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False Allegations Of Child AbuseThe National Fathers' Resource Center and Fathers for Equal Rights is adamant in its belief that child abuse in general cannot be tolerated; and child sexual abuse, in particular, is among the most heinous of deeds. Sexual abusers of children must be exposed for their criminal acts. The guilty must be punished, and children must be protected from their aggressors. Preferring to err on the side of false accusations rather than to risk a child's safety, some courts have tended toward a mind-set of "guilty until proven innocent" in the case of alleged sexual abuse. We appreciate the good intentions of this conservative approach; but we are also keenly aware of the devastation that it wreaks on the falsely accused, especially when coupled with the "winner takes it all" mentality of some divorce and custody battles.

False allegations of child sexual abuse have become "a popular game" in family courts in recent years. Statistically, it has been reported that 70-80% of divorce-linked child sexual abuse cases are hoaxes. Since it is nearly impossible to "prove yourself innocent," it is often preferable to approach the problem by demonstrating that the allegations are unsubstantiated, illogical, self-contradictory, and frivolous. The accusations don't make sense; they don't stack-up; they're just not believable!

There are times when nobody should attempt to represent himself/herself as a pro se litigant, and anytime you are facing false allegations of sex abuse, you need an attorney skilled in cross-examination. Often, parents falsely accused of child abuse, including sexual abuse, need the assistance of both a civil-law attorney to handle the divorce and/or custody issues and a criminal-law attorney to represent the accused in criminal court. This is no time for amateur pro se representation: the stakes are too high for the child's well-being, the child's self-esteem, your reputation, your job, your peace of mind, and even your freedom.

You can be of tremendous assistance to your attorney in preparing your defense if you take advantage of the varied resources available to help you understand the nature of false accusations. These resources range from reading materials and mental health professionals, to organizations that specialize in working with people for whom false allegations have split their families apart and inflicted terrible pain on everyone concerned.

Do The Math! Approximately 7,600 reports of child abuse occur each day and over 7,200 are eventually classified as false allegations. Since only 400 are confirmed as valid cases, why are over 3,000 children taken from parents each day? That's over 1,000,000 children every year. Why are billions of taxpayer dollars and hundreds of thousands of man-hours wasted investigating false allegations of abuse? Why are kicking, screaming children forcibly removed from loving, responsible parents and placed in foster care where they are ten times more likely to be physically and/or sexually abused? The threat to the health and welfare of families is real, epidemic, and must be dealt with through effective Family Rights legislation."

The NFRC and FER strongly suggest that for those who are falsely accused; never, never plea-bargain "no contest." The effects of such an action are devastating. You will be forever known as a deviant sex offender and you will never be able to recover a normal life.


Texas Family Code, Chapter 153.013 and 261.107, Report of Child Abuse. Includes a section titled "False Report."

Advanced Family Law Course, Vol 4, 1989, State Bar of Texas. See Chapter UU - "Litigating a Child Abuse Claim." This chapter instructs attorneys how to "put together" their case; how to organize the information, present the evidence, exhibits, etc., whether prosecuting or defending the accused. An appendix to this chapter, written by Dr. Kit Harrison, titled "False Allegations of Child Sexual Abuse" addresses reasons for false claims and some methods used by psychologists for detecting false claims. This chapter can help you organize your notes, facts, and evidence for your attorney.

Advanced Family Law Course, Vol 3, 1990, State Bar of Texas. Chapter AA - "Child Abuse and Custody" addresses many aspects of the problem, including the competence of a child witness, the hearsay rule, use (and problems) of anatomically correct dolls, whether children lie about sexual abuse, and the trial. By Judge Enrique Pena.

Advanced Family Law Course, Vol 4, 1991. (Found in any Texas Law Library.) Chapter TT - "Sex Abuse" discusses opinion and expert testimony; the role of the Attorney Ad Litem (for the child); simultaneous criminal and civil proceedings in a child sex abuse case; and the evaluation of a child abuse case from the prosecutor's point of view.

Marriage Dissolution, Vol 1, 1991, State Bar of Texas. (Found in any Texas Law Library.) Chapter Q - "Abuse: Physical, Sexual and Emotional" addresses problems related to allegations, the credibility of the accuser(s), and the use of mental health professionals. It suggests pre-trial intervention measures for protecting the child, and aspects of the judicial process including communication between courts.

Domestic Torts by Leonard Karp. (Found in any County Law Library.)

There are several books on the shelf dealing with neglect and abuse of children, and how the courts handle such claims. This is one of the better books in the collection. (A tort is a wrongful act for which a civil action will exist, except for an act involving a breach of contract.)

Ashes to Ashes Families to Dust, False Accusations of Child Abuse: A Roadmap for Survival by Dean Tong, Family Rights Press, Tampa, FL, 1996. Paperback, $18.95. A must read. (Call 800-987-7771 to order.)


After false allegations of child sexual abuse have been entered into the court, either in the form of written pleadings or orally at a hearing, you may ask the court to appoint a psychologist to evaluate the entire family. A court-appointed evaluator eliminates arguments between spouses about which psychologist to use. Several of them specialize in children and are highly regarded by the courts for impartiality, objectivity and integrity in their evaluations and reports. Some, unfortunately, are "hired guns" and cannot be trusted. The better psychologists do not attempt to represent just one parent to the court; they evaluate entire families. Sessions are typically 45-50 minutes in length. You can expect fees in the neighborhood of $100 per hour. Some psychologists accept insurance.

The Fathers for Equal Rights organization,  FER,  maintain a referral listing of psychologists, psychiatrists, social workers, counselors and other mental health professionals to assist members. Members should consult with our chapter or the Dallas chapter's Mental Health Consultant (below), who is a licensed social worker and marriage & family therapist, before selecting counselors, mediators, or other mental health professionals. You will be referred to a professional who can provide appropriate services for yourself, your children, or your family, according to your particular circumstances. We can also prepare you to anticipate specific questions that are frequently asked during social studies.

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. , LMSW-ACP, Mental Health Consultant. 1222 Commerce Street, Suite 410. Phone 214-749-0614. 

(If you have committed a sexual offense against a child and sincerely want to prevent a relapse, and you want to protect society, effective rehabilitative treatment is available through a Registered Sex Offender Treatment Provider (RSOTP). For referral to a qualified therapist, contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., LMSW-ACP. Confidentiality is assured.)

Fathers For Equal Rights is a wonderful group that cares about what's best for the children.
  -- Janice N.

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