“Accusation reveals the character of the accuser more than the accused”
We are a non-profit organization of volunteers dedicated to preserving the rights of those falsely accused of child abuse through education.
False allegations of child abuse began gaining national attention in the early 1980’s. While the goal of protecting children from harm is an important and noble one, the current means used to achieve that goal is in crisis. The resulting effects on children and families can be devastating.
In child abuse cases, there exists the continued working hypothesis among professionals charged with protecting children that if an allegation is made, abuse must have occurred, and the accused person must have perpetrated the abuse. Furthermore, it becomes the responsibility of the accused to prove otherwise. At the same time, reports in the media continue to explode with examples of overwhelmed child protective systems across the country losing track of the huge number of children they have removed from their homes for suspected abuse. By the time that they are located, many such children have spent years in a far worse situation than the one from which they were originally removed; some are even dead.
The National Child Abuse Defense & Resource Center (NCADRC) strives for the day when the agencies responsible for investigating abuse and neglect claims are REQUIRED to remain unbiased, and accountable for their actions. Accountability will allow them to better manage their resources, so that they can successfully protect children from real abuse, while not traumatizing innocent children and families because of false allegations of child abuse.
Once false allegations of child abuse do make their way into court, the challenges for the accused only increase. The emotional atmosphere that is generated by an allegation that a child has been deliberately harmed creates a hostile climate for defending against such an allegation.
Public backlash over child abuse cases has resulted in special laws and rules designed by legislators, with the intention of giving child-witnesses an equal footing in court. Toward that end, these laws allow prosecutors to introduce evidence that would not be allowed in other types of cases. Good intentions aside, the reality is that child-witnesses and prosecutors in child abuse cases, have been given a tremendous advantage in the courtroom.
Presenting an aggressive defense against false allegations is crucial in determining the truth, and ultimately, prevailing at trial. Since there are so many issues involved in child abuse cases, and since the issues touch on such a wide range of professional fields, it is extremely difficult for any attorney to keep fully abreast of all of the current research, data, and case law that is central to providing an aggressive defense. Many professionals who testify that abuse has occurred base their testimony/opinion primarily on the opinions of other like-minded professionals. Many times, they will say that there are studies by other “experts” that support their opinions. Rarely is that true. Yet, if the defense does not know the research, or that flaws in the data exist, then the State’s professional can and will be convincing. Effectively challenging these professionals is absultely central to any defense strategy.
The NCADRC was formed to explore the relevant research and data, and how it can be applied successfully to the benefit of the defense in cases involving false accusations of child abuse. We are dedicated to the continued exploration of all such information.