Teenagers and young adults tend to act out. They are at a very confusing age of mental, physical and hormonal development, and face peer pressure daily. The problem is when they act out and involve an innocent party due to petty revenge or unresolved issues. What happens when that innocent party is your child?
It may seem like your child is old enough to handle these accusations on their own, but teenagers and young adults are known to make poor decisions. Your support and guidance are imperative to the outcome of these claims.
Take the accusation very seriously
Any formal sexual accusations made against your child, however juvenile it may seem, is serious. You must meet it with full attention and immediate concern. It will be a long, difficult road, but you must be steadfast. Only focus on the facts. Other people’s opinions do not matter.
Keep a suitable distance from the persons making accusations
Often the person making accusations would be another student, a peer or a friend. As a parent, we may think the best thing to do is talk to the complainant’s parent. However, the parent of the accusing party is not your ally. Avoid any contact if you can, to avoid complicating and exacerbating the case.
Make a timeline and build a witness list
Criminal cases with no substantial proof will rely heavily on witness testimony. Help your child trace their steps to the initial time and place the complainant claims the incident happened. By doing this you can corroborate the facts and see who other people may have been present at the time: every little detail counts, and every witness matters. Make sure to get names and contact information.
Understand the investigation process
Universities follow certain protocols for sexual misconduct. The investigation process can be thorough, but it can also be very biased. Sexual crime cases are very scandalous, and the school’s main objective would be to save its reputation. Your main objective is to maintain your child’s innocence.
Your child has the right against self-incrimination, and they can refuse to speak in detail without an attorney present.
Stand by your kid
Let your child know they are not alone, and together you will fight for their freedom no matter the cost.