Why More Falsely Accused Don’t Speak Out

Posted on May 17, 2015


If procedural abuses are epidemic (and they are), why do so few vociferously complain? Why isn’t the Internet inundated with personal horror stories (and why aren’t state representatives’ in-boxes choked with them)? We purportedly enjoy the privilege of free speech, so why isn’t it exercised more?

The absence of rampant complaints of procedural abuse is misleading. Limitation of complaints to sketchy e-petitions and forum comments, often anonymous, makes them suspect and easily discounted by those with a political interest in discrediting them.

The dearth of forthright exclamations of abuse and injustice, however, is easily understood.

Rather than consider who isn’t talking back, consider who does. What distinguishes these men and women from what may be hundreds of thousands or millions of victims of false, exaggerated, or misleading accusations to the court?

For one, most of them are childless or without young children. They don’t face being further deprived access to their kids if they buck the system. Those with minor children who do speak out have often been denied all rights to their kids, anyway; they have nothing left to lose.

Too, most of them work for themselves. It’s a fact that restraining orders influence employers. Furthermore, studies have shown that employers are influenced even by Internet disclosures by employees or potential hires that may be negatively perceived by the public. Human Resources personnel are paid to snoop around. Mere injudicious comments on Facebook may be hazardous to job opportunities and careers. Declaring that you’ve been judged to be a stalker, for example, or a domestic or child abuser has obvious and grave drawbacks, never mind if you’re also construed as a wacko because you vehemently insist online that your accuser’s psychopathic. This is an express train to sleeping in a refrigerator box.

Women aren’t immune to false accusation. They’re a minority among its victims, and that status is itself isolating (from a community peopled mainly by men who resent women and the favored political status they enjoy). Many respondents to this blog are female—maybe most. By and large, however, women may feel like interlopers in male-dominated discussions, and women’s advocates, whom they should be able to turn to, don’t want to bring scrutiny to bear on the question of procedural abuse (which is mostly by women).

People who may be foully wronged and branded with accusations that may daily tear at them are coerced into silence by the feared repercussions of ventilating their rage and anguish. Their false accusers, moreover, may be violent people or, for example, extremely vindictive ones, and the accused may fear for their safety and their children’s safety, or fear further legal abuse, which can be endlessly renewed, particularly after false accusations have once stuck, and which can result in incarceration—possibly meaning loss of a single parent’s child(ren) to the state—or financial hardship or ruin. The falsely accused are squeezed between a rock and a hard place.

As you might imagine—and it’s okay to try imagining even if it goes against your partisan loyalties—this creates a hell within a hell.

Probably most of the falsely accused, besides, are not trained writers (like the loudest voices that discredit people in their shoes are) nor among the politically privileged class, whose members are typically the most able to free themselves from false accusations in the first place. They’re not suave, and they don’t possess the kinds of credentials that make people think twice.

(Also, ironically, the people who do possess the kinds of credentials that make people think twice but who fail to deflect a false finger of blame are often sensitive to “social decorum” and may be loath to air dirty laundry.)

Public outcry, finally, is discomforting to family and friends (and their family and friends). It compounds the alienation and isolation of false accusation with alienation from those who believe in you; they sidle away.

In a nutshell, it’s not merely coincidental that those few who do elect to talk back are mainly single, independently employed, without small children, white…and male. Men don’t fear violent retaliation from their false accusers, usually, and they may have nothing left to be stripped of except the lingering expectation of justice.

Copyright © 2015 RestrainingOrderAbuse.com

*Bearing the foregoing in mind, it should be no surprise that the preponderance of publicized outrage originates from “just folks” who aren’t distinguished and who are easily dismissed (and mocked) as “rabble.” What should be a surprise is that their detractors are often those who are supposed to be looking out for them, for example, civil rights advocates like the ACL(where R)U and agents of the popular press.