The following article is from the August 23, 2011 AVfM Radio program on the criminal practice of making false allegations of abuse in order to gain the upper hand in divorce and custody battles. The radio version was edited down due to time constraints. Here’s everything I wrote for the show in its entirety:
Too many men have become the targets of false allegations. False allegations of domestic violence. False allegations of sexual assault. And false allegations of sexual abuse.
False allegations are lies and people who make false allegations are liars. A false allegation of abuse isn’t just any lie; it’s one of the most contemptible lies that exists. Even one victim of such a despicable lie is one victim too many.
Oftentimes, when a man finds himself the target of false allegations, he initially becomes paralyzed by shock and disbelief that a woman he once loved or still loves could perpetrate such a horrible lie upon him. The nightmare of false allegations is always compounded whenever children are involved.
What precipitates these kinds of false allegations?
Domestic violence literature holds that ending an abusive relationship is often the most dangerous time for the target of abuse. The classic stereotype is that of the alcoholic Neanderthal who beats his wife to death as she attempts to walk out the door after years of abuse.
For men, ending a relationship with an abusive woman is also often the most dangerous time.
Just like his female counterpart, when a man makes the agonizing decision to divorce an abusive wife, it may end in violence. Stories abound in the news of women killing their ex-husbands and their own children during divorce and custody battles. But women have another weapon at their disposal, which is just as lethal as any firearm or poison.
That weapon is the false allegation.
Many men, despite having been subjected to years of abuse, come a cropper when their ex makes a false allegation. How could someone you once loved and who supposedly loved you tell such horrible lies?
The simplest answer is that women who perpetrate false allegations are malicious and disturbed. Men also make false allegations and those that do are equally malicious and disturbed, but let’s face it, there are clear tactical advantages for women who fabricate false allegations.
Over the last 25 years, as the domestic violence and divorce industries have grown, a perverse system has developed in response to female initiated allegations of abuse in which the accuser is rewarded.
How are women rewarded for making false allegations?
They get attention. The person they hate is punished. They receive social approval. We all hate abusers and pedophiles, right? Look at that courageous woman who’s fighting to protect her child! Female false accusers may also receive free legal representation, welfare payments, free counseling and other support services and support from family, friends and neighbors — in other words, even more attention (Wakefield & Underwager, 1990).
Furthermore, there are very little, if any consequences for women who make false allegations in family court (Green & Schetky, 1988). Ultimately, the false accuser has far more to gain than she has to lose. However, I’m hopeful that we’ll soon be seeing more stories like that of Daryl Guinyard, the man who sued his ex-wife in civil court for making false sexual abuse allegations and was awarded $852,000 in punitive damages.
What happens to men when they’re falsely accused?
Many men experience a very rude awakening when they enter the justice system via false allegations. Perhaps the truth will prevail, but typically not without a considerable amount of collateral damage to themselves and their children.
When a man is accused of abusing a woman or child, any concept of due process and “innocent until proven guilty” flies out the window. Men are assumed guilty until proven innocent when a woman cries abuse or rape.
False allegations can turn a difficult divorce into full out nuclear war.
When a woman calls 911 and alleges violence, a man is often required to vacate the family home. If his wife follows up with an emergency protective order, he must then submit to prolonged alienation from his children. He becomes caught in both the criminal justice system and social service bureaucracies, which may result in jail time and/or court-ordered therapy while the real criminal, his lying wife, wins possession of both the children and the marital home.
Men who are falsely accused by their exes also face the threat of presumably well-intentioned, but zealous and biased mental health professionals and court evaluators who are quick to believe the accusations of the often highly emotional, female false accusers based on little to no evidence.
The falsely accused isn’t the only casualty of a court appointee’s or mental health evaluator’s rush to judgment. Both the accused and his children are hurt.
When the false allegations involve sexual abuse, children are subjected to a long process of interrogation, therapies and medical examinations, which can be invasive, confusing and traumatic. The falsely accused often suffers emotional and physical trauma, public humiliation, family breakdown and financial ruin. Furthermore, the relationship with his children may be irreparably damaged.
