Let me start by saying that Fathers for our Future is against every and all forms of child abuse, it is the lowest form of abuse and should be prosecuted to the fullest extent of law each and every time. It is our official position that the child abuse laws should be even tougher then they are now, an issue we fully intend to address in the future. Again child abuse is a horrific crime and all abusers should be punished severely, however our nations pursuit of these offenders despite the good intentions has created a system that now allows and even contributes to the abuse of the very same children we are trying to protect. We are not going to get into the system, how it works or the corruptions involved today we are simply addressing the very serious act of making intentional false abuse claims with the intention of hurting someone or gaining an advantage in a custodial battle.
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Kiaras Cause is very personal to me which is the precise reason why we decided to make this our first movement. I have personally witnessed the devastating effects false allegations of abuse can lead to. With that being said Fathers for our future officially presents Kiaras Cause….
Astonishingly 25% of children’s deaths in the United States are a result of child abuse and neglect, more then 75% of them under the age of 5 years old! A very conservative estimate of 15 million children witness domestic violence and abuse at home on a regular basis. Obviously these numbers are appalling and there is no excuse for this. Commonly, after we see a national news story of a tragic case involving children, societies reaction is of anger and outrage mostly aimed towards law enforcement and the Department of Children and Family for not preventing these cases of abuse. It is my stance that these agencies do all they can with what they have the funds are there, the staff is there the problem is the resources are all wasted on false allegations. A sickening amount of money and time that is no longer available to help actual kids in abusive or neglectful homes. Often we wait till its to late and tragedy has struck before we get behind a cause, in this case we are trying to stand up have our voice heard and prevent the problem from getting even worse and avoiding anymore senseless abuse.
About 3.6 million children are investigated as a result of child abuse claims every year, 2.8 million of them (yes that is 4 out of 5) are victims of false abuse. To be clear that is not unfounded, not unsubstantiated…just simply false! Statistically, it has been reported that anywhere between 70 to 80% of divorce linked child sexual abuse cases are hoaxes, however, most experts believe the number to be well over 90%. Sadly 95% of the false accusers are women, the desire to catch all abusers has created a universal view of guilty until proven innocent with few members of DCF interested in proving innocence. Unfortunately this makes it very easy to take advantage of the system and make a false allegation as revenge or out of pure anger and a desire to gain the advantage in custody disputes. Due to a fear of a decrease in funding DCF does not follow the state mandates of reporting false allegations to the state for prosecution and when they do many state attorneys feel it is a family court matter not a legal matter. This now creates a scenario were these allegations are typically swept under the rug and allowed to continue happening.
Several studies have revealed that the people making these false reports are obsessed with hurting their spouse or ex but the ones truly getting hurt our the children. More often then not the children are coached to lie to officials which in it self can and will cause tremendous feelings of guilt, stress, confusion, anger and not to mention self esteem and confidence issues. Children can loose all sense of security and structure in their lives.
Per DCF’s website….Any person who knowingly and willfully makes a false report or counsels another to make a false report is guilty of a felony in the 3rd degree punishable by up to 5 years in prison. In addition the department may impose a fine not to exceed $10,000 for each violation. EACH TIME THAT A FALSE REPORT IS MADE CONSTITUTES A SEPARATE VIOLATION. A false report is defined as a report of child abuse , neglect or abandonment or exploitation that is made to the central abuse hotline which is not true and is maliciously made for the purpose of:
- Harassing, embarrassing, or harming another person;
- Personal financial gain for the reporting person;
- Acquiring custody of a child or vulnerable adult;
- or Personal benefit for the reporting person in any other
- private dispute involving a child or vulnerable adult
Section 39.205, Florida Statutes(F.S.) states what the department has to do concerning false reports. The penalties in Florida are among the 3 most stringent in the United States, however as in most states the laws are not enforced, making this one of the only laws designed to protect the well being of our children , that is regularly ignored by the department paid to protect their safety!
