charges forever expunged from my record and the governor’s legal counsel writing an official letter of exoneration for me. Yes, I experienced true redemption, sadly, most victim of the false allegations industry never do.

Gordon Smith
Port Orange, Fla., formerly of Felton

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