Fighting to prove his innocence can take years and become a financial expense many men simply can’t afford.
Just as false accusers rarely receive consequences for perverting and obstructing justice, court evaluators and mental health professionals who wrongly determine that abuse has occurred through their own incompetence and biases are rarely held accountable. The people who suffer the most negative consequences are the falsely accused and the children. This isn’t justice; it’s a mockery of justice.
What do we know about women who make false allegations?
Wakefield and Underwager (1990) determined that false accusers are much more likely to have a personality disorder such as histrionic, borderline, passive-aggressive, or paranoid. False accusers appear to be highly defensive and rigid, to have poor insight and a tendency to deny personal shortcomings. They tend to be extremely concerned about and sensitive to how others perceive them. False accusers tend to confuse feelings with facts. A woman may “feel” abused or may “feel” the children are being abused, when, objectively speaking, no abuse has actually occurred (Zepezauer, 1994).
Wakefield and Underwager (1990) found that:
[False accusers] are likely to misperceive the behavior of others and to react to stressful situations in maladaptive ways. Depending upon the specific personality disorder, they are characterized by instability of mood, impulsivity, inappropriate emotional overreactions, a need for approval and attention, and difficulties handling anger and conflict.
False accusers also have an obsessive hatred of and anger toward their ex-partner, so much so that their hatred and anger become a driving force in their lives. False accusers are individuals who hate their exes more than they love their children. Their hatred and anger trumps the needs and much ballyhooed best interests of their children.
What do we know about men who become the targets of false allegations of abuse?
They tend to be your average nice guy who has a more nurturing and passive personality. These men are unlikely to be socially aggressive or competitive and tend to lack insight into their personal relationships, which may explain why so many of these men are thrown for a loop when their ex throws them under the bus — even when she’s made threats throughout their marriage to call 911 and have him arrested (Wakefield & Underwager, 1990).
Additionally, these men, because of their sensitive and caring natures, may be more vulnerable to relationships with needy and manipulative women. Once in a relationship with a high-conflict (HCP) and/or abusive personality disordered woman (APDI), they may behave somewhat passively as they continue to naively hope that everything will magically work out in the end.
What are the identifiable characteristics of false allegation cases?
Ross and Blush (1987; 1990) have found certain patterns that characterize false allegation cases. For instance:
1.The allegations start after separation and legal action commences.
2.There’s a history of family dysfunction with high-conflict and other hidden underlying issues.
3.Again, the female accuser is often a histrionic or borderline personality.
4.The female accuser takes an angry, defensive and justifying stance.
5.The accused male parent is generally nurturing, passive and lacks “macho” characteristics.
6.In alleged sexual molestation cases, the child is typically a female under the age of 8.
7.The allegations surface via the custodial parent who is typically the mother.
8.The mother takes the child to an “expert” who corroborates the abuse and identifies the father as the culprit.
9.The court reacts to the expert information by terminating or limiting visitation.
Ross and Blush also determined there are primarily three types of false accusers: the histrionic, the justified vindicator and the borderline.
The histrionic personality appears anxious and presents herself as the victim of her ex. She describes herself as physically and/or psychologically abused by her ex and worries that the children are also in danger of being victimized from him. She projects or superimposes her feelings, fears and distortions onto the children. She seems to have “unusual and inappropriate” sexual concerns about the children and may regularly examine the children’s genitals and take them for frequent medical examinations.
The justified vindicator initially presents as assertive and organized with a justifiable argument supported by “facts, figures and opinions supporting her evidence.” She comes across as outraged and worried about her ex’s behavior. However, as most high-conflict types do, she becomes resistant, hostile and passive-aggressive or overtly aggressive upon cross-examination of her claims. She’s likely to try to discredit any evaluator or law enforcement official that questions her assertions and may threaten to sue or file an ethics complaint.
The borderline personality has intense and chaotic interpersonal relationships and is prone to intense valuation and devaluation. They will attempt to punish others who they believe have abandoned or hurt them. False allegations are a highly effective way of doing this.
