Absentee fathers contribute to crime – Cuffy


One of the directors of the Social Justice and Peace Committee has pointed out that the lack of fathers in families has contributed to the high level of criminal activities in Dominica.

Father Franklyn Cuffy, who was speaking on the heels of a recent shooting incident in Grand Bay that killed two young men, said many homes consist of only mothers and that is having a negative effect on the lives of children.

Cuffy further stated that Dominica recorded the highest number of murders it has ever seen in years.

“We have a serious breakdown in the family structure and we need to deal with that. I see too that in many families, the father is absent and that’s a big problem. Thank God for the mothers who stick around and raise their children but fathers are essential too. They need to be there to help mould the children,” he said.

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  1. makes no sense
    January 2, 2011

    I have never ever seen a religious man addressing the youth on the street… sit in ivory towers and preach and preach theory my brother.

    • c bruce
      January 2, 2011


      • Annonymous Reader
        January 3, 2011

        How are you going to achieve that?? You have a hotline to God, man? Stupes!!! Some of all you does really type foolishness wi.

    • Truth, Justice, Love, Peace and Unity
      January 4, 2011

      They do not have to go on the street to preach. Their position is not to go on the street. Every one has access to God and also right in Church. I am certain that every Dominican specifically in the past are baptized Christians. Simply go to church and you will hear them. God is calling you to worship, prayer, penance, sacrifice and restitution. Honor your obligation to God so that you might live a relatively happy and peaceful life and subsequently obtain eternal salvation. This is God’s expectation and the ultimate goal of all Christians.

  2. Anonymous
    January 2, 2011

    come on people….its time for us to learn to respect other people opinions.mr.cuffy gave his opinion we don’t have to agree with what he said.make your point! what the the priest says thats his opinion.stop using DNO as a means to get back at people.everybody round the world seeing those kind of comment.thats not looking good.lets try to remain proud dominicans.come on…man.its a shame…to see the way we get on sometimes.

  3. principles
    January 2, 2011

    . Many preachers speak a lot from a theoritical standpoint without addressing issues that tackle specific needs to the congregation they are addressing.

    i totally agree with this statement here. the preachers don’t realize they are talking to mainly parents who havn’t revieced a high school education.. spare the rod spoil the child……………..

    the more blows a child get the better adult they will become …this is how many of the parents translate this………….well i’m child of a father who quoted this often and i recieved beatings for almost anything. i lived in constant fear of lmy father they need to teach proper parentin skills

  4. spoon
    January 2, 2011

    Mr.Cuffy is people like you that is causing the crime rate to escalate because is you and your human right’s hyprocrits amnesty international criminals, and the murcy commitee jokers, that is pleading for freedom for criminals you are anty capital punishment anty hanging so those criminals know thar people like you will plead for them not to be hanged them so they killing indiscriminatly let the justice system HANG those that are on death row and others will fear but you and those lawyers two foot monsters always ready to open all you ungodly mouth to save the life of criminals those they kill didnt they HAVE HUMAN RIGHTS TO stop being so hyprocrit I hope instead of fireing Tiyani Behanzin this year that they make him a judge of the high court or chief magistrate.this is what the human rights connitee should be talking about not blaming fathers for boys with toys triger happy drug dealers gun slingers criminals Cuffy you should fill sorry for criminals.support hanging them so we can clean our country i never will listen to u make no mass, that is not of God your hyprocrit.

    • Muslim_Always
      January 3, 2011

      Very good spoon, it seems to me many Dominicans do not want to remove their badge of ignorance. They are proud to keep it!

  5. c bruce
    January 2, 2011


  6. Anonymous
    January 2, 2011

    I agree with this article. If we could get some statistics that would help. But we all know the immoral disease going on – reality whether the readers like it or not – both men and women running around here, there and everywhere, babies being born everyday at PMH mostly to single mothers. No fathers in sight, like a plague. Don’t pretend Dominicans. Fathers have children here there and everywhere – they cannot be living with all three families and therefore not there for the children. And the men who have wives stilll running around with their pants down – don’t you think the children can see? Even poliitics some of you all want to blame. Train up a child in the way he should grow and when he is old he will not depart from it.

