False allegations of abuse are often made against men going through divorce. While domestic violence is a serious issue, there are also many more resources to help victims than ever before. As the public becomes more aware of domestic violence, it becomes harder for perpetrators to keep their victims silent. However, a side effect of the narrative regarding domestic abuse is that there are many myths surrounding it that directly impact men seeking divorce.
Myth #1: Only women are affected by domestic violence. In reality, millions of men are facing intimate partner violence, and men are not only less likely to seek help but less likely to receive it if they do. Most DV resources are geared to helping women and children, not men.
Myth #2: Victims should always be believed when they say they are abused. While it is never a good idea to doubt a story without a full investigation, the fact is that up to 70 percent of cases involving allegations of abuse are deemed false or unnecessary. Men are the primary targets of these false allegations. In fact, 85 percent of all protective orders are directed against men, and about 90 percent of these involve divorce or dissolution of a couple who were cohabitating.
Myth #3: It is hard to get a protective order. Far from being difficult to get a protective order, in most cases all the victim has to do is tell the judge she wants one and it is granted. This can have a direct impact on a man being able to see his children without supervision and gain access to his own home. Most protective orders are done ex parte, which means that the accused does not even get a chance to defend himself.
Myth #4: Protective orders have no effect on divorce outcomes. Protective orders are powerful weapons, even if the allegations are later proven false, in any divorce situation. Fathers may be forced out of their homes, giving the mother an advantage when fighting for custody. Fathers are also placed in the position of being forced to either agree to the order or prepare for an evidentiary hearing, a major and time-consuming undertaking.
Myth #5: If you’re innocent, there is nothing to worry about. The fact that a protective order has been put in place can have long-term effects on a father, even if the charges are later deemed false. These orders can show up on criminal background checks, making it difficult to get certain jobs.
The best weapon you have if you are being accused of DV is a good attorney. The experienced lawyers at Men’s Legal Center in San Diego may be able to help. Call today to discuss your case.