In my practice, I coach many men through the divorce process. Prior to pulling the pin and telling their abusive wives that the marriage is over, I help my clients create a safe exit strategy. I use the phrase “pulling the pin” deliberately, because divorcing an abusive, high-conflict and possibly personality disordered woman is often very much like handling a live grenade.
I warn every single male client who is about to divorce or break-up with an abusive partner that he may be at risk for becoming the target of false allegations.
Many men can’t comprehend how or why their partner or ex could fabricate such a lie. Even when their wives have threatened to call 911 during the relationship to intimidate and control them, they still have a difficult time believing that it could happen to them. Men whose wives or girlfriends have threatened to call the cops during their relationship to intimidate or control them are especially at risk should they decide to separate.
Counseling is not a consequence.
False allegations, even if they’re later disproved, rarely result in a completely happy ending for the accused and the children. Family court and law officials must begin implementing serious consequences — beyond the anemic “consequence” of outpatient counseling — for both women and men who make false allegations. Perhaps if women who are inclined to make false allegations knew there would be real life consequences such as jail time, fines and loss of custody, they wouldn’t be as likely to see making false allegations as a viable option.
Enough is enough. http://www.shrink4men.com/2011/08/24/false-allegations-in-divorce-and-custody-battles-the-personality-types-of-false-accusers-and-the-falsely-accused/
Our So-Called Rape Culture
Written by Dr Tara J. Palmatier on September 14, 2011
The following article includes unpublished excerpts from my interview with HuffingtonPost columnist Vicki Larson for her article, Are Men Society’s Scapegoats?
Ms Larson’s article was published soon after Nafissatou Diallo was found to be an uncredible witness regarding the rape allegations she made against Dominique Strauss-Kahn. The New York DA has since dismissed the charges against DSK.
Ms Larson asked: Women often live in fear of men. They’re stronger than us, they can hurt us, they can rape us. Some say we live in a “rape culture.” Is our fear unfounded? Why or why not?
According to Wikipedia:
Rape culture is a term which originated in women’s studies and feminist theory, describing a culture in which rape and sexual violence against women are common and in which prevalent attitudes, norms, practices, and media condone, normalize, excuse, or tolerate sexual violence against women. Examples of behaviors commonly associated with rape culture include victim blaming, sexual objectification and rape-apologism.
While I do not read every news item nor do I watch every talking head on cable news, I honestly cannot remember ever hearing anyone excuse a man for raping a woman in my lifetime. Ever. Not in the United States. Not once. Not ever.
Our culture portrays rape as one of the most heinous crimes that can be perpetrated against women and girls.
Meanwhile, no one ever discusses adult male rape victims who, believe it or not, do exist and in far greater numbers than female rape victims. When a teen-aged boy is raped by an adult woman, for example, by a trusted female teacher, many people shrug it off and act as if the teen-aged male victim just won the statutory rape-molestation lottery.
The reality is that more men are raped every year in jail than women in the general population, which is a statistic you won’t see mentioned in any Slut Walk or Take Back the Night literature. The number of U.S. female rape victims is approximately 240,000. Approximately 300,000 male inmates are raped each year in the U.S. We don’t know how many men and boys are raped in the general population. However, if you combine that number with the 300,000, male rape victims far exceed the number of female victims.
By the way, the male victim in the above video is handicapped, not that the crime would’ve been in way excusable if the boy had no disabilities. No expulsion for the girls, though, since they didn’t violate the boy on school property. No juvie hall for the girls either, which is where they ought to be.
Imagine what would happen if three teen-aged boys did the same thing to an 11-year old disabled girl.
No one laughs at acts of domestic violence against women and girls in media and television, well, not if they want to keep their jobs.
Yet, commercial after commercial, talk show after talk show and sitcom after sitcom portray men and boys as objects of cultural ridicule. Violence against men in television and film is a common punchline.
