IPT Book Reviews

Title: Ashes to Ashes . . . Families to Dust: False Accusations of Child Abuse: A Roadmap for Survivors
Author: Dean Tong
Publisher: FamRights Press, İ1996

FamRights Press
6102 Webb Road #811
Tampa, FL 33615
$15.95 (p)

This 258-page book, divided into 18 easy-to-read chapters, concludes with 7 appendices which are a virtual bible for surviving false charges of child abuse. The book opens with four cases that make the author's point — divorce and custody decisions may be determined by false information. Falsely accused fathers are interviewed and tips for survival given, along with descriptions of the characteristics found in falsely accusing parents.

Shortcomings in the system are discussed, including the lack of services for fathers and the unwitting role of child protection agencies in creating family instability and harming children. Tong argues that many judges are prosecutors in disguise, and he lists defects in the court system, including juvenile, criminal, civil, state, federal, appeals, and supreme courts. Although he provides a summary of 20 specific problems along with recommendations for improvement, he notes that little is likely to change. He makes suggestions for both those falsely accused and for attorneys, and the book is packed with useful information.

The appendices are particularly useful for lay people as well as attorneys, judges, and social workers. Appendix A is a questionnaire used to determine if charges are valid or not. Appendix B discusses false versus factual allegations. Appendices C through G list family rights organizations, recommended attorneys, case law, computer resources, and an investigative flow chart.

This powerful, provocative, and informative book is highly recommended.

Reviewed by LeRoy G. Schultz, Emeritus Professor, West Virginia University.

Order this book: Paperback

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