Sat | Dec 10, 2016

Letter of the Day: Rebuild walls of fatherhood to protect family

Published:Wednesday | March 11, 2015 | 12:00 AM

THE EDITOR, Sir:

Many persons are grappling with the ongoing murder and abuse of children, including infants.

With more than a dozen children murdered in less than three months, others abused sexually and otherwise, we are forced to seriously ponder causes and solutions.

The following research generated evidence that strongly implicates a fundamental factor contributing to the exploitation and murder of our children. The best body of this evidence comes out of the United States, supported by research findings from Jamaica and the Caribbean. These findings include the following;

1. Children who grow up without their fathers are as much as nine times more likely to be sexually abused and three times more likely to experience teenage pregnancy.

2. Ninety per cent of homeless runaway children (unattached youth) are from fatherless homes. Within 72 hours, the majority either become perpetrators or victims of a crime.

3. Sixty-three per cent of youth suicides are from fatherless homes. Children who grew up with involved fathers have higher self-esteem.

Simply put, the protective wall of a father's presence makes a significant difference. While we salute our single mothers, they were never meant to carry this burden alone.

The second important point is the fact that child killers were not born that way, but are, instead, the products of dysfunctional families. Again, from evidence, fatherlessness, especially in Jamaica's cultural reality, is arguably the most significant variable implicated. Consider the following;

n Eighty-five per cent of rapists come from fatherless homes (US).

n Fatherless children are 11 times more likely to exhibit violent behaviour than children with two parents in a home (US).

n Sixty per cent of prison inmates grew up without fathers (JCF survey)

n Seventy-two per cent of all teenage murderers grew up without fathers (US).

While it must be recognised that there are many good fathers in our nation, in too many homes the walls of fatherhood are either totally non-existent or seriously broken down, exposing our women and children to the unimaginable.

It is for these and other reasons that the National Association for the Family (NAF) will continue to advocate for the promotion and protection of the family as designed by God.

MICHAEL COOMBS

Founder, Chair, NAF

michael.coombs@yahoo.com