When’s the last time a man who murdered his wife or children had his crimes reasoned away and excused by Gloria Allred because he was abused as a child or because he suffered domestic violence? Men are rarely let go with a slap on the wrist and the oh so severe “consequence” of counseling. (Seriously, counseling is not a consequence!)
What’s more, when a woman is proven to have made false rape or abuse allegations, our culture is ever quick to make excuses and protect her. And what about the man whose life she destroyed with her lies?
Many feminists argue that female false rape accusers should not be punished for their crimes, lies and the destruction of the lives of innocent men lest a legitimate rape victim be dissuaded from coming forward. Up until very recently, news outlets wouldn’t even disclose the names of false accusers in order to protect them.
Aren’t we supposed to protect the victims of crime and not the perpetrators of crime? The true victim of a false allegation is the falsely accused, not the lying accuser. Enough with the backwards logic already.
It’s more accurate to say that we live in a culture in which violence against men and boys is common and in which prevalent attitudes, norms, practices, and media condone, normalize, excuse, or tolerate all forms of violence against men and boys. Examples of behaviors commonly associated with rape culture include victim blaming, sexual objectification and rape-apologism and false rape allegation-apologism.
In my opinion, men have far more reason to fear women in our culture than women have to fear men.
On a personal level, I don’t live in fear of men. Do you?
I don’t quake in fear of the guy in cargo shorts, a Polo shirt and Havaianas behind me in the supermarket check-out line. I’m fearful if I’m in a strange part of town by myself at night, but not because I’m afraid of men. I’m afraid of criminals, some of whom happen to be men.
I don’t want to live in fear of 50% of the world’s population. It’s irrational, it’s paranoid and it’s unhealthy.
The pervasive fear of men in our culture is unfounded; in fact, it’s an absurd hysteria that’s a by-product of calculated political theater and feminism, which has become an ideology of hate. Unfortunately, there are certain groups that profit from perpetuating the fear of all things male, so it persists.
Many men are physically bigger and stronger than the average woman, but physical strength and body size have nothing to do with abuse. This is a myth perpetuated by the Domestic Violence and female sexual grievance industries . . . and Dr Phil.
Many men are abused and assaulted by smaller women. These men don’t hit back — even in self-defense.
There are some women who feel free to slap, kick, push, punch and scratch men and hit them with objects because they know the man they’re attacking won’t hit them back. Most men have been taught from a very early age that it’s not okay to hit women and girls no matter what — even when they’re under physical assault by a woman.
“Don’t hit girls” is a message that has been drummed into our society for a few decades now. Where is the equivalent message for girls about not hitting boys? Tween shows like iCarly use their male characters as punchlines and punching bags for their female characters. Imagine a children’s TV show that featured a boy hitting a girl followed by the applause and guffaws of a laugh track. There would be tremendous public outrage from moms. Where’s the outrage for boys who are hit and ridiculed?
Predators prey on those they perceive as weak. Predators are distributed equally among the sexes, if not the prison populations. Male predators go to jail; female predators go to counseling.
In this respect, female predators have an advantage over male predators. Sociopathic predators of both sexes are highly treatment resistant, so why do we send female predators to community counseling and male predators to the state penitentiary? Why?
Because when it comes to gender equality in our culture, we live on a one-way street paved with double standards.
Men have the ability to hurt women. Women have the ability to hurt men. Neither sex has a monopoly on the ability to hurt others. Some of the worst emotional beatings I’ve experienced were at the hands of other women. Almost all of the workplace bullying I’ve experienced in academia and the mental health field, was perpetrated by other women. This is just one of feminism’s dirty secrets.
Research shows that women excel in relational and psychological aggression. In fact, women engage in psychological aggression more than men (Muñoz-Rivas, et al, 2007) and their use of physical aggression is nearly equal to men (Parity, 2010). A 2000 meta-analysis found that women are slightly more likely to commit physical aggression while men are slightly more likely to injure their partner overall (Archer, 2000). Two-thirds to three-quarters of aggression in relationships is bi-directional (i.e., both partners are aggressors).
