Welsh Government propaganda on smacking ignores the fact that parents will be criminalised if law is changed

Responding to the “unsurprising” findings in the Parental Attitudes towards Managing Young Children’s Behaviour 2017 released earlier today, Lowri Turner, a spokesmum for the Be Reasonable Campaign commented:

“This latest piece of propaganda should be ignored.

“Crucially the survey failed to ask those surveyed whether parents should be criminalised by changing the law on smacking. Our independently-run poll of over 1,000 people only last year found 76% did not want smacking to become a criminal offence. And more than two-in-three agreed it is sometimes necessary to smack a naughty child.

“We know that if the politicians get their way, a gentle smack from a loving parent will be treated no differently to child abuse. This was confirmed by a series of Freedom of Information requests to NHS Wales available on our website. These showed that doctors and nurses who smack their children could face suspension from their jobs and criminal investigation.”

Lowri concluded: “It seems likely that their patients will be treated in exactly the same way, with medical staff being forced to report on anyone suspected of smacking their child, even when there is little, or no evidence.

“This is exactly what happened in New Zealand. Far from not criminalising them, parents are being arrested, investigated and dragged through the courts. In the worst examples it has even led to loss of work, marriage break-ups and estrangement.

“Since 2009 there has not been a single case of a parent using reasonable chastisement in any court case in Wales, so it is clear that the current law works, is understood by all and does not need changing.”