  7. Muslim_Always
    January 2, 2011

    In the Name of Allah, The Beneficient, The Merciful

    I believe that these statements of the priest needs more insight. It seems very one sided. Firstly, just as there are single mothers who take care of their children, there are single fathers who take care of their children. Mr. Cuffy in my opinion has made a blanket statement that is unfair to fathers in this country who are doing a great job at taking care of their children.

    Secondly, we see crimes in households where both parents are present. Thus, it is unfair to blame crimes on one aspect. I believe that both men and women should understand and fulfill their roles and responsibilities as reasonably and justly agreed between themselves in order to have a smoother running of their relationships, be it between themselves and/or with their children.

    Thirdly, many comments I have seen simply asserts the idea of the going to ‘church/place of worship philosophy.’ How many people are engaged in these ritualistic practices in our country? There are so many churches, yet there are so many crimes? Why? Thus it seems to me the answers are not simply going to places of worship. I believe our youth have very poor role models and poor teachers to begin with. Many preachers speak a lot from a theoritical standpoint without addressing issues that tackle specific needs to the congregation they are addressing. For example, ringing in someone’s head that stealing is wrong is not enough, but providing them with ideas to create employment for themselves and the dignity in hard work should be stated as well. More workshops are needed to help the youth develop sound moral standards. These workshops help to correct negative views of life thus replace them with positive ones.

    Of course there are many things that we need to do to correct these problems but it must be a collective effort.

    • Anonymous
      January 2, 2011

      At least it is still not our culture to fight and bomb for everything, like in some countries I know.

      • Muslim_Always
        January 3, 2011

        Unfortunately you are off topic. Secondly, even if bombs are not being used, Dominica is becoming a culture to kill a man as little as $0.50 :)

  8. Tainted
    January 2, 2011

    Mr. Cuffy sorry to stay but I strongly disagree with you. You said that “a lack of fathers in families has contributed to the high level of criminal activities in Dominica.” We were raised with our mother I have countless number of friends who were raised without fathers and we did not resort to crime and violence. These are the kind of statements that we make to let our young people believe that they can resort to crime because they have no father figure in their lives. During the first years raising my kids in the states I single handedly did that. What we have failed to realize is that we try to instill values in our kids when they become teenagers but I will tell you this it starts when a child is born day 1 not 16th birthday. What about the days when it took a community to raise children? what do we expect when our parents have no values but instead seek all the pleasures of the world and leave their children alone to fend for themselves? We need to step up whether it is a single father or a single mother raising kids. Stop blaming the absense of fathers in the home. Single parents no one said it’s gonna be easy but love your kids, show them the way of Lord, be there for them communicate to them from an early age. Stop finding people to blame for crime!!!!!!!!!!

  9. Anthony P. Ismael
    January 1, 2011

    The issues lies beyond the nuclear family unit. While numberous studies have shown that a two-parent home is more advantageous to a child’s future success, we are witnessing a complete break down in Dominica of the worst kind.

    The judicial system is weak or non-existant. Murders walk free all the time. Only the poor and unfortunate are prosecuted in Dominica. As a result, there is no thought process in deciding to take the life of another because their are no consequences for such brutal acts.

    We lack a juvenile facity, such as a Non-Secure Detention facility for juvenile offenders. These types of facilities provide young offenders with an opportunity to serve their time for petty crimes, with a good structure, clinical counseling and a focus on rehabilitation, just to name a few.

    The emphasis on youth development is non-existant. Drive throughout the island and there is nothing for young people to do. No activites to help them develop skills or focus their energies.

    • alameda
      January 2, 2011

      mr Ismael i do not know how old you are but we have never had any of these facilities in d/a ,and we used to have maybe one murder every two or three years.there always have been youth and there was nothing for them to do as a matter of fact there was far less than there is today.

  10. alameda
    January 1, 2011

    while i agree somewhat with the minister, i believe it is the breakdown of society that has been the reason for the increasein crime.i am sure that when he was a kid growing up , there were other kids being raised by mothers or grandmothers, and believe me ,the were tougher than most fathers today.todays society is more acceptable to the garbage going on.

  11. a father
    January 1, 2011

    The priest approach to the issue is very simplistic.This is typical of these religion pushers.
    They always hide behind their robes and have lame answers to society’s problems.
    I grew up in and with many so called nuclear families with fathers and mothers present.Some of the
    worst kids come from these families. I also know many decent and well behaved children who
    were reared by single mothers. The problem comes from the so called religious and political leaders who are immoral and disrespectful.