However, in the minority of relationships with one-sided aggression, women are two times more likely to be the aggressor (Straus & Ramirez, 2007). Severe physical abuse of women in marriage and dating has decreased significantly since the 1970s, but severe abuse of men in marriage and dating has held steady or increased (Straus, 1995; Hampton, et al., 1989; Mallory, et al., 2003). Furthermore, two studies found that women attributed their male partners’ physical aggression to self-defense (Follingstad, 1991; Sommer, 1994).
As a society, it’s time to accept the fact that both men and women are equally capable of hurting each other. I don’t want to be seen as a victim because I’m a woman. I’m sick and tired of the way certain groups portray women as victims. I want equal rights; not special rights.
Women can and do hurt and rape men and boys. Just click on the following names:
Sylvette Barretto, Ashley Jo Beach, Tracy Conley, Stephanie Draper, Amy Ellsworth, Michelle Francoeur, Eraelia Glisson, Georgiana Helmboldt, Abby Kramer, Adrienne Laflamme, Michelle McAdams, Naomi Perez, Elizabeth Raedeke, Angelic Roberts, Carrie Shafer, Leisa Ward, Melanie Yusko, and Heather Zeo.
Women can be just as violent as men: Brianna Broitzman, Theresa Craig, Nicole Doucet, Agnieszka F, Susan Falls, Sherry Fleming, Senobia Flemister, Kathleen Folbigg, Vicki Gillig, Chytoria Graham, Erika Gutierrez, Quantasa House, Melissa Huckaby, Katherine Knight, Ashton Larson, Deborah Littler-Parsons, Aset Magomadova, Stephanie McMullen, Carmen Montenegro, Pamela Rowley, Sarena Sherrard, Dallas Smith, Johanna Vera, and Sharron Watson.
Should we live in fear of women as an entire sex?
Women have the unthinkable power of destroying a man’s life by simply pointing a finger at him and crying, “Rape!” Men have no such power over women. If a man claimed a woman raped him, he’d be laughed out of many a police station.
These women made false allegations: Temitope Adenugba, Jacqueline Barkley, Emma Blunden, Faye Branighan, Jade Brooks, Leoni Campbell, Vanna Chief Eagle aka Vanna Fast Wolf, Katherine M. Clifton, Louise Creighton, Andrea Davio-Michaud, Christina Dallison, Helen Dalby, Jennifer Day, Jessica De La Vega, Tracee Deane, Danielle Deichman, Liselle Ellis, Chloe Dolton, Melinda Denham, Roseanne England, Cheryl Fleming, Felisha Hardison, Kay Hoofe, Kirstie Hodgson, Sarah-Jane Hiliard, Sarah Hunter, Leyla Ibrahim, Louise Johnson, Heidi Jones, Rebecca Knight, Bernadett Kore, Amanda Lang, Michaela Lodge, Amanda Little, Aisha Mather, Samantha Merry, Tamara Moonier, Samantha Morley, Amanda Moyes, Louise Ndikum, Danmell Ndonye, Eloise O’Donovan, Hannah Patenall, Biurny Peguero, Jessica Perry, Victoria Salter,Deanna Taulbee, Emma Wallace, Elizabeth Wilkinson, and Kate Woodhead.
If not for evidence, the innocent men these women falsely accused would have spent years in jail and been labeled sex offenders for the rest of their lives and for what? Because a young woman failed out of college and claimed she was raped so her parents wouldn’t be angry with her? Because a woman was upset a man didn’t call her after a one-night stand? Because a woman cheated on her husband and called it rape so her husband wouldn’t divorce her?
Ladies, how would you feel if your sons were falsely accused of rape? Would you want the woman who tried to take away your son’s life to go to counseling or would you want her to go to jail for her crime?
I don’t live in fear of men. I live in fear of violent criminals and pathological liars of both sexes. Although, I can certainly understand why many men live in fear of women. It’s justified.
If we live in a rape culture, it’s one in which violence against men and boys is normalized and excused, and not the other way round. http://www.shrink4men.com/2011/09/14/our-so-called-rape-culture/