The psychology of false accusations and domestic violence

| Oct 22, 2020 | Criminal defense |

People lie for many reasons and this is certainly a complicating factor in cases of domestic violence and sexual assault. Without witnesses and other corroborating evidence, the exact truth often remains elusive even in the courts. 

Due to the nature of false accusations, precise statistics in these matters are hard to pinpoint. 

A possible trend

An article in Psychology Today refers to a possible trend of increased false accusations of abuse perhaps related to the #MeToo movement. The motivations for false abuse could involve many complex psychological factors and even include personality disorders. An angry spouse or partner might want to win a court battle at all costs, or may even want to destroy a person’s reputation. 

While it is important to note that a person with a personality disorder can certainly make valid claims, it is equally important to realize that false claims do harm a person’s reputation and mental and financial well-being. In some cases, the complete truth remains a mystery, but in many cases the legal process uncovers the falseness of an accusation or verifies the truth of a claim. 

A potential balance

An article in Forbes details some of the issues that men and women now encounter in the workplace related to sexual assaults and other matters. While sexual assault and domestic violence are not the same, a look at one could shed light on the other especially when it comes to false accusations. One poll showed that adults voiced nearly equal concerns about the safety of women and the seriousness of false accusations. Though one source reported that only 2% of claims are proven to be false, the reality is they do happen and they do cause harm.