In recent conversation the subject about parents lying about sexual and physical abuse done to their children by the other parent came up. I have often thought of this when I blog here the articles that I find all over the internet. Because of this conversation, I have given more thought to this.
When one parent accuses the other parent of sexual or physical abuse of their child while going through divorce proceedings or custody battles, many often claim the abuse didn’t happen. Most people claim that the parent making the accusations are fabricating them just to get custody of the child; and further to get money, i.e. in the form of child support.
I have seen studies that say parents lie about abuse in very few cases, and I have seen studies where they say parents lie about it in a very high percentage of cases. So, I will not quote OR link to any studies for what I have to say about it. Obviously, it depends on which study you read. So who do we believe?
I tend to believe what I have seen and experienced first hand, not what I read, but what I personally have witnessed. It is very obvious to anyone that has ever been divorced or sat in Family Court; that no matter how peaceful the parties involved are trying to make this...the Family Court System can and often does turn the proceedings into a three ring circus. Throw in domestic violence and child abuse; and you have a nightmare!
Shared Parenting comes up in most divorce cases, it has to. Most states have a clause that says the child should live where the best interest of the child is better served. Shared Parenting can work, but if and only IF there is NO abuse going on. NONE. When there has been abuse either before, during or after the divorce or separation...all efforts at shared parenting or co-parenting will fail.
No one can share in parenting with someone that has abused them or their child. Abusers will NOT split decisions and parenting equally, not will they compromise with their victims.
Yes, there are vindictive petty people out there that are parents. Yes, these same parents do see using the child as a pawn for whatever gain they can as a means to an end for their own vengeful ideas. I won’t, or well can’t, deny they exist because I have met parents like that. BUT, for the most part I’d say the majority of parents that I personally know actually love their kids and will do what is best for them.
How can we as a society see through all this mess and determine when there really is abuse and when there is just a vindictive parent on the loose? It is hard! One thing that I have used as a guidepost is looking at the length of time the parent persists. Vindictive parents usually will not go to such lengths as to have themselves inconvenienced by the fight in court.
What do I mean by that? Well, during my conversation we were talking about a couple of moms that had been put in jail because they were claiming their child was being abused by the father. In one situation the mom had hidden the daughter somewhere and would not tell where she was. So she was put in jail as a method of trying to force her to tell.
The article that we were discussing made it seem like she was being accused of lying about the abuse. Now, I ask you this....if all she wanted was revenge or child support, why on earth did she let it go on for years of her being in jail. I can’t believe that someone would lie about something like that, then hide their child and go to jail for years rather than tell where the child is. NOPE, I won’t and can’t believe she was lying.
A vindictive or greedy person, in my opinion, would not spend all the money it takes to continue going to court. It just makes no sense. They will end up spending more on court and lawyers than what they will get in return. Not to mention they will be inconvenienced for far too long.
So, in my opinion, the ones that go to such extremes are more than likely the ones that are telling the truth. Now, that doesn’t mean to me that the ones that ‘give up’ quickly are lying as well. Some people just don’t have the means to even get the battle started, no matter how REAL the abuse to their child is.