Victims of wounded love

Letters to the Editor

Victims of wounded love

Monday, December 09, 2019

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Dear Editor,

The 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence is an international campaign to challenge violence against women and girls. The campaign runs every year from November 25, the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women, to December, Human Rights Day.

As we shine a light on the violence against our women and children, there is another violence that affects our children and their identity as people that has been overlooked — the denying of children the right to know their fathers when relationships “go south”.

Dr Berit Brogaard in When Love Becomes Infiltrated By Hate, wrote that: “People sometimes feel hate so strongly towards loved ones that they are prepared to take revenge of the most gruesome kind or behave in incredibly spiteful ways towards the loved one who wounded them.” ( Psychology Today, December 3, 2016)

Sadly, many children become victims of “wounded love” with the ultimate denial of access to their fathers or a knowledge of their family's existence. The longevity of the radio programme Sunday Contact, hosted by Ralston McKenzie, or the growing popularity of The Susan Show on local television, reflects a growing segment of the Jamaican population searching for families.

Another area of search is via DNA testing from companies such as MyHeritage, 23 and Me, or Ancestry, where results have led to the reuniting of families.

An acquaintance of mine shared how her father was given a surname at birth and what she later discovered was a fictitious name of a father who had left for New York the month he was born. She discovered via DNA testing her grandfather's real name, and that he was very much alive in Florida when they were searching for the wrong-named person, where he started a new family before moving to London, where he later died. She and her father flew to Florida to meet with four of his half-siblings.

At the age of eight I was told by my father that his name had been changed when he was a child after his mother had divorced. It was when my dad died in 2002 that I discovered the extent my beloved grandmother went to hide the identity of her children from her former husband. A death certificate was created showing that my dad died at age three, and he along with another sibling were given totally new names and dates of birth. My dad was actually six years older than the date of birth he used his entire life. My grandfather died a broken man with no knowledge of the whereabouts of his children.

I know that the Government is working to ensure that our children are properly registered at birth, and that is good. However, let us stop abusing our children by making them victims of wounded love.

Dudley C McLean II

Mandeville, Manchester

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