SWEDEN'S BAN ON SMACKING A FAILURE
Wednesday, 2 May, 2007
Sweden's ban on smacking, introduced in 1979, has been widely cited by supporters of Sue Bradford's bill as having successfully reduced child abuse.
Welfare commentator Lindsay Mitchell is not persuaded. "Sweden's Ministry of Health and Social Affairs continues to express considerable concern about the levels of violence towards children and women. According to Sweden's Strategy Report For Social Protection And Social Inclusion 2006- 2008 the Committee against Child Abuse says around ten percent of all children have at some time experienced this type of violence. Additionally, reported violence against women had climbed 20 percent in recent years."
"It is notoriously difficult to gauge levels of child abuse with under-reporting, false reporting, under-diagnosing and under-coding in hospital admissions. In New Zealand CYF found 20,110 instances of abuse in 2006. In the same year 16,173 child clients were receiving CYF services. That number represents approximately 1.9 percent of 0-14 year-olds."
"The Christchurch Development Study found that 4 percent of participants had experienced physical abuse by the age of 16 and a study by the Office of the Children's Commissioner found that 10 % of intermediate-aged children had been punched, kicked or beaten by an adult in the previous 12 months."
"It would appear that Sweden and New Zealand have comparable rates of child abuse despite Sweden's ban on smacking for the past 28 years."
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