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          Parenting

          Steps to Take if You Are Falsely Accused of Child Abuse

          September 18, 2008

          “Anyone can file child abuse charges against anyone at any time, and when it happens, an investigation will ensue,” Dr. Phil says. “There is a presumption that someone has done something wrong, and they’re going to rule that out.” If a claim is not investigated, a child may remain at risk of being hurt.

          If you are falsely accused, here’s how to respond:

          1. Cooperate with the Authorities
          They’re not your enemy; they’re the child’s friend.

          2. Get an Experienced Attorney or Legal Aid
          Find someone familiar with child abuse cases. If you don’t have the money for an attorney, call legal aid, explain your situation and get representation.

          3. Don’t Speak to Anyone but Your Attorney about the Case
          Don’t plead your case at church, talk with your neighbors or share your story in the community.

          4. Get Media Attention
          It may be appropriate to have the media spotlight, so someone is watching what’s happening with your family, and your children do not get taken away and put into the foster care system without just cause.

          5. You May Need to Hire a Private Investigator

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