  12. Interesting
    January 1, 2011

    I think what’s most needed is a positive role model, many times you can’t find that in your parents. I know several individuals who have both parents presents in there lives (married) and they are troubled.

    Single parents raise strong minded adults, so do married parents, it’s because they instill some value into there children, and at an early age when there children misbehave they address it instead of turning a blind eye.

    For example: at the age of 2 your child is leaving with store items in there hand that wasn’t paid for.

    parent #1 will laugh, and allow the child to keep doing it until him\her reaches the age that it doesn’t look cute anymore.

    parent#2 will bring the child back to the store and have them return it to the cashier and explain to them why they can’t take things from stores.

    After a certain age you can no longer blaim the parents, because we all have our own independant minds, and sooner or later have to take accountability for our own actions.

  13. condemn crimes of all kinds
    January 1, 2011

    The lack of fathers in families has contributed to the high level of criminal activities in Dominica. While that may be the expressed opinion of Cuffy, but those in the church hierarchy, Priests and Pastors are yet to raise their voices and condemn the ‘White Colour’ criminal activities committed by those of the ‘Elite Class, those of ‘HIGH REPUTE’ especially those in PUBLIC OFFICE. Numerous CRIMINAL ACTS have been taking place in Dominica, right in our faces, right under our noses, which are as bad as shootings or killings.

    There are too many examples from Biblical teachings that should inspire the faithful to chastise and condemn those involved in corrupt acts. We should also be remind, all of us, that stealing people’s money from the TREASURY, LYING by leaders, and others in authority, Cheating, Fraud, Money-laundering, secret deals by Politicians, those in Public Office ENRICHING THEMSELVES QUICKLY through illegal means, disregard and disrespect for our constitution and all laws of Dominica, Manipulation of the marginalized, fooling the masses for selfish reasons are criminal and have proved to lead to crimes of all kinds.

    Authorities Engaging in acts that are not TRANSPARENT or ACCOUNTABLE in any country are causes for criminal actions. Continuous action and advocacy must be our watchword, not just when things get out of the way. How many of the Priests or Pastors have condemned so many of the corrupt practices and flaunting of the laws taking place in Dominica? How many of the priests and pastors are encouraging their congregation to denounce evil deeds, BAD, DICTATORIAL GOVERNANCE, irrespective of who are involved?

    Cuffy talk against the shootings, but better still, speak continually against the crimes, overt and covert, committed by the politicians and others in Public Office. Skerritt is an illegal leader in Govt. due to his DUAL CITIZENSHIP status during the last elections. The constitution was knowingly violated. That has serious repercussions for Dominica’s economic, social, cultural and political development, however, there is no hue and cry from the religious leaders. Mobilising people to pray alone when there are increases in crimes have failed. Strong advocacy and determined alternative actions are needed.

  14. Wow
    January 1, 2011

    Every study has shown that having a good father at home along with a good mother is advantageous to a child’s development..I can’t believe how many poeple seem to miss that point..someone once told me that a woman cannot teach a boy how to be a man and a man cannot teach a girl how to be a woman..the priest is right…more black men need to take responsibility for the children..

    • alameda
      January 2, 2011

      are u telling me that a young person dosen’t know to hold someone up at gunpoint or to kill someone is wrong, or because there was no father in the home they do not know right from wrong .please

  15. PAIN
    January 1, 2011

    Mr Cuffy, we are living in the last days. If you read your bible you will notice that.

    • mouth of the south
      January 2, 2011

      u forgot them man suppressing the bible nah lol,,,i heard a catholic tell a protestant christian “i see u passing in the carnival jam,,,wat u doin dere” the protestant said “i was jus passing for a ting”,,,the catholic replied “lie u lying,,,allu like to be in the same jam dat not good”,,,,if it not good then wat was the catholic doing in the carnival jump up,,,,,so i always wonder if is two different jesus christ they serve,,,,it’s so sad the truth in the bible but them priests keep dere people in darkness

  16. watchthat
    December 31, 2010

    Father Cuffy u need to get busy and u need to research cause a lot f us do not have fathers and are not involved in violent activites instead we a trying to be a role model. What is causing the crimes is the illegal drug activites which is a direct result of lack of jobs or opportunity to creat jobs. You need to examine your friends in high office who are involve in the trade and stop it from the top then only then will we get a reileve from the deadly crime on our country. Stop being a hypocrit, taking it out on poor people children.

