Absentee fathers must be held accountable – pastor
published: Monday | November 24, 2008
Pastor Charles Brevitt, secretary of West Jamaica Con-ference of Seventh-day Adventists, is calling for the Government to find a way to force men to own, support and parent their children.
“Absentee fathers should be blacklisted like rapists and child abusers,” said Brevitt. “Children are parents’ responsibility, not grandparents’ baggage. I suggest, therefore, that men should draw up their pants now and do their jobs!”
Brevitt was speaking to a packed congregation at the North Jamaica Mission Men’s Convention held at the Adventist church in Ocho Rios, St Ann, on November 15.
A crime against society
He further stated that, “fathers who leave their families and flirt outside are committing a crime against society” and that he believed men who don’t support their children both financially and emotionally should be arrested.
In support of his call, Pastor Brevitt highlighted some startling statistics published in the United States, by the Department of Justice, about the importance of fatherhood. He said that “63 per cent of youth suicides come from fatherless homes; 90 per cent of runaway children are from fatherless homes; 85 per cent of children with behavioural disorders come from fatherless homes; 80 per cent of rapists are motivated by displaced anger because of their father’s behaviour; 71 per cent of High school drop-outs are from homes where the father is absent; 75 per cent of adolescents abusing drugs come from homes where fathers are not present and 85 per dent of young people growing up in prison come out of fatherless homes”.
No significant difference
Brevitt indicated that, while this survey was not conducted locally, chances are that there were no significant difference in the effects of the behavior of fathers in Jamaica.
According to a group of Yale behavioural scientists who studied delinquency in 48 cultures around the world, crime rates were highest among adults who, as children, had been raised solely by women.
With so much said about the importance of parenting and the male figure in the family, Brevitt said he believed that with more stringent accountability made from Jamaica’s policymakers on fathers, changes would become more evident in the society, resulting in a more positive outlook for the nation.