In 2001 a bill was introduced in Congress, the Responsible Fatherhood Act of 2001. There was another bill called the Responsible Fatherhood and Healthy Families Act of 2009 that was introduced. The first one in 2001 was to provide grants to States to encourage media campaigns to promote responsible fatherhood skills and for other purposes.
The 2009 bill was to ensure funding for grants to promote responsible fatherhood and strengthen low-income families and for other purposes.
Comparison of Findings
- Nearly 25 million children in the United States live apart from their biological father.
- The number of children living with only a mother increased from just over 5 million in 1960 to 17 million in 1999.
- Between 1981 and 1991 the percentage of children living with only 1 parent increased from 19 percent to 25 percent.
- 40% of children who live in households without a father have not seen their father in at least one year and 50% of families in poverty are headed by women who have suffered domestic violence during the past year and 40-60% of women with children receiving welfare are abused sometime during their lifetime.
- More than 1/3 of all marriages end in divorce, and 60% of divorcing couples have children.
- More than 1 in 4 families with children have only 1 parent present, and more than 1 in 5 children live with only their mother.
- An estimated 30% of the children who live in households without their father have not seen their father in at least 1 year, and only 40% have contact once or more per month.
- 42% of women and 9% of men cite domestic violence as the reason for their divorces.
NOT MUCH HAS CHANGED.
I have written on my blog about the need to license parents, the role of the media in glamorizing violence, and the long-term impact of child abuse. And still, there is no national discussion about violence in the home. Homeland security begins in the home. I don’t know how many more decades it will take before this issue becomes mainstream.
America’s children deserve better than this.