    • ForReal?
      January 2, 2011

      I don’t think he was being a hypocrite or taking it out on poor children. Illegal drug activities are also a problem like you state. Multiple factors contribute to such things. However, it always start at the core foundations. It takes a village to raise a child. It is true that most children who live in a household without a stable family unit tend to have behavioral problems and often times, end up committing crimes.

  17. Fairplay
    December 31, 2010

    Mr Cuffy Should have had children of his own!!! 8-O

    • Anonymous
      January 1, 2011

      ok fairplay you are just talking nonsense right now

      • Ibn Gabrioli
        January 1, 2011

        Ditto Anonymous, I do not need to do drugs to know that it will harm me seriously. So what’s your point, Fairplay?

      • Fairplay
        January 2, 2011

        I am glad you noticed and I agree. It is the same kind of nonesense that you all talk adout the PM all the time!!! 8)

  18. notnice
    December 31, 2010

    father cuffy, although i grew up in da along time ago like in the 80’s i fail to believe or see any
    factual evidence to the lack of their being a father as you claim. I remember alot of my friends
    and family who didn’t have either or, but we turned out fine. What you fail to state was that
    these young men who got murdered where just that, “grown men”. Who were able to stand on
    their own two feet and make rational decision i guess. So, as far as i can remember there hasn’t
    been more of a strict parent than a dominican parent, whether it’s just the mother or father or both.
    respect a dominican, parent.


    • Anonymous
      January 1, 2011

      that is so true notnice

      • disappointed
        January 1, 2011

        Amen to that!

        • ForReal?
          January 2, 2011

          Notnice, In case you haven’t noticed, we are no longer in the ’80s. A lot has changed. Back then you probably could go out and leave your doors open and trust that your neighbor would look out for you. Sadly, in today’s times, such is no longer the case. Crimes are rampant and the family, and community unit is no longer solid. Most of it is broken. More and more households are occupied by single parents and kids are being influenced largely by television and technology. Some of the things viewed on TV today, was most likely non existent back then or were largely censored. The advent of the internet also brings it own set of influences. Hence the reason, we are all commenting on these issues online right now. Therefore, it is almost pointless to compare growing up in the ’80s in a single family household to today. Things are different. We need to come together as a community to help our young people make positive choices and stop the violence. It will never happen in one day nor is there just one factor that can be singled out to make that difference. It takes a village to raise a child.

  19. jupiter
    December 31, 2010

    I beg to differ.When fathers leave mothers alone and leave children behind,mothers tighten your waists and raise your sons and daughters.when a man think he has turned his back on his children,woman,pull your socks up..high up and raise your children to love GOD and each other.Gladly play the role of mother and father and help build a positive community.Apolice officer gave me a child and turned his back…now my child is an example.So come on women and grow our children with pride.teach them to love and drag them to a church..i don’t care which one..find God.

    • Anonymous
      January 2, 2011

      You sound like you believe a woman is a machine. And to go for a police officer you ask for trouble anyhow

    December 31, 2010


  21. principles
    December 31, 2010

    oh my God, why wasn’t my abusive father an absent father. too bad he was maried to my mother for all my life and physically abused jhis kids.

    please adress this parenting thing properly!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  22. FIRE
    December 31, 2010

    Are you fighting down men? U make money the most easy way under the sun.

  23. I want some Kennip
    December 31, 2010

    Now this is a Preist I can respect. His comments and views are correct.

    We have a lot of fathers, but no ‘Dads’ men who neglect their duties and do not contribute emotionally or financially to raising their kids. They have one and run to another woman making another child and then on and one again.

    Time to settle down and have more stable families…..It is getting harder on the Moms.

  24. Ich Caval
    December 31, 2010

    That is why priests should marry and have children. They seem to have all the answers so they would make good fathers.

    • jay
      January 1, 2011

      i like dat

      • Tainted
        January 2, 2011

        Lord!!!!! you gave me a good laugh this Sunday morning. I could’nt help myself I totally agree.

