Robert L. Sepp | Attorney at Law
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Why do people lie about domestic violence?

On Behalf of | Nov 10, 2022 | Assault, Criminal Defense |

Domestic violence is a major problem in Oregon and throughout the country. Any allegation of domestic violence should be taken seriously.

However, the topic of domestic violence cannot be discussed without acknowledging the reality that sometimes the alleged victim is lying about the domestic violence. You may be completely blindsided when you find out someone has accused you of domestic violence when you know that it is not true.

Potential consequences of a domestic violence accusation

It is not an exaggeration to say that a false domestic violence accusation can ruin your life. Your potential legal consequences include fines, jail time and a criminal record.

Although you may eventually pay your fines, serve any jail time and possibly expunge your criminal record, you will likely suffer damage to your personal and professional reputation that can never be undone.

As you try to determine your next steps after a domestic violence accusation, you might be questioning why the alleged victim would possibly lie. There are many reasons people lie about domestic violence.


One of the most common, and simplest, reasons is simply revenge. The alleged victim can be a bitter ex who accused you of domestic violence to ruin your reputation or paint themselves as a victim.

They may also just want to see you suffer with having to deal with the criminal court system and potentially going to jail.


If you have children with your accuser, custody battles are another major reason people lie about domestic violence. Most courts consider domestic violence as a factor when making custody decisions, and your accuser may think this will help them gain custody.

Defending yourself

Domestic violence accusations must be proven with direct evidence, such as photos or witness testimony. Many domestic violence cases are “he said/she said” situations, which can provide you with a stronger defense.

Additionally, if you can prove that your accuser is lying under oath, they can even be criminally charged themselves. Perjury is a Class C felony in Oregon.

You must act on domestic violence accusations immediately to minimize the damage. Experienced criminal defense attorneys know how to spot weaknesses in cases and use them to your advantage.