Most domestic violence accusations are real. That said, just as with anything else, people can and will lie about it. They make up stories, stretch facts, invent new “facts” or even tell a blatant lie with the hope that no one can prove they are lying.

In some cases, it is hard to show what really happened. Say a young woman says that her boyfriend, who has a child with her, came home from work and hit her. He claims that she is lying and that they just got into an argument, but he would never hit her. If they were the only two people in the house at the time, it’s just a matter of her word against his.

So, why do things like this happen? Some have said that lies about domestic abuse may happen when “there is a need to blame or malign for secondary gain.” The lie itself is not the goal. There is more to it. Something is going on behind the scenes. The person who told the lie has another end goal in mind and they see it as a step in that direction.

In this hypothetical example, remember that the couple has a child together. Maybe the argument happened because the man said he wanted to end the romantic relationship. The woman did not want to break up. She knew she couldn’t stop it, of course, so she decided to lie about the abuse in order to get custody of the child.

Her end goal could be one of two things. First, she may be attempting to get custody so that the man will decide not to break up with her, allowing him to see his child. Second, she could be lying out of spite. She may feel angry about the end of the relationship and want to keep the man from seeing his child by abusing the laws meant to protect her and the child.

Again, you never want to assume anyone is lying. Most cases are real. Most accusations are real. But, as long as lies do happen in some cases, it is important to know why they may happen and what legal rights all parties have when they end up in court.