  25. Truth, Justice, Love, Peace and Unity
    December 31, 2010

    This is not always the case. I know a few children whose parents are divorced; others who had an absentee father; others who do not know their fathers and where there are but who have turned out extremely well to be good citizens.
    I personally know especially one who obtained a Master’s degree. The only reason he did not go on to obtain a PHD it is because he stated that he is tired of studying. He is employed.
    I can inform you this is one respectable and exemplary young man.
    I personally know his mother and would also spend certain holidays with them. They also spent time at my home. There was not once he was ever rude to me. He did not get involved in bad company. To this day I commend both his mother and himself.
    I do agree that children should receive proper guidance from both parents. A single mother or father should be instrumental in nurturing their children appropriately.
    I also agree that some children choose to be disobedient and to associate with bad company. Bad company corrupts.
    The question is why do some children, even from the identical biological parents turn out to be so different?
    There are many Dominicans who also reside worldwide whose parents were not married, some of them did not reside with their fathers or may not have known their fathers yet many of them turned out to be exemplary and progressive people.
    Why do the girls turn out differently to the boys?
    I have considered that the Church of whatever denomination, the government as the teachers should also assist those children. This also includes those who know them personally. They should keep their eyes open to the actions and needs of those children. If these children are experiencing difficulty in any way, be it that they complain or not, the latter if also visible, they should be helped.
    Children are people too and need to be listened to.
    Most of all it all boils down to that parents should practice the faith and nurture their children in the faith. Go to Church with your children and take an interest in them and their activities. It is stated that: “A family which prays together stays together.” We could add, play as well.
    Those who fail to practice the faith and to project exemplary habits, in the end, it will affect their children. There is always a price to pay for this. What more could I say?

    • Bushmaninda
      December 31, 2010

      Well said.

      I like what said and how it was said.

      Thank you

    • Big-Bannan
      December 31, 2010

      Hey.. you need to open up your new website if you want to type a page full of your opinion. Its people like you who think the world completly revolves around you and your ideology. Happy New Year and consider others.

      • Truth, Justice, Love, Peace and Unity
        January 3, 2011

        Thank you for your encouraging words. It is not a personally ideology but through God’s inspiration which, in all fairness, will hopefully assist and encourage others especially the youth.
        I recently made a joke with someone and said I make my own world but only with the help of God as I do my utmost to obey His Commandments and the religious teachings of the Church.
        I have always considered writing a book or two or even more as God inspires me. I told a few people that I would call this year, “The Year of My Book”. :) As we grow older we gain a lot of experience. I was fortunate to have parents who honored their parental obligations in words and example and who were religious and strict. They have since passed on. They have left me with a legacy. They were also fair and just and taught their children appropriately also to respect everyone with no exception. This has been an asset to me and also assisted me to avoid bad company and the pitfalls of life. I have much to be grateful to them.
        I have been told that I should be a counselor. I love people in general; am always compassionate to their cause and ever ready to offer advice and help also to children, whether family, friend or stranger. I advise them to study hard and to stay away from bad company, that time flies and to make the most of their time.
        In addition, as we practice the faith, keep strong of faith, pray to God to assist us and also to protect us, simply put, no matter what the obstacles and struggles, our God never fails us.
        My faith, hope and trust is in the Lord.
        God bless all of you. Do all the good you can for Dominica and anyone whom you may meet who needs any sort of assistance, be it by kind and encouraging words. This helps. May 2011 be a happy, healthy and peaceful year for you.

    • Dear
      December 31, 2010

      I agree with your comment, I would like there to be a “can contribute to crime”. In any case, two good parents are always better than one.

      • Truth, Justice, Love, Peace and Unity
        January 4, 2011

        Obviously! There is nothing that we can about that. What is done is done. Each adult is responsible for him or herself. The men cannot always be blamed for that and also the women cannot always be blamed for that. However, when people get into a relationship and the woman becomes pregnant, the man should stand up to his responsibilty because a child is involved. Do not neglect the woman and the child.
        It is quite simple. Instead of pointing a finger, these people need help from the government and from the community. The women with a baby and child who may rejected do need assistance emotionally, physically and financially. It is no easy time for them. We need to be considerate and compassionate.
        I still maintain, practicing the faith, praying to God for oneself, praying for others and for his protection. Remember the words of The Our Father which Christians pray daily: “…And lead us not into temptation but devil us from evil. Amen!”
        God is love and God forgives.

  26. giggles
    December 31, 2010

    that basically it fathers are needed to set example for children, to show them how to conduct themselves in society and put away their childish behaviors. It is a fact that young men raising up without fathers do not know how to behave themselves.

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