Research demonstrates that father absence is associated with higher rates of child abuse and neglect. Boyfriends of the mother in single-mother households were responsible for 67% of the reported cases of child abuse. In cases of child sexual abuse the majority of children lived in disrupted or single-parent homes. 27% of abused children live with either a stepfather or the mother’s boyfriend. In addition, children who live in father-absent homes are at 77% greater risk of being physically abused and 120% more likely to be endangered by maltreatment.
The Fatherhood Educational Institute recognizes responsible fatherhood as a critical step in combating child abuse as fathers are vanishing from the social landscape. Service providers, social workers and educators can support healthy child development and positive family relationships by supporting responsible fatherhood in an environment of nurturing father-child interactions, teaching discipline that is safe and age-appropriate, and fostering early learning opportunities.
“April is a time to celebrate the vital role fathers play in protecting children,” said Attorney James M. Hagler, an FEI Director. “We will socially bankrupt our communities if we fail to promote involved and responsible fatherhood – it is one of the most effective ways our communities strengthen families and prevent child abuse now and for generations to come.”
For more information about what families and communities can do to overcome the devastating problem of child abuse and father absence visit http://fatherhood-