Allegations of sexual abuse in family law cases

13 April 2010

Professor Patrick Parkinson AM commented on the issue of sexual abuse allegations in family law cases in an article in the Sydney Morning Herald.

Professor Parkinson said it was not unusual for erroneous allegations of sexual abuse to be made in family law cases.

''It's not a question of [parents] … making false allegations, being vengeful - there are things that worry them in which they fear sexual abuse,'' he said.

But quite innocuous situations could ''blow up into concerns about misconduct'' when there was already a lot of hostility and distrust between parents.

''Ambiguous events can be given a sinister interpretation,'' he said.

It was often difficult to establish the truth of sexual abuse allegations, especially when the children involved were too young to give a clear picture of events, Professor Parkinson said.

''A lot of times we can't really be sure one way or the other and these are the hardest cases.''

View the entire article - Doubt over mother's child sex abuse claim

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