Where was the father?

Ewen McQueen writes in The Herald:

The court has reached its verdict. The marchers have gone home. The politicians and media have done their usual hypocritical hand-wringing. But the question remains – where was Moko’s dad?

A father is supposed to be there to protect his children. A father is supposed to be there to help their mother look after the family. A father is supposed to provide for and love his family.

So where was Moko’s dad? We have no idea. We have no idea because the question was never asked. It never is. In all the national breast-beating that happens whenever such a tragedy occurs, the real issue is never addressed. Why are so many children left without the care of a natural father? Why have we allowed a relationship culture to become embedded which accepts as normal the regular dropping in and out of relationships and frequent changing of partners? How is this supposed to build strong and loving families?

There is a wealth of evidence that a stable family with both parents has much much greater outcomes on average for kids.

What we need is the truth. The social science evidence gives us that and it is conclusive. In 2009 the Office of the Commissioner for Children undertook a review on death and serious injury to children. It concluded that of all factors, having a non-biological parent in the home increased the risk by eight to 12 times. A year later they published another report which noted that family breakdown and “frequent changes in household members” was a significant factor contributing to and neglect.

The New Zealand research findings are mirrored internationally. In Australia research by Deakin University in Melbourne concluded, “Children under 5 living with a non-biological or step-parent are up to 77 times more likely to die from a violence-related injury than those living with their biological families.”

In the US a study by the University of Missouri similarly concluded, “Children residing in households with unrelated adults were nearly 50 times as likely to die of inflicted injuries than children residing with two biological parents.”

Very hard to argue against that evidence.

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