The Latin maxim “dura lex, sed lex” (the law is hard, but it is the law) literally fits to the current state of the Federal Law on Child Abuse prevention. Prior to 1974, the majority of child abuse cases in the United States were either concealed or seldom reported to authorities. This is because at that time, there was no definite law that brought the issue to the public. When the Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act (CAPTA) was passed, each state in the nation was forced to act accordingly and instructed that they formulate their own state law providing strict child abuse laws. If any state does not seriously comply with the integration of the new federal code into state law, funding will be suspended.
As a result, the entire American public is now very much aware of the current state of child abuse in the country. There are laws on each state that provide definite and maximum punishments for sex offenders and pedophiles. While CAPTA is obviously formulated to keep children safe from sexual abuse, it is also the main tool used by other people to advance their interests in falsely accusing innocent individuals of child sexual abuse. How does this happen?
There is a certain provision in the law that gives immunity to persons who present reports in good faith about alleged and suspected scenarios of child sexual abuse. This means that if ever someone believes that his neighbor is abusing a child without any substantial evidence to prove it, he can still report it without risking himself of being brought to court for false allegation and harassment charges. Since there is immunity from prosecution, people with bad intentions can use this law to their advantage. If they hold a grudge over a person, they can simply make up stories; convince a child to make an accusation, and then report that fabricated story to the authorities. Definitely, for those who are wrongly accused of child sexual abuse, the law may be harsh, but it is the law.
It’s not always the case where children become victims of sexual abuse. There are times when they also become victims, but of a different kind of abuse. SAID syndrome is a term coined by medical experts that means sexual allegation in divorce. This scenario happens when marriages fail. What usually follows in a divorce is the custody battle for the children. Wives who are in danger of losing custody of their kids are capable of doing drastic measures just to win the battle. As a last resort, they try to manipulate their kids into falsely accusing their father of sexual abuse. And since the courts are unfortunately in favor of children, any allegation, even if it’s substantial, will always get merit from the jury or the judge. At this point, we have to point out that the father/husband is not the only victim, but the kids as well. They are victims of a kind of abuse called manipulation. It is not their fault when they are forced or convinced by their moms to accuse their dad of abuse. They are simply confused.
As we can see in the scenarios mentioned above, the horrible nature of the crime of child molestation and sexual abuse is slowly swallowing the essence of justice for those falsely accused of the crime. It seems like whenever someone is accused, he is already guilty even if there is no trial or evidence provided to prove it.