20 years ago this Father’s Day, I thought I’d never see my children again.
Trapped in the devil’s labyrinth that is our secretive family justice system, and battling a deadly tractor beam of institutional legal discrimination that states fathers have no rights to see their children, I re-established contact with my beloved sons before I started Fathers4Justice.
I was lucky.
I was one of thousands of dads who survived the cruel, immoral and unconscionable separation of children and fathers for no good reason.
It is a ‘fatherphobic’ government policy that shames Britain to this day, and has led to 3 million children living in fatherless households, without any father figure, leading to an explosion of teenage knife-crime and anti-social behaviour.
In the absence of a father, the local gang leader or drug dealer becomes father figure to the fatherless, with all the social consequences that entails. Last year London recorded it’s worst ever annual death toll from teenage homicides – a grim figure of 30 deaths in 2021.
It doesn’t need to be like this.
My message to Boris Johnson on Father’s Day is this; don’t forget Britain’s loving fathers. Don’t forget the paternal families who can support our children with free childcare. Don’t forget the grandparents who go through double the heartbreak – for their children and grandchildren they cannot see.
Don’t treat first-class citizens as second-class parents. Give us the parental equality we demand – not just for us, but for our children and families.
We must shatter the old, lazy, sexist stereotypes perpetuated by the state that women must be chained to the sink and their children at home. As American feminist Gloria Steinman said ‘woman can’t be equal outside the home until men are equal in it.’
We need the government to commit to 50/50 shared parenting as a matter of urgency, to demonstrate that the best parent for a child, is both parents. To free mothers from the kitchen sink, and allow them to pursue their careers, start businesses, and follow their dreams.
To give men proper representation in our Parliament by appointing a Minister for Men to lead and co-ordinate a response to mass fatherlessness, and the male suicide epidemic which claims the lives of so many dads who tragically take their own lives after losing contact with their kids.
After I won my case, I started Fathers4Justice, on a mission to reunite as many dads with their kids as I could. Since then we have dealt with nearly a million enquires for help, and reunited thousands of fathers with their children.
I am lucky to spend this special day with my three boys who have all become successful young men.
But our work cannot be completed until we achieve equality for all.
We need fathers and mothers, sister and brothers, to come together in common purpose, to fight for the parental equality that I believe will lead to genuinely better outcomes for our children, our families, and our country and save the taxpayer millions in unnecessary legal, court and childcare costs.
We want a Father’s Day we can celebrate – not a toxic legacy of more Fatherless Days.
Britain’s loving dads and their children deserve nothing less.
Matt O’Connor, Founder, Fathers4Justice
DAILY EXPRESS 19/6/22: In dad-hating Britain men face prejudice ever day it’s time to fight back – MATT O’CONNOR https://www.express.co.uk/comment/expresscomment/1627824/fathers-day-date-dad-fathers-for-justice-divorce-separation-advice