The most obvious and simplest way to reduce false reporting is to prosecute those who file them. Fathers for our Future is not asking for new laws to be introduced we are simply demanding the current laws be enforced. State attorneys are also commonly the guilty party as they refuse to prosecute these cases even when it is recommended by DCF or in some counties the police detectives that are assigned to the cases. Some counties are now assigning detectives to every report of abuse to try and combat these false allegations, which is a good first step but unfortunately only effective if thy are allowed to proceed with the charges when determined to be intentionally false. The other issue is now you are wasting the valuable time, money and resources of two departments on every false allegation.
My beautiful little princess is a double digit victim of false allegations in under 8 years. Not even 8 years old she has had to endure too many investigations for one person. It is sad to see that at this point having to go through a physical exam associated with sexual abuse is almost normal to her, she has had to endure very uncomfortable questions accusing her father of these atrocious accusations, pressure to lie and being separated from her family and removed from her everyday structure and security. Each and every time these allegations have been deemed as false and yet they continue to happen. Although she is well adjusted, she is now reaching an age were she is well aware of what is going on and were the claims are coming from, it is becoming confusing, scary and psychologically damaging to her as it does for most children. My story began in Broward county were these reports were allowed to occur at an alarming rate. Two years ago I moved to Palm Beach County were I have now been through 3 false allegations which have now gotten even more disturbing in nature. One of the allegations was made directly to the Boca police department who immediately filed charges of false reporting, I could not be more thankful to them for doing their part to try to end this chaos. In the beginning of June 2013 the 3rd charge was made this time through DCF and although the police detective working the case has been extremely helpful and appears to be heading towards filing charges, the state attorney has already stated to me she considers this a family matter which it clearly is not as defined by the law. Point also being that it should not have gotten this far, let alone be allowed to continue anymore. An average of more the two false reports against me a year and yet I still consider myself to be one of the lucky ones many parents falsely accused loose their jobs, homes, life savings, countless years with their children and in many cases years of their lives spent sitting in jail. I have been lucky to have the support of so many family members, friends and co-workers and I am eternally grateful for that. These laws need to be enforced there is no other way to look at false allegations except pure psychological child abuse with devastating effects on children, families and communities all over the United States.
***Since this article was originally written another false report has occurred. Recently Kiara was on a visit when she was brought into the doctors office and told to lie about being sexually abused. When I picked Kiara up from her visit something seemed off that night she woke up at least once every 30 minutes sometimes more. The next morning when I asked her what was wrong she told me what happened. She went on to explain that the Dr. interviewed her in front of the person who was forcing her to lie so Kiara was scared to tell the truth due to possible repercussions. The Dr’s report stated no signs of abuse but contacted DCF anyways. Kiara then went on to tell me that when DCF in Broward interviewed her this person was also in the doorway and Kiara was scared. I am lucky that when they came to my home Kiara told the truth and made it cleared she was forced to lie. She went on to tell them of many instances where she is put in the position of being forced to lie and the guilt it causes her. The DCF agent decided it sounded like psychological labuse and that they could go after this person. Finally right ??? Wrong. She was sent to CPT (child protective team), they are a group of professional interrogators for a lack of a better word. CPT interviewed her on camera and determined she is repeatedly forced to lie and it is causing her not only psychological abuse but extreme guilt. Their medical Dr. examined her and also determined these feelings were effecting her hygiene, self esteem, sleep patterns and behavior. Once again nothing was done to stop it!!
WHAT CAN YOU DO?
Fathers for our Future begs everyone to at the very least sign our petition, we also encourage you to email your support of Kiaras Cause to the DCF director starting in west Palm Beach County then expanding to your county, hopefully spreading all over the United States. If after that you still want to do more we suggest writing, emailing or calling your local representatives, senators and governors. Flyers are available to be hung or passed out as well.
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Let your voice be heard for all the children who can’t be!