A vile verdict

Violent crime may be linked to absent fathers


Photo by Alex O'Gorman

Photo illustration.

Story by Joseph Rodgers, staff writer

Gunshots and screams can be heard in the neighborhood.

Blue and red lights accompanied by sirens are becoming more commonplace nationwide as violent crime is on the rise, especially in impoverished neighborhoods.

Increasing murder rates across the country are sparking controversy over the cause of this epidemic–whether it is the use of guns or a deeper, ethical issue that penetrates the lives of all Americans.

Here at home, we are having more assaults and a steady rate of sexual assaults each year, and our city’s crime rate is double the national average.

In larger U.S. cities, violent crime is becoming more prevalent. For example, in Chicago, Ill, the city reached its 500th homicide this year in September, which is the highest in 20 years, according to The New York Times.

This nationwide increase has resulted in one question: why?

The definition of the American family is changing, and the new interpretation is leaving out a key component that was integrated into the two-parent family for a reason– fathers.

Fathers are portrayed as the masculine role–model of the family, teaching their children key morals such as respect for authority, others and one’s self.

From being born out of wedlock to abandonment, children are being separated from a father for countless reasons.

Currently, one in every three American children are living without a father, and the results are disastrous.

According to the National Center for Fathering, 60 percent of all rapists in prison and 70 percent of adolescents in juvenile correctional facilities came from a fatherless home.

As the statistics show, fathers have a direct influence on their children’s behavior because they are the moral guidepoint in the traditional family. Without that strong enforcement of obedience, children have no limits and no guidelines on what they can and cannot do.

However, I am not saying all children without a father are criminals and murderers.

I personally have grown up in a home without a father, but I have had a mother and two grandparents to raise me throughout my childhood.

My dad calls me every weekend and he visits a few times a year, but his absence has definitely impacted my life. I have not had the bond with him that I have with my mom, and that father-son tradition and relationship has never presented itself in my life.

However, I am not a criminal because I have been taught that respect from a caring and loving mother who has played double-duty as a single mom for the majority of my life. Also, I know that even though my dad is far away, he still comes to visit because he cares about me and that he loves me.

That is what a father is for–to love and discipline their children, and the lack of that could be causing the destructive decisions and behaviors of many American children.

This is a societal and ethical issue. The effects that a father brings into a home are life-changing, and without that, no moral guidelines are set. No wonder our crime is skyrocketing.