Introducing a ban on smacking children will 'criminalise decent parents', claims campaigner

Child

Thursday, January 17, 2019

Banning the smacking of children will "criminalise ordinary, decent parents", a pro-smacking campaigner has claimed.

Simon Calvert, a campaigner from Be Reasonable, who oppose smacking being banned, claimed Jersey's recent decision to outlaw the practice would be "highly disruptive" to families.

"If Jersey presses ahead with this law change then what will they be outlawing? Well, they won't be outlawing abuse because that's already illegal, so they'll be outlawing perfectly reasonable, mild behaviour that most of us experienced," he told Matthew Wright.

 

 

"Do we really think that our childhoods would have been better if some of our parents had been occasionally prosecuted for smacking us? I don't think so. It's highly disruptive to a family."

Politicians in Jersey recently voted to repeal a section of a law which allowed smacking by a parent if it was deemed "reasonable", making it the second place in the British Isles to ban smacking children.

There are currently 53 other countries, including Ireland, who have outlawed smacking, with Scotland also expected to introduce a ban this year.

 

'Not child abuse'

"You're taking something which is not child abuse and you're calling it child abuse," Mr Calvert said.

"It distracts the police and the social workers, the very people who should be trying to identify children who are at risk and are being abused. A lot of their time is going to be wasted on perfectly good families where there's nothing wrong."

The campaigner, who confessed to smacking his own children when they were aged two and three, added: "Whether or not people endorse smacking themselves, most people do not want to see parents who take that view criminalised for it. Something like two-thirds of people do think it's sometimes necessary to smack a naughty child."