RADAR ALERT: Are You at Risk of Being Falsely Accused?

Started by RADAR, Sep 19, 2006, 11:06 PM

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RADAR ALERT: Are You at Risk of Becoming a Victim of False Allegations?

Alan Karmin of New Jersey was accused of domestic violence.  But he had never assaulted his wife.  What was the basis of the claim?  It was alleged that Karmin telephoned his ex-wife 10-15 times a day and was late on his child support payments.  But telephone records and cancelled checks easily disproved both allegations.

How could anyone make such a ludicrous accusation? Because in New Jersey, state law includes "harassment" in its definition of domestic violence.  And according to a report issued today, New Jersey and six other states fall in the "Extremely High Risk" category of states with laws that actually encourage false allegations.

"An Epidemic of Civil Rights Abuses: Ranking of States' Domestic Violence Laws" ranks the 50 states and District of Columbia, and identifies which states have laws in greatest need of reform.  Those states are Alaska, California, Missouri, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, and Virginia.

The report uses the following criteria to identify the best and worst states: loose definitions of domestic violence, financial incentives to file allegations, mandatory arrest laws, primary aggressor laws, and how judges weigh domestic violence allegations in child custody determinations.

The report can be viewed at http://www.mediaradar.org/docs/Ranking-of-States-DV-Laws.pdf. The document is the third in a series of RADAR Special Reports that expose the perverse incentives of state-level DV laws.

False allegations of domestic violence allow states' social welfare agencies to tap into federal funding sources.  The winners become the states with the most intrusive laws, and the losers are the real victims of abuse this money was supposed to serve.

Persons are encouraged to share the report with local media representatives, judges, and state lawmakers, to use the report as the basis for reform efforts.

Date of RADAR Release: September 20, 2006

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R.A.D.A.R. -- Respecting Accuracy in Domestic Abuse Reporting -- is a non-profit, non-partisan organization of men and women working to assure that the problem of domestic violence is treated in a balanced and effective manner. http://www.mediaradar.org.

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