I just got home from going to dinner at the home of my home aid. On the drive home, I got to think about the past and the future. Where have we been and where are we going? And in all that, what have I got to be thankful for.
Well, I guess I can be thankful for being alive. Though that, could be left up to interpretation. And I imagine there are those that would wish otherwise. I guess I can be thankful for being needed. Knowing that there are fathers out there that have benefitted from my counsel, and/or the materials we produce at NCFC, but it is not nearly enough, not by a long shot.
Why is it not enough? It’s not enough because I feel responsible for the deaths of thousands of children, nationwide. Why do I feel this way? I do this because I have not done nearly enough to prevent them. None of us in the father’s rights movement have. We have stood by, moaned and groaned about how things are, but what exactly have we done changing them?
Sure, we right a letter to our representatives in Congress or the Senate. We picked courthouses or government buildings. And we held press conferences. But, how has all that helped the next child that will be beaten and/or killed by a mother, or a father. When we complain about the one-sided view of domestic violence, we like to point at various, elusive studies that show men can be as much victims of domestic assault as women. Well, so what. I’m sure as men, we can take a little pounding once in a while. That is not the important thing. The children are the important thing. Our first, and foremost, concern should be for the children. Rather than saying that 50% of men are victims of domestic violence, we should be pointing to the fact that violent women account for the vast majority of fatal child abuse.
According to the Dept. of Justice study, ‘Murder in Families’, mothers account for 55% of all fatal child abuse. Do you realize that a child is more likely to be killed by a mother, than by a stranger who has kidnapped them? Mothers are nearly seven times more likely to kill their children than fathers, even when custody arrangements are taken into account. And what are we doing about it? We’re moaning, groaning, and complaining, but otherwise sitting on our hands. We are as much at fault for the death of those children as the mother is. And wee will continue to be as much at fault until we realize that what we have been doing is not working, and we need to put our energies into saving those children. And yes, we’ll save a few fathers along the line, but that should only be a side benefit, not the main goal.
This is the direction that the MoKan Chapters of NCFC will be taking in the coming year. Hell or high water, we will open a shelter for men and children by Spring. This is a fact, not proposal for study. As the flight commander from Apollo 13 said to his technicians, ‘Men, failure is not an option here!’
This shelter will not be like shelters that cater to women. It will be a center piece for change in all aspects of parenting. A shelter for men and their children will only be one part of the operation. But, let me begin with it.
It will not be the intent of the shelter to divide up the family, but to find ways to keep the family unit together. We will do what is necessary to protect the children, but we will also reach a hand to the abusive mother, with the hope that she will get counseling to change her ways. Divorce is not much of a better option than being in an abusive family arrangement, even with the father having custody. As humans, we were designed to be a part of a family unit.