Prosecute Absent Fathers for Child Abandonment
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An Absent Father can have major detrimental effects on a child’s life, causing confusion and havoc to their developmental wellbeing; leaving psychological scars and a negative impact that can remain with an individual for a lifetime. Research indicates that self-loathing, anger, resentment, delinquency, promiscuity, drugs, alcohol abuse and suicide are just some of the impacts on a child with an absent father. Why is it that men are not held accountable for their actions?
The Absent Father discussion is by far a complex one, as there are many reasons that can lead to a father’s absence, however; this petition is aimed at the willing and able father who simply chooses to become absent because he feels it is acceptable and okay to do so… The father who gets on with his daily life without a care in the world of the rippling, traumatic damage he causes to the child he leaves behind and society as a whole.
The law in the UK seems outdated or unconcerned with ensuring able minded, and able bodied men, take care of the children they have helped to create.
As it currently stands, in the Family Law Act 1989 for Absent Fathers in the 21st Century:
· Absent Fathers cannot be summoned to court for child contact or be forced to uphold their parental responsibilities, outside of financial support or a contact order already in place.
· No intervention support is in place to teach the Absent Father about the damage and everlasting effects his actions will inflict upon his child.
· No laws to stop men impregnating and abandoning women, leaving them with the full responsibility, and probable (life-challenging) burden of raising the child alone – allowing them to impregnate and abandon multiple women.
· Absent Fathers have the right to reinstate contact via mediation or the family courts regardless of their absenteeism.
This affords an absent father control, over when he leaves and when he chooses to return.
· An Absent Father maintains full parental responsibilities during the abandonment, giving him the right to make key decisions in the neglected child’s life including those effecting health, wellbeing and education.
There is a grey area in Family Law for abandoned mothers, leaving them in a vulnerable situation.
This law seems perfect for a society which wishes to maintain the status quo of a patriarchal system which exists to serve men first, and then women secondly.
Africa is often looked upon as a third world country, yet, their CJS deems Child Abandonment an offence. The Criminal Code Law State of Lagos (2011) makes provisions which enable their Criminal Justice System, to intervene if a parent abandons their child, hefty fines can be applied and could even lead to a custodial sentence.
British law and social policy needs to be reviewed. The equilibrium needs to be restored, and we believe this can be done by providing a woman’s perspective. Giving a voice back to the single mothers who needed the father to make the child, and need them around to help to raise them - not just financially, but mentally, physically and emotionally too.
Our objective for launching this petition is to push for a conversation/debate with parliament to instate a bill for an Absent Father Order to be implemented into the Family Law justice system. A law that will enable a child subjected to the consequences of an Absent Father the right to enforce the maker of their life to uphold their parental responsibility. This law will see Absent Fathers held accountable for their actions, whether by enforced workshops, seminars, fines, mediation, campaigns or in prolific circumstances of child abandonment, be prosecuted.
We are a group of independent female filmmakers who are currently developing a feature film – ABSENT, highlighting the effects of an absent father and are taking on this challenge of a law reform to reprimand deserting fathers in the process. We need for you to support, sign and share our campaign to help us reach 100,000 signatures. You're also welcome to add your views and opinions on the proposed action.
Tackling Absent Fathers anchors the need for restoration. Our desire is to break the cycle of children, teenagers and adults who live with the daily effects of abandonment from their father, long or short term”.
Follow us on our journey to making the feature film ABSENT.
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