The murder of Sarah Everard has exposed the gendered inequalities still prevalent today. Focussing on fatherhood is part of the solution, argues Edward Davies, Director of Policy, Centre for Social Justice.

The murder of Sarah Everard is turning into a key moment for violence against women. The discussion of women's experiences of male aggression on television, radio and social media has been profound.

Coming near International Women's Day has added extra poignancy. It was hard not to be moved Labour's shadow domestic violence minister, Jess Phillips, as she read out the names of 118 women and girls killed in the UK this year, where a man has been charged or convicted as the primary perpetrator.

But in the cries of 'something must be done' it is important that we don't do the wrong thing.

Everything from curfews for men, to something approaching a female neighbourhood militia have been suggested, but the reality is that most violence against women happens behind closed doors, at home, between people that know each other.

The key is not policing or courts, but creating people who aren't violent towards each other in the first place. And there are things we can do early in life to help that.

Men are not born violent. They are created. And as with so many things in life that creation does not happen in society, or school, or culture, as public conversation would have us believe. It happens at home. In the immortal words of Philip Larkin 'They fuck you up, your mum and dad. They may not mean to, but they do.'

The thread from fatherless young men to criminality is a conveyor belt that starts young, often with school exclusion, meanders through youth justice, and ends in prison.

It's no coincidence that two thirds of our prison population are second generation ? before they first got into trouble, they lost their fathers to incarceration too.

The literature on this stuff is wide and deep. Endless studies have found stark links between fatherlessness, aggression, and crime. It doesn't fit well with a modern liberal worldview but there is decades of evidence, like the following from Clinical Psychologist Jenny Taylor almost 20 years ago.

She compared a group of "good boys", who had no criminal convictions and had caused teachers no trouble, with a group of "bad boys" at a secure unit, many of them persistent offenders convicted of sexual assault, theft and stealing vehicles.

The boys, aged between 12 and 16, were from working class backgrounds, had lower than average intellectual ability, had similar problems with their peers and with hyperactivity, had equally large families, and in both groups 40% suffered from dyslexia.

But there was one "very striking" difference between the two groups: 55% of the "good boys" lived with their biological fathers, compared with only 4% of the "bad boys".

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And in fact almost 80% of the "good boys" spoke of being close to their biological fathers. It turns out that having a good male role model at home is crucial.

A decade ago the charity Addaction, which deals with drug and alcohol problems among young people, warned of an epidemic of "father-hunger". It said this was creating a social time bomb of sub-conscious anger.

But research showing the devastating impact of family fragmentation has been ignored for decades.

Of course many factors lead to family fragmentation and indeed crime, not least poverty, and many single parents are heroes worthy of nothing but our admiration. But if we're going to tackle this violence, we have got to start taking this root cause seriously, and right now we are not.

Only last week Parliament was in uproar over the erasure of mothers from legislation passing through the House and it was duly overturned.

The erasure of fathers has been systematically driven through all government and institutions for decades. Fatherhood is erased from the day their child is conceived.

Long gone are the days when the NHS wrote to fathers to engage them in ante-natal classes. We now have 'partners' if anything. As a result a low income father is half as likely to attend an antenatal class as a high income father.

But that's not just about government and the NHS, that is businesses that have been forced to give attention to mothers, but have little interest in supporting fathers. Indeed many businesses have now dropped all talk of fathers and paternity leave in favour of 'the non-birthing parent'.

It's no doubt born of good intentions towards the tiny minority of new parents who are not fathers, but has smashed another nail into the coffin of valuing dads.

If the message is sent so loudly that fatherhood is not important, let's not feign shock when men get the message that their role is not important.

And so lastly what to do. We can and must reintroduce the importance of fathers into equality legislation, public service guidance, and indeed daily life. Let's not be shy about saying dads matter.

But we must also get away from the rhetoric of Mars versus Venus, men against women, and smash the patriarchy.

Raising balanced kids takes hard work and partnership. We're in this together.

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