We have entered 2019 and I have been monitoring our newspapers and media sources and the story seems to still be the same. All men and fathers are perpetrators and abusers they seem to be focusing on the few and branding all men with the same brush. This narrative is a very dangerous one as the majority of men/fathers are very good and law abiding. Now if you look at demographics if there are more men than women, of course, it would seem like men are to blame for everything!
So, if the tables were turned and there were more women than men it would be exactly the same thing. What if we flipped the script and the media focused on all the bad mums, paedophile women and the women that caused domestic violence? How would the general public, courts and government agencies respond to them? Would it be unbiased or would this form of brainwashing produced by the media influence peoples decisions!
I would think the latter personally and I don’t blame women for behaving the way they do towards men as they can’t get away from it. It is literally forced down your throat as a woman on a daily basis and there is no escape from the DV and DA narrative. I am not taking anything away from the genuine cases at all but not EVERY single man is the same. Even as a woman you are not immune from it as if you have any boys within your family they will be tarnished with the same brush. It might be fine while they are babies and early teens but as soon as they come of age the rules will change.
As a mother you can say all day long I will bring up my son to be different he will not get involved with all the things that the media print. Unfortunately, it does not work like that as you have a son that is all that is needed for him to be tarnished with the same brush. He could be an excellent child and a very good man but at the end of the day, he is still a man. If you don’t believe me read the stories of fathers in family court, monitor the media and see how many stories are focused on men causing DV/DA and how many stories are on women causing DV/DA.
You will see practically none on women and this is for many reasons there is a myth around men not being capable of being in a relationship with DV/DA committed by a woman. If it is a man he will be embarrassed to come forward because of the stigma surrounding it and 9 times out of 10 he will probably be arrested himself for reporting. As it is not the norm for a man to report DV/DA to the police so it is easier to arrest him as the perpetrator and deal with the consequences later. The lack of support and safe havens for men is practically non-existent, so it will, in turn, be under-reported.
Trying to be a father over the last 10 years has gone from bad to worse and if you are a dad in a happy relationship you are still not immune to it. If anything should happen and hopefully it will never happen to you, but if it did you will see how the society you believed to be equal is far from it and your world will be turned upside down. It will be financially, emotionally and mentally put you in a place which you never thought would have been possible.
You will look back at that conversation you had with your partner/ex-partner when she said to you let’s try for a baby and build a family unit. That conversation where you thought it was all equal and you both chose to have that child means absolutely nothing if you should split up. We need to encourage fatherhood and equality to bring our society into the 21st century and remove us from this biased dark ages whereby men as only seen as breadwinners and not caregivers. If we don’t change the script fatherhood will become extinct and there will be kids running around the streets without role models and father figures to balance them out. Being a parent should consist of two loving people wanting the best and doing the best for their children whether they are together or not!
This is not a sob story or for attention, this is my reality and is the reality of many parents who are alienated or part-time. I use the term part-time because we live in a system/society that supports it and even encourages it. I can’t remember a time I was ever offered to have my child on Christmas Day, why because it’s not in the best interest of the other parent!
As long as I pay child support, pay for birthdays and Christmas its win-win for the other parent. I don’t need to be a real part of my child’s life as long as I keep the money rolling in and presents brought that is my sole purpose. Would the other parent think about my being alone at Xmas, hell no as long as they are not alone that is all that matters!
To be honest I have desensitised myself when it comes to Xmas as it is less painful and stressful. It is easier to pretend it is not happening and to rush through it to be over than to get caught up in it. Friends and family know how difficult this time of year is for me but they just don’t get it they just get upset with you because you are not as reliable or as sociable as you used to be.
When your child refers to you as him or he and not dad or daddy it is hard to hear. Then you get photos and videos of what the other parent is doing with your child and you can only sit by on the sideline and watch. It’s hard and very painful to experience and I hope and pray this never happens to you as it really does change you as a person.
I have never ever the night before Xmas prepared milk, cookies/mince pie and a carrot for Santa! I know it sounds very small but to a parent, it’s those small things that really matter. I don’t get to sit and watch Xmas movies and play games with my children. I don’t get to watch panto’s or nativity play’s of my children nor do I get invited too.
What I do look forward to is a cold empty house with no decorations, no children and watching everyone on social media and TV enjoying or pretending to enjoy Xmas. This is my reality every single year and to be honest it probably won’t change. So, excuse me if I don’t feel sociable or
When It came to dating and marriage I used to believe in the old-fashioned term of love. I used to think love was the only thing you needed to have a successful relationship and family. I actually thought the more love you have for someone and your children nothing could possibly go wrong. Then I woke up and realised my old-fashioned thinking was just that old-fashioned and had no place in 2018.
Why it has no place is because the government wants to and does interfere far too much in family life and it is destroying the traditional family values of marriage and lifelong partners. By creating a hostile family environment the government gets to make money off dysfunction and chaos. Budget cuts, benefits cuts and every other cut you can think of which only really effects the working class and not the rich.
This increases friction within the households squeezing money people don’t have increasing debt and pushing people’s family homes into an unhappy environment. This will inevitably end in separation or divorce, which again the government is quite happy with. If the government truly believed in sustainable families and happy homes there would be no need for our Total Reform campaign. Unfortunately, this is not the case and we will continue to campaign for families rights especially when it comes to our children.
