One of the worst experiences that people can have is being accused of something they did not do, especially if the allegation is a crime. Unfortunately, this is an all-too-common problem. If you have been accused of domestic violence but are completely innocent, you need to defend yourself.

In dysfunctional relationships, one party often wants revenge by making a false allegation. There are two major problems with this. First, domestic violence is a serious crime. In the U.S. alone, 10 million men and women are subjected to this form of violence in any given year. Second, you are at the mercy of the other person’s word, at least initially.

When falsely accused of domestic violence, your entire world will turn upside down. This affects not only you, but also your family members, friends, and even your job. In reality, you have become a victim. Instead of feeling you have no recourse, contact a qualified attorney who will work on your behalf. The right attorney will clear your name and ensure the accuser is held accountable for his or her actions.

Although laws vary from state to state, to ensure that your rights are protected and your freedom secured, you have options. Immediately after being falsely accused, take action by getting in touch with a reputable attorney. An expert who specializes in this area of the law will provide you with viable solutions.

Notify close family members of the situation. They will become your number one support system as well as help buffer questioning or attacks coming from the other party’s family, the media, and so on. Especially if the accuser claims that you harmed your children, get the kids to a safe and unidentified place.

In an effort to leverage their power, accusers often steal items from the accused. As soon as you are accused of this horrific crime, gather your birth certificate, visa, driver’s license, marriage documents, credit cards, car titles, money, and other valuables. That way, you can focus on getting your name cleared rather than recovering or replacing lost items.

Set your social media accounts, cellphone, and bank account to private and protect them with new passwords. If someone is willing to accuse you of domestic violence when you are 100 percent innocent, there is no guarantee this individual will stop there. Often, an accuser has other plans to make life for the innocent party as miserable as possible.

Start journaling everything your accuser says and does. If a criminal case develops, your attorney can use this information to prove your innocence. In some cases, an abuser will try to turn the tables by saying he or she was the victim. Therefore, if you were abused, gather all the evidence you can, including hospital records, police reports, photographs, text messages, emails, phone messages, and so on.

When accused of a horrific crime that you did not commit, it is imperative to have an experienced attorney on your side. That way, you know how to proceed and get the legal support and guidance you need.