Few things in life are more shocking than a false accusation of domestic violence. If you feel paralyzed and helpless, you are not alone.

While working through the situation may be traumatic, there are a number of concrete steps you can take to mitigate the effect this has on your personal and professional life. According to FindLaw, the most important first step is to control your emotional reaction to the accusation.

Where should I start?

When you first encounter the accusations, it will no doubt be an emotional experience. However, one of the worst things you can do at this point is express outright anger or any very strong emotional outburst. Reacting to a domestic violence accusation with anger is likely to make you seem guilty. Reacting calmly is the key.

Once you have your emotions settled, you want to contact your family and friends. Since accusations of domestic violence can be extremely shocking, you do not want your nearest and dearest connections hearing the news from an outside source. It is better for them to hear your side of the story first so that they are more likely to back you up.

What about my social media presence?

It is a wise idea to change all of the passwords for your social media accounts, particularly if your accuser has access to them. Even if you do not believe your accuser to have your passwords, it is better to be safe. You may also want to consider a credit freeze as additional protection.

Legal counsel is also invaluable at this point. Keep calm, and it is likely you will be able to prevail.