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February 13th, 2017

Fathers4Justice launch “Forgotten Fathers” campaign in Scotland

Fathers4Justice launched their “Forgotten Fathers” campaign on Valentine’s Day outside the Scottish Parliament with MSPs, Bill Kidd (Scottish Government Chief Whip) and Fin Carson.

The campaign was created in memory of separated dad Lee McGregor, an oil worker from Aberdeen, who took his own life last year after losing contact with his children. His father, Ian McGregor joined the event

The event attracted widespread media coverage on Scottish television, radio and in the press including The Scottish Sun, The Scotsman and The Sunday Post.

Research published by Fathers4Justice found that 23% of Scots believe that mothers love their children more than fathers.

A written question has now been tabled in the Scottish Parliament by MSP Liam McArthur asking the government for a response to the campaign.

F4J founder Matt O’Connor is now hoping a motion can be set down in the Parliament to support the campaign.

Other key findings in the research published includes:

* 77% of people believe that mothers and fathers love their children equally

* 23% of people believe that mothers love their children more, but only 1% believe fathers love their children more.

* 20% of men believe that women love their children more, whilst only 1% believe that men love their children more.

* 25% of women believe that women love their children more, and less than 1% of women believe men love their children more.

* Younger people (18-24) are the age group most likely to think that mothers and fathers love their children equally (81%)

* 35% of separated / divorced people believe that women love their children more.


Matt O’Connor, founder of F4J said: “9 men die every week die from suicide in Scotland and 71 per cent of all suicides are men. Not only is suicide is the biggest killer of men under 45 across the UK, but dads are 3 times more likely to die after separation than mothers.”

“Whilst it is encouraging that 77% of Scots believe that parents love their children equally, we want that number to be 100%.  Men must become more comfortable talking about their feelings about their children and push to play an active part in their lives following a break-up.  Too often, fathers become forgotten in these circumstances, leading to an increased risk of alcoholism, depression and, sadly, suicide.”

“We believe the court system currently disproportionately favours the mother after a break-up and we want to see parental access considered on a more equal basis.  It is not right for anyone to use children as an emotional pawn or gambling chip.”

Scotland’s Forgotten Fathers: The Facts

* 9 men take their own lives every week in Scotland. In 2015, 476 men took their own lives. National Records Scotland, 2015

* 71 per cent of all suicides in Scotland are men. National Records Scotland, 2015

* Scotland’s male suicide rate is 3.3% higher than the UK average. 19.3 deaths per 100,000 in Scotland against the UK average of 16 per 100,000. ScotPHO, 2015

* 4 x more men die from suicide than in road traffic accidents. National Records Scotland, Scottish Government, 2015

* Suicide is the biggest killer of men under 45 in the UK. CALM, 2015

* Dads are 3 x more likely to die after separation than mothers. Department for Work & Pensions, 2015

* Because of social stigma and religious taboos, male suicide is significantly underreported, or deaths wrongly attributed to other causes such as ‘accidental’ or ‘undetermined intent’ by coroners. Samaritans, * * Men Suicide and Society Research Report, 2012

* No meaningful records are kept on the suicide rates among separated fathers. Fathers4Justice, 2017

* ‘Suicide remains an inequity, with men and deprived groups disproportionately affected.’ Andrew Sim, Executive Director, Samaritans, Scotland

* The cost of family breakdown across the UK is £48bn a year or £1820 per taxpayer. Relationships Foundation 2016

* Scotland has more fatherless homes than almost any other European country. 1 in 5 households are fatherless. Scottish Government, 2011

* Fatherless young people are almost 70 per cent more likely to take drugs and 76 per cent more likely to get involved in crime. Addaction, 2011

Forgotten Fathers Campaign Press

Scottish TV News Report

Matt O’Connor talks about the campaign:

The Scottish Sun: Fight to help Scotland’s separated dads battling risk of suicide as they struggle to stay in children’s live

The Sunday Post: Fathers4Justice launch new campaign after survey finds 23% people think mothers love children more than fathers

The Herald: Fathers4Justice launches parenting attitudes campaign

Aberdeen Evening Express: Fathers4Justice launched parenting attitudes campaign

Heart FM (Global) – Fathers For Justice In Valentine’s Day Campaign

Kingdom FM – Campaigners call for ‘parental equality’

Buchan Observer

Scotland Star:

Glasgow Evening Times:

About the poll

All figures, unless otherwise stated, are from Progressive Partnership Ltd.  Total sample size was 1,010 adults.

Fieldwork was undertaken between 7th and 9th February 2017.  The survey was carried out online.

The figures have been weighted and are representative of all Scottish adults (aged 18+).

This spreadsheet contains survey data collected and analysed by Progressive Partnership Ltd in partnership with YouGov plc.

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