LaShaun Williams: No Wedding, No Womb,The Real War on Child Poverty and Abuse

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By LaShaun Williams

Politically Unapologetic

Black women are not the only group of women engaging in unprotected sex.

Black women are not the only group of women birthing children out-of-wedlock.

Children don’t have the luxury of picking their parents.

However, at a rate of 73 percent, our numbers far exceed white, Asian and Latina woman, as we are almost three-fourths of the way to total fatherlessness. Only 15 percent of the country’s total population is illegitimate. Black Americans make up 12 percent of it.

Exactly a year ago, Christelyn Karazin launched the “No Wedding, No Womb” campaign to draw awareness to the devastation illegitimate birth is having on the black community—children and single mothers especially.

Uneducated, unwed black mothers (who account for the majority) are virtually destined to live in poverty. Likewise, poverty lends itself to a plethora of problems—failing educational systems, substance abuse, insufficient housing and government dependency. The rigors of struggling to make ends meet leaves single mothers more stressed and vulnerable to depression. For those reasons, poverty has been cited as the best predicator of child abuse.

Children from families with annual incomes below $15,000 per year are more than 22 times more likely than children in families with an annual income of $30,000 or more to be harmed by abuse or neglect. It is well-known that child abuse is linked to stress, and financially-strapped, single mothers tend to be under more stress than married women. Female caretakers account for 61 percent of reported non-sexual abuse and negligence incidents. And, an estimated 81 percent of offenders are under 40 years old.

Abuse is three times more likely to occur in poor households and neglect is seven times more common which is why black children make up half of the foster care population. Although these homes are designed to serve as temporary places of refuge (and many do), a number of children also find themselves at the mercy of abusive foster parents.

How is that for an upbringing?

Papa is a rolling stone and Mom spends most of her five minutes at home handing out spankings or screaming.

No wonder so many black boys gather around neighborhood corners; it’s no surprise young girls use babies to feel “whole.” One would be remiss to believe the feelings of isolation, loneliness and worthlessness these children experience does not negatively impact their psyches.

A new generation of nuclear households starts with black women and self-preservation, not just for personal sanctity but also for the mental health of their children. They don’t deserve the heartache that comes with being born into poverty. Let’s give these babies a chance.

When our children know differently, they will do differently and end this destructive cycle of poverty and abuse via fatherlessness.

Support “No Wedding, No Womb” and tweet today with the #NWNW hashtag.

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