How do you deal with false allegations of child abuse?
On last night YouTube Live we talked about Domestic Abuse and Parental Alienation and had some a really great conversation (replay below) but today I wanted to talk about the real issue of allegations of child abuse which often accompany parental alienation cases.
Why do they do it?
Aside from the obvious benefit of cutting you out of the child’s life to punish you, there is actually a very deep seated reason that narcissists accuse their ex of abusing their children and it comes down to self preservation.
When the relationship broke up (even if they ended it), there is the usual dialect of “whose fault was it?” and we know narcissists cannot take any responsibility for their own actions. Therefore it has to be your fault. This allows them to play the role of victim and walk away blameless, thus protecting themselves from collapse into self-inadequacy.
However for the narcissist to really ensure that everyone KNOWS it really was all your fault, they need to induce the child into believing that they are the “victimised child”. This then allows the narcissist to step up as the “protective parent” and for all blame to firmly be handed over to you.
But why does the child go along with it?
As we talked about in a previous Live, children make false allegations for many reasons but the narcissist is there, pulling their strings. They start very subtly by responding with rage or the silent treatment when the child says something nice about you. The child quickly learn not to say anything nice about you! The narcissist will then ask probing questions about the child’s feelings towards you and the child, having already learnt not to saying anything nice, will criticise you. The narcissist will love this and lavish attention and sympathy on the child, positively reinforcing for the child that criticism is definitely the right response.
The narcissist will keep inducing the criticism of you until an allegation of abuse is “revealed” at which point the narcissist goes into full on “protective mode”, treating the child with displays of affection and presents. The child, always eager to please, will then keep repeating this abuse, to earn their reward. Over time and through repetition, the child can actually end up believing that the abuse really did happen and so when questioned by professionals, it seems very plausible.
Obviously the psychological damage done to the child through this process of manipulation and conditioning is horrifying and is the true abuse, but the narcissist has so successfully manipulated everyone into the key role of “victimised child” and “protective parent” that the only role left for you is that of “abusive parent”.
In future blog posts we will look at how to can work to reverse this conditioning but firstly, let’s look at what this means in reality.
What will happen to me?
A Child Protection investigation starts with a meeting to check up on you. This might happen casually, with a Social Worker “popping in to chat” or it might be by appointment in your home. This meeting is written up on a record that goes permanently on file about you and your child/ren. At this meeting they will talk to you about the concerns which have been raised and conduct an Initial Assessment. They will want to look around the house (briefly), speak to nursery/school, and ask you questions around the Common Assessment Framework.
The result of this meeting with you can be “No action taken.” You are unlikely to get an apology or thanks, and you need to check that the file that stays with Social Services is accurate as it can affect your child’s future.
Matters can go further and Social Services decide to hold a bigger Core Assessment meeting where they can command you to do various things as a parent, and the child/ren may be put on the “At Risk” Register.
Right at the start as this process starts up the more you have information so you know what is happening the better.
Documents which may help:
My final words on this is to not give up hope. Your child has been psychologically abuse but the truth is still the truth and in time that does come out. Stay strong and focused on the life you will give your child when you are reunited.