Good parents will be turned into criminals. The slightest touch could become grounds for an assault charge.
SIGN THE PETITION
Your details will not be published or shared in any way outside the Be Reasonable campaign.
“I oppose the Welsh Government’s plan to criminalise parents who smack their children.”
WHY THE LAW NEEDS TO REMAIN UNCHANGED…
The current law already protects children from abuse. It needs to be enforced, not changed.
The plan involves patronising state interference into family life. Politicians should not legislate on parenting style.
Police and social workers will be flooded with trivial cases leaving them struggling to stop genuine child abuse.
Warning: include(partials/poll-chart.php): failed to open stream: No such file or directory in /var/www-bereasonable.wales/wp-content/themes/bereasonable/templates/home.php on line 140
Warning: include(): Failed opening 'partials/poll-chart.php' for inclusion (include_path='.:/usr/share/php') in /var/www-bereasonable.wales/wp-content/themes/bereasonable/templates/home.php on line 140
Answers to common arguments in favour of changing the law to criminalise parents
"GOOD PARENTS ARE NOT AT RISK FROM A CHANGE IN THE LAW"
It has been argued that ‘trivial’ assaults would not be prosecuted if the law is changed. But why create a criminal offence if it is never going to be enforced? The reality is that once the defence of ‘reasonable chastisement’ is removed any smack, however minor, will break the law and risk prosecution. Any ban will inevitably catch ordinary parents.
"SMACKING IS A FORM OF CHILD ABUSE"
The current law already protects children from abuse. To smack is not to ‘attack’, to ‘beat’ or to ‘abuse’. A controlled and loving smack is not harmful or degrading. It is one form of loving discipline.
"CHILDREN SHOULD HAVE THE SAME PROTECTION AS ADULTS"
Children are not allowed to drive, vote, marry or own a firearms licence. Nobody claims this is ‘unfair’ or ‘unequal’ and it would be just as inappropriate to apply this argument to smacking. Children may also be confined to their bedrooms, required to eat their vegetables or have to go to bed at a particular time - ‘restrictions’ which would not be applied to adults. Children are not adults. Smacking is specifically used with children as they are dependent upon their parents and need to be taught right from wrong. Banning smacking would represent a fundamental shift in the legal relationship between parents and children and lead to some or all of the negative outcomes seen in Sweden.
"SMACKING TEACHES CHILDREN TO USE VIOLENCE"
The majority of people were smacked as children and are now law-abiding citizens, not violent abusers. Smacking helps to train children to know how to behave, to set clear boundaries and to equip them for adult life. It has its basis in the unique relationship between parents and their children. Smacking is not an act of violence, it is an act of love. 85% were smacked. 85% of Welsh people are not violent.
"SMACKING DOESN'T WORK - OTHER METHODS ARE BETTER"
Parents use different ways to discipline their children at different ages. It is not always reasonable or fair to use negotiating techniques, especially if the child is very young. The effects of a loving smack are only temporary. The sanction is immediate and directly relates to behaviour. Alternatives such as a parent walking away can give a child the impression that the relationship has broken down. Given that the majority of parents smack their children and the majority of the population defend their right to do so, it is clearly recognised as a legitimate tool.
"SMACKING IS A GREY AREA IN THE LAW - IT'S SAFER TO JUST BAN IT"
The present law is clear that ‘reasonable chastisement’ is acceptable and it is working. Banning smacking would only divert resources away from protecting abused children. The Welsh Government should concentrate on improving awareness of the current law, rather than seeking to abolish it.
What is being proposed?
Currently parents in Wales are allowed to ‘reasonably chastise’ their children. The First Minister of Wales, Carwyn Jones has committed to outlaw this.
He intends to do this by removing the defence of ‘reasonable chastisement’ that exists in the law.
How do the public feel about a ban?
69% of Welsh adults say parents should not be banned from smacking their children.
Warning: include(partials/social-strip.php): failed to open stream: No such file or directory in /var/www-bereasonable.wales/wp-content/themes/bereasonable/templates/home.php on line 253
Warning: include(): Failed opening 'partials/social-strip.php' for inclusion (include_path='.:/usr/share/php') in /var/www-bereasonable.wales/wp-content/themes/bereasonable/templates/home.php on line 253
Warning: include(footer.php): failed to open stream: No such file or directory in /var/www-bereasonable.wales/wp-content/themes/bereasonable/templates/home.php on line 285
Warning: include(): Failed opening 'footer.php' for inclusion (include_path='.:/usr/share/php') in /var/www-bereasonable.wales/wp-content/themes/bereasonable/templates/home.php on line 285