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  • Family separation sends dads to early grave shock figures reveal.
  • By Caroline Wheeler
  • F4J Sunday Express World4Justice
  • 26/01/2015 Make a Comment
  • Contributed by: Daveyone ( 15 articles in 2015 )
If You Lose Your Children, You Lose Your Home, You Effectively Lose Your LIFE! Matt O'Connor Founder of Fathers4Justice
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The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) data shows that parents who leave their children are almost three times more likely to die early!

Exclusive By Caroline Wheeler, Political Editor

THE heartbreak of family separation is sending absent parents to an early grave, shock new figures reveal.

Figures released by the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) show that parents who leave their children are almost three times more likely to die early than those who continue to live with their offspring.

The information was unearthed by the Sunday Express by comparing the number of Child Support Agency (CSA) cases that were closed following the death of the “non-resident” with the number of cases closed due to the death of the “parent with care”.

The figures show that since June 2003, 8,515 non-resident parents have died compared to 3,090 resident parents. All are likely to have been aged between 20 and 60 with children under the age of 18.

According to the information released under the Freedom of Information Act, 94.8 per cent of CSA cases involved a male non-resident parent.

No cause of death was given despite the request asking whether the deaths were attributable to suicide, drug or alcohol abuse, accidental death or other preventable cause. Information on the prevalence of mental illness among non-resident parents was also unavailable.

Last night Matt O’Connor, founder of Fathers 4 Justice, called for the Department for Work and Pensions to launch an investigation into the figures, which he described as “alarming”.

Mr O’Connor told the Sunday Express: “The Department for Work and Pensions has a responsibility to go out and conduct some meaningful research to understand what is actually behind these figures.

“These people who are dying are taxpayers and voters and the Government has a responsibility to go out and try to understand why these figures are so alarmingly high.

“It is not enough to say we don’t know why they are this way; Commission the data, commission the research and get to the truth.

“And the truth may well be that suicide and alcoholism is related to family breakdown because everything flows and there is always cause and effect, so it is up to the DWP to do some research into this and that is what we are calling for.”

Mr O’Connor admitted that during the course of his own marriage breakdown he had suicidal thoughts.

“Since I began Fathers 4 Justice I cannot tell you about the number of individual cases I have dealt with of fathers, who have thrown themselves in front of trains, thrown themselves off bridges; it is a litany of misery and heartache,” he said.

“I am not surprised about all by this illuminating piece of information because I think it does illustrate that there is a real issue.

“There is no money being spent on fathers or men and one of the things we are calling for is a Minister for Men, to champion these kinds of issues.

“If you lose your children, you lose your home, you effectively lose your life.

“You will be hounded and perused by this Government on the basis that you have no rights to your children in law, but you have a responsibility to pay.

“And the vast majority of dads pay child support.

“Those that don’t pay generally can’t pay because they are living in bedsits in poverty.

“If you dare miss a payment, you will have your passport taken from you, you will be jailed, you will be punished in every way possible.”

He added: “This should be a public health issue; it is affecting so many people who are touched by the cancer of family breakdown who are also driven to some real desperate lengths and we deal with this on a daily basis. It is horrific.

“Fathers fall into alcoholism, sometimes drugs and then depression and it is serious downward spiral and there is a very thin line between being home one day and living on the streets and being suicidal the next.”

Liberal Democrat MP John Hemming, chairman of the Justice for Families group, told the Sunday Express he would raise the figures, which also show an exponential growth in the number of non-resident and resident parent deaths in the past decade, with Work and Pensions Secretary Iain Duncan Smith.

“These figures are very concerning and warrant further investigation. Figures can hide all sorts of misery behind them,” Mr Hemming said.

“It is important to understand what is going on behind them and I will be writing to the Minister to request that they are looked into and more research is done on this issue.”

Last night a spokesman for the Department for Work and Pensions told the Sunday Express: “We would not wish to speculate on the reasons behind the causes of death but clearly there could be a variety of factors involved.” END


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