So, over the last week or so I have been having some interesting conversations with men and women about relationships and marriage. The women have seen and experienced what their partners have endured with regards to ex-partners and their children. So I asked them what would be the solution for a man before he gets married or has children. They all said ALL MEN no matter what your circumstances are should all get pre-baby contracts and prenups. Some of you who don’t know can have a look at this link for more information about prenups https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Prenuptial_agreement
I thought to myself real love has gone everything has to run like a business now because of the way our laws and government treat and acknowledge families in the UK. Then I thought about my personal situation and I can categorically agree with them. If I even thought for a second that my own government would treat me like garbage when it comes to separation and children I would have got a pre-baby contract and prenup without a shadow of a doubt. So to all the men out there all I can say is learn from other peoples mistakes and don’t follow suit.
There is no such thing as just love when building a family unit you need to be able to protect yourself and your future. If you never separate with your current partner happy days but you at least have the insurance policy there should you need it. We as men should think of prenups like insurance policies and not something sinister as some people make them out to be. With an inherent bias system against men and fathers, you have to have that insurance. Take it from the men and fathers who have suffered through this and take note of it and act upon it.
The moral of the story is any relationship, thought of having children and having the consideration of marriage with your current partner you should pay a visit to a family solicitor beforehand. I am not saying this to scare you I am saying this from the experience of thousands if not millions of men/fathers who have suffered from not having it. Due to the family law system and the way we are seen in society, this is our only option for protection. Do not wait until it happens to you and take out that insurance policy now! Yes, it was also women who told me to do this and that speaks volumes.
I was laying in bed thinking about my campaigning and thought to myself, why is the government so unsupportive of equal rights. I am not talking about just fathers but families as well, why are they so opposed it. Then it dawned on me that the broken home market is very profitable for the government and because all the MP’s eat from the same bowl making changes is not an option.
Let’s put this into perspective here, since the conservatives have come into power the homes with low income are being squeezed. This has a knock on effect it will evidently lead to a family breakdown (BHS). Then through the breakdown, they throw in a few government agencies to assist with helping the family to really break down. Cut their benefits to add that bit more pressure, increase taxes and everyday living. Add more pressure to the family slowly but surely someone in that family will crack.
What the government is hoping at this point is for you to start seeking help if you have children and cannot afford to feed them then the government will step in with social services. Once SS is involved the pressure can slowly be applied over a period of time. Then due to the excess pressure, they want you to split up or get a divorce. This will then start the money being pumped into the courts, solicitor firms and government agencies. Then you find you are in a spiralling situation, Child Maintenance Services, CAFCASS and whoever else to get a slice of the pie.
This ultimately ends in broken home syndrome (BHS) whereby they hope once your kids see how is broken home works they will also follow suit. Think about it if the government takes your kids or breaks down family life they are hoping they cycle will continue with your children, so on and so forth. Generations keep the cycle going pumping money into a continuous cycle.
Your thinking well if I have no money how will they make money of me. Easy it is called debt, if you scare or bully someone enough they will find means of paying for things. Court or CMS will be the main bully tactics which people get scared and take out loans to pay for it. It is a vicious cycle they want you to be part of, your sitting there thinking how did I come to this conclusion.
Easy, write to your local MP about equal rights for your family and see if, one they reply or two ignore your letter. If they do reply, see if anything in that letter indicates actually helping you themselves or if you receive a standard robot type reply. I will guarantee that 90% of the MP’s will ignore you and if you are persistent with your letters even block you.
How often do you see in the house of commons anything about fathers rights or family rights? Me personally I have never seen anything or even any press or media coverage of the issue. Our government has no interest in promoting fathers or family rights as it would take out a large chunk or cash cow money from them.
How can you change this? Easy through voting and campaigning, if you want change then you must ask for it. When it is time for local and national elections this is the time to have a voice and demand the change we all deserve!
When you were first born, I was so excited
To see your little face I was so delighted,
I held you in my arms and promised to keep you safe,
I knew in my world I would make you first place
When I first picked you up it brought a tear to my eye,
Deep inside I cried and cried
The joy I had bringing you into this world
I have never felt so proud and some much reward
I watched you grow day by day
When you said you first dada
I just melted I can honestly say
I knew the love I had would never fade away
I went to work and could not wait to get home
To hear the pitta patta of your tiny feet shouting daddy at the door
No matter what day I had I know I loved you more
You brought a smile to my face to which I could not ignore
I knew then what it meant to be a parent
That feeling of love and overwhelment
I have never loved anyone or anything like I have loved you
So this is my poem to let you know, I will never forget you
You might not be here with me now
But you will always be in my heart and memories
One day I hope I can just be a father without the fight
I love you, my babies, as I say goodnight
A part-time father is what we will only ever be
They took away my ideal of being a family can’t you see
The stress and emptiness is a daily occurrence
But they don’t care as long as there is no interference
I will never stop loving you and just wanted you to know
Sometimes it’s just easier in a poem I hope to show
You are and will always be part of me
As when we are together you bring out the best of me
Written by Mark Sheppard (in loving memory of his beautiful babies)