The Need for Dads: The Basics
In 1994, the Child Abuse Prevention Center in Ogden, Utah, conducted a research study to compile information about documented cases of shaken baby syndrome. The study found that 79% of the perpetrators in SBS/AHT (shaken baby syndrome/abusive head trauma) cases were male, most of whom are the biological father of the victim (Child Abuse Prevention Center [CAPC], 1994). Another study by the University of Colorado Health Sciences Center in 1995 found that 68.5% of SBS perpetrators were male (Starling, Holden, and Jenny, 1995). The National Center also conducted a survey of the 1998 Child Fatality Review Teams for cases of SBS/AHT throughout the United States and found that 70% of the perpetrators in fatal SBS/AHT cases were male (CAPC,1998). These statistics give a strong indication that SBS/AHT prevention and awareness efforts should target males by helping them prepare for fatherhood and giving them the skills they need to care for infants.