Child sexual abuse is one of the most horrific traumas kids can endure. There certainly is a need to protect children from these acts whenever possible.
However, there is another side of the coin that also needs to be closely scrutinized: False allegations of sexual abuse by a stepparent.
Stepparents have a hard role to fill
In even the happiest unions of wife and husband, when one spouse is the stepparent to the other’s child(ren), problems are going to emerge. Maybe when the wife was separated from her child’s father, she was so overwhelmed that she let the kid get the upper hand. Late or nonexistent bedtimes, lax rules and little supervision can prove a heady brew to tweens and teens.
When the stepparent enters the picture and attempts to establish some sort of discipline and order in the household, those efforts are not well-received by the stepchild.
Stepchildren may have trouble adjusting
The stepchild may wish to return to the time prior to the stepparent’s arrival into their lives here in Charleston. Things were so much easier and better, at least from the child’s or teen’s perspective. So, what could remove this solid barrier to better times from the family’s lives?
If you guessed false accusations of sexual abuse, you hit the mark. After all, research has shown that children who grow up in intact homes with their biological parents are at the least risk for sexual abuse. In fact, a study showed that kids growing up in a home with their single parent’s partner had eight times the risk of being neglected and 10 times the rate of abuse.
It doesn’t take much forethought to connect the two elements and lend support to a child’s claim of sexual abuse by a stepparent. Kids rarely realize the lifelong repercussions such allegations can bring even if they are later recanted.
If you are placed in this untenable position, you need to develop a solid defense strategy that will exonerate you and leave your reputation intact.