Family Support for the Falsely Accused
Today we live in a #MeToo era where both civilians and military service members are being blindsided by lies and false accusations of sexual assault/rape/harassment. Unfortunately, military commanders are handling cases based on the political pressure and not facts. As you support your ‘falsely accused’ loved one, it is very important to understand they have become a pawn in today’s politically influenced judicial system.
Here are some quick thoughts family members can suggest to their loved one(s) in the military BEFORE an accusation is levied:
- If accused, do not speak to police, rather immediately ask for a lawyer. If you are charged you will be provided a military lawyer, but NOT until you are charged. Your accuser is granted counsel immediately.
- If the military police tell you they believe you, they are utilizing the Reid Technique of Interviewing and interrogation. This is perfectly legal for them to mislead you. They want you to confess, or to sign a document which implicates you. Once again, ask for a lawyer, refuse the polygraph. Do not sign anything without legal counsel.
- Talk to your loved one about alcohol and sexual encounters. Unfortunately, women are considered incapable of granting consent if they have been drinking, but men are considered competent no matter how much alcohol is involved.
Family members can support a loved one accused of sexual assault by:
- Contact a civilian military defense attorney immediately. Save our Heroes has a preferred list of attorneys. Most lawyers will grant you a free 30-minute consult.
- Ask your loved one to sign a Third-Party Privileges form (available on most lawyer websites). Generally, communications between a client and a lawyer are privileged without this waver. Signing this form will allow you to engage in some communications with the attorney on behalf of your loved one.
- Ask your loved one to write down as much as they can remember about the alleged incident. Dates, times, names, locations are all important and need to be documented. This information can then be handed over to the civilian attorney to help with their investigation.
Family support is very important in this type of case. The stress associated with false accusations takes a heavy toll financially, mentally and physically. Please remember, this is a marathon, not a sprint. These cases take time, be patient and do not give up. The key is to ask for help immediately. SOH is here to help. Contact us.