Fathers needed to help stop child abuse
Wednesday Jul 15, 2009
I read with interest the July 9th [op-ed] in the South End News, “Health-care reform should include child abuse prevention,” by Daniel F. Conley, District Attorney of Suffolk County.
I do agree with DA Conley that funds to fight child abuse are important.
However, what DA Conley does not mention is who is responsible for the majority of child abuse and why this abuse sometimes occurs. According to the 2007 Child Maltreatment Report of the US Department of Health and Human Services, 38.7 percent of victims were at the hands of their mother only, compared to 17.9 percent at the hands of their father only. Mother and father together was 16.8 percent.
So one of the most protective methods to prevent child abuse is to bring back stable families into children’s lives to prevent child abuse. Today 40 percent of all new births are to unwed mothers and over 30 percent of children are raised without a dad in the house, over 20 million kids. From these numbers, one can deduce that there will be an explosion of child abuse with so many children brought up in single parent, mostly mother-only homes.
This explosion of single-mom homes has been due to well-meaning but perverse federal and state laws. They include Title IV(d) – Child Support to States, which actually has perverse incentives to keep a father out of the home and the Violence Against Women’s Act, which was not made gender neutral and has allowed for an explosion of false allegations without due process. The Crime Bill of 1994, which is not equally applied. The Brady Bill, which has sent more dead-broke fathers, non-violent fathers to jail. The tax code head of household provision is biased against fathers. Lack of equal shared parenting laws for fit parents and the lack of criminal penalties for false allegations and for the use of parental alienation hurt too.
If we truly want to make a dent into child abuse, one of the root ways is to bring back fathers into the household, as well as some of the support systems mentioned by DA Conley.
Dr. Peter G. Hill
Boston Copley Square Chiropractic
304 Columbus Avenue
A tale of two cities
On Sunday, July 12, Boston was literally a tale of two cities. Along Boston’s long waterfront from the Charlestown Navy Yard to the Seaport World Trade Center, thousands upon thousands were touring the tall ships in Boston for Sail Boston 2009. At the same time, over in Dorchester, folks were taking part in the ninth annual Parents’ and Children’s Walk for Peace. While driving through Upham’s Corner in Dorchester, I passed by this peace gathering sponsored by the Bobby Mendes Peace Legacy watching sad but hopeful faces, the relatives of murdered victims carrying their message of peace.
This crowd was much smaller than the one viewing those majestic tall ships but what they lacked in quantity, they made up in their continued drive to drive out violence from their communities. I viewed the march for a few minutes as it turned off Columbia Road onto Dudley Street. Ten minutes down Dudley Street and I am back in my boyhood neighborhood of 45-50 years ago. Things have not been right in my old neighborhood for decades and if things are ever to get right again, it will be because of people like these marchers working for change along with their chanting. Actions speak louder than words. Marches bring people together but once brought together a commitment to real change begins as soon as the march ends. The tall ships docked inside the harbor but there is no safe harbor for young people today as violence robs many of their futures.
A healthy thank you for Senator Hart
On behalf of the 34,000 healthcare workers of 1199SEIU throughout Massachusetts, I would like to thank Senator Jack Hart for meeting with frontline health-care workers from Boston Medical Center. Senator Hart was incredibly gracious in taking time to hear from us as constituents and as caregivers about the challenges we are facing in the health-care industry right now, as we strive to fulfill our mission of delivering quality care to the residents of the South End.
It is good to know that Senator Hart cares about keeping our communities healthy and supports investing in health-care facilities, programs, and job training to ensure quality health-care services and quality jobs for Boston area residents. The local health-care industry is facing major challenges in this economy, and we know everyone needs to work together to make health care better for our patients, consumers, and nursing home residents. The health-care workers of 1199SEIU and Boston Medical Center want to thank the senator for meeting with us and taking a leadership role in that effort.
Roxana B. Hidalgo
Biller, Patient Financial Services, Boston Medical Center