The Georgia Mandated Reporter Law – O.C.G.A. §19-7-5 (2016) requires certain professionals to report suspected child sexual abuse to the appropriate protective services. Allegations of sexual abuse are serious, and statistics show that most claims by children are legitimate. However, there are circumstances in which a child might falsely accuse someone of sexual abuse.
To remove a parent or caregiver
A child might have a parent or caregiver from which they want to escape. Accusing that person of sexual abuse will possibly result in the person’s removal from the household. Perhaps the person is verbally and physically abusive. The child might feel that a false sexual abuse claim is the best option for getting rid of the person.
To gain attention
A child might feel that any attention is better than no attention. This is especially true if the child is struggling with feelings of neglect by one or both parents. Making false claims of sexual misconduct will give the child the attention they crave.
To get revenge on a parent
An angry child might falsely claim sexual abuse to hurt a parent for a perceived wrong. The parent hasn’t done anything to harm the child, but the child has taken personal offense to something the parent has done. A child might respond this way if the parent does something such as get a divorce, remarry and start a new family or show favoritism to another child.
To satisfy the other parent
Claims of child sexual abuse sometimes arise during child custody cases. One parent might encourage the child to lie to win the custody battle. It’s possible for a parent to use manipulation or outright tell the child to lie about the abuse.
A child that makes a false sexual abuse claim doesn’t necessarily realize the seriousness of the accusation. Such a claim could ruin a person’s life. That’s why it’s important to investigate child sexual abuse claims thoroughly.