By Joan Zorza, J.D.
FREQUENCY OF INCEST, PARTICULARLY WHEN THERE IS DOMESTIC VIOLENCE:
”…One study has found that some form of child abuse occurs in 30-60% of families where domestic violence is present, and that the occurrence rate is much higher when it is the father abusing the mother. The same study reports that the incidence of child abuse by a battering husband increases from 5% with one act of marital violence to nearly 100% with 50 incidents of marital violence.1 Other studies show that 44.5% to 73% of incest perpetrators are known to be battering the children’s mother.2
HOW OFTEN ARE INCEST ALLEGATIONS MADE IN CUSTODY DISPUTES?
A study of 12 states found that incest allegations are raised in only 6% of custody cases.3 An even larger study involving 9,000 divorce cases found the rate of incest allegations to be less than 2% of divorce cases, or less than 10% of contested custody disputes.4 The reality is that because custody disputes are considered difficult and take up much court time, particularly when there are incest allegations, they are wrongfully assumed to happen more often than they actually do….”
HOW OFTEN DO MOTHERS DELIBERATELY MAKE FALSE ALLEGATIONS OF INCEST?
“Despite the assumption that virtually all allegations of incest arising in custody disputes are made falsely by mothers and for tactical gain, the reality is that fewer than half of incest allegations made during custody disputes are made by mothers against fathers (some are made against other people or made by fathers or others).5 An Austrailian study showed that false allegations are rare (no more than 9% of cases) and are no more common in divorces or custody disputes than at other times. Furthermore, most incest allegations that are not sustained are made in good faith, not deliberately falsely.6 Canada has found that fathers are more than 16 times as likely to make false incest allegations as mothers (21% of cases by fathers, vs. only 1.3% of cases by mothers).7”