Did four in ten dads not see their children this Father’s Day?
20 June 2019
What was claimed
Four in ten fathers will not see their children this Father’s Day.
Incorrect. 37% of fathers who responded to a recent survey said that either they, or someone they knew, had ever experienced not seeing their children on Father's Day.
What was claimed
Four in ten fathers will not see their children this Father’s Day due to separation and family breakdown.
Incorrect. Respondents were not asked why they or someone they knew did not see their children on Father’s Day. So it’s incorrect to assume all of these cases are due to separation and family breakdown.
The question was asked of a sample of just over 1,000 fathers with children under 18 and weighted so the respondents were demographically representative of fathers in Great Britain.
It seems the source of the error is the press release put out by the campaign group who commissioned the survey, Fathers4Justice.
The release goes on to accurately report the survey results, but its headline and first line wrongly claim that "a third of dads (37 per cent) will not see their children on Father's Day" – the claim that several newspapers then repeated in their coverage.
We don't know why some dads didn't see their children on Father's Day
An editorial in the Sunday Express claimed: "Four in ten fathers will not see their precious youngsters today due to separation and family breakdown."
Aside from the problems mentioned with this “four in ten” figure, nobody knows if these fathers/parents are not seeing their children because of separation and family breakdown.
Respondents were not asked the reason they or someone they knew failed to see their children on the Father's Day(s) they missed.
They could, for example, have been unable to be with them on the day because of travel difficulties, a work commitment or for any other reason unrelated to family breakdown.
We can’t sugar coat how difficult this year has been for good information.
News this year has fractured communities, and caused confusion and panic for many of us. No one can control what will happen next. But you can support a debate based on fair, accurate and transparent information.
As independent, impartial fact checkers, we rely on individuals like you to ensure the most dangerously false inaccuracies can be called out and challenged.
Could you chip in to support an accurate and fair debate today?