If you are wrongly accused of child abuse, you must take an active role in your defense. Do not assume that the justice system will exonerate an innocent person—a diagnosis of abuse by a medical professional is accepted as fact by police and social services, who will interpret all evidence through that filter.

You will need an attorney, a complete set of medical records, and one or more outside experts to ferret out the true source of the findings.

A children’s book by Christiane Allison

The families of children with Mitochondrial Disease, Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome, and other difficult-to-diagnose conditions, are especially vulnerable to accusations of abuse. In response to a real problem, the group MitoAction has published a set of resources for families accused of Medical Child Abuse. The advice is sound and much of it is applicable to any abuse allegations.

If you have been accused of infant abuse by shaking, see the resources page on the  On SBS blog, and make sure your attorney sees these key journal articles:

Defense attorneys handling these cases should consider investing in this valuable analysis of shaken baby syndrome in the courtroom, The Forensic Unreliability of the Shaken Baby Syndrome.

PIF has produced a fact sheet about shaken baby syndrome, SBSFactSheet2016, which you are free to download, reproduce, and distribute.

Tragically, some child abuse experts diagnose any unexplained fracture in a baby as abuse. In fact, fractures in infancy can have a range of non-traumatic origins, including prematurity (bone mineralization ramps up during the last trimester), vitamin deficiency (doctors now recognize a resurgence of rickets), and a number of metabolic disorders.

The on-line support group Fractured Families specializes in unexplained infant fractures.

Two sites offer resources for families accused of SBS:

You can also leave questions in the comment box below and someone will get back to you—let us know if your note is intended as a private message.

The site has a library of relevant literature.

One writer who saw a relative convicted in a shaken baby case posts her literature review on the web and offers a book for families falsely accused on shaking, at

Christiane Joy Allison has published a charming children’s book, Why Can’t Uncle Come Home?, that offers comfort to children affected by the arrest of a relative.

In 2014, law professor and former child abuse prosecutor Prof. Deborah Tuerkheimer published her call for re-evaluation of all shaking convictions, Flawed Convictions: “Shaken Baby Syndrome” and the Inertia of Injustice.

5 thoughts on “Resources

  1. Andrea Dunn

    My sister is being accused of abuse because her 9mo has two fractures that she can’t explain. She was guilty as soon as the doctor finished the x Ray. CPS removed both her children and after a month still hasn’t done any metabolic bone testing. My sister did not injure her child. Any suggestions? She has hired an attorney but it’s a very slow, expensive venture.

    1. Sue Luttner Post author

      I am so sorry to read of another one of these cases.

      Your sister’s first priority is to get a complete set of medical records and an attorney who understands that she really is innocent. They will then need to find an outside physician to figure out what’s really going on. There is a long and growing list of medical conditions that can predispose a child to fractures. Ehlers-Danlos and Osteogenesis Imperfecta leap to mind.

      There is a new group in Arizona—I’ve been meaning to add the link to this site but haven’t made the time yet—that specializes in bone issues and false allegations of abuse. Here is the url to their Resources page:

      Many good wishes to your sister and her child.

  2. Jamie Ayalde

    My son has been in jail for over 2 year awaiting trial for a decompressed skull to his 2 month old baby, who he dropped and stopped breathing…they detective told my son he caused the decompression even though in a medical report he knew it came from a surgery preformed to release swelling to my grandsons brain because he stopped breathing…his PD only pushes for him to take a deal or ask for one but my son said Mom I will never say I hurt my boy, I could never hurt him I’d rather die in here than have to lie and say those words” he’s only 25 please if there are any resources or help we need it desperately. My son has never been in trouble no violent past he’s a good son and great father he’s lost his 1st born who was taken into foster care when this happened and his 2 month old baby who was placed under protective custody. We are not financially well off and don’t where or who to turn to.

    1. Sue Luttner Post author

      Please accept our condolences on the death of your grandson, and the nightmare that has visited your family.

      I trust you have already assembled a complete set of medical records, including pre-natal, birth, and well-baby visits, as well as anything around the event that led to hospitalization.

      One of us will send you a private email with more information.

      All the best to you all. -Sue Luttner, PIF


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