posted by admin on Mar 7

Behind every false allegation of child sexual abuse there are hidden agenda. Sometimes these agenda are subtle. Other times they are blatant. The key is to identify, as early as possible, those agenda which, once exposed, will most benefit your client.

Commonly, in cases of false allegations, a former or divorcing wife may have an agenda that includes wanting to estrange the falsely accused from a child. In domestic litigation, the false allegations of child sexual abuse may be a nuclear weapon launched by a vindictive parent during a strategic war. But let us explore briefly the importance of identifying all possible agenda:

While it is often true that a former wife may be shown to be a vindictive person who desires to “ruin” your client, it is often equally true that your client may be shown to be a “violent, cheating, cad” who might inspire “vindictiveness” in any woman. Remembering that whether before jury or judge (criminal or civil), the “perception” is the reality” regarding these matters. It therefore behooves the attorney to search for hidden agenda among allegedly “neutral” players.

By way of illustration, let us explore the not so uncommon case of the husband and wife engaged in a bitter custody/visitation dispute: The civil litigation is ongoing. The mother has repeatedly interfered with court ordered visitation with the five-year-old daughter. She has alleged that the child was sick, frightened, confused and otherwise “unwilling” to go to the father. Both the mother and child are in counseling. The father has brought a number of contempt motionsand the judge is losing her patience with the mother. Suddenly, there is an allegation of child sexual abuse made after a visit with the father.

These facts clearly establish a motivation on the part of the mother. A careful inquiry, however, into all hidden agenda might be very productive.

The author has been involved in many cases wherein a careful exploration of the activities of the counselor was most revealing in terms of hidden agenda. In one case the counselor routinely used so- called “regressive therapy” whereby clients were “helped” to “discover” that they were sexually abused as children. The clients were then told that because of their new “discovery” they may be able to “remember” other abuse in their life or the life of their child. Clients were given a list of the “indicators” of child sexual abuse which contained many behaviors normally found among non-abused children. They were told to let the counselor know if they observed any of these “indicators.” Not surprisingly, the behaviors were observed, whereupon, false allegations were made.

As you might imagine, a counselor who has this agenda properly exposed in court will not be credible. Moreover, regardless of the “vindictive” mother’s agenda, the factual case that emerges as a result of exposing the counselor’s agenda is compelling!

Therefore, in conducting your initial assessment of the allegations, apparent and potential hidden agenda need to be explored thoroughly and with an open mind.

[From False Allegations Of Child Sexual Abuse by Edward Nichols, MSW, LCSW -- Available for immediate download.]

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