Friday, August 28, 2009

What will Australia do?

Australians are also coming under increasing UN pressure to ban corporal punishment in the home.

They will be treated to all the same misinformation we endured.

School-aged children in Australia are twice as likely to be killed as their British peers, usually as a result of child abuse by their mother or her de facto partner, according to a study in the Medical Journal of Australia in January. The study's authors, from St Vincent's Hospital in Sydney, argued measures to reduce the rate of physical abuse of children, including banning corporal punishment, would have the greatest potential to reduce the number of children being killed. Fatal child abuse declined to "very low levels" after corporal punishment was banned in Sweden in 1979, they found.

Two points. As I have shown before assaults on children in Sweden have continued to increase and the UK has not banned smacking.

And, predictably, the media message is, look, they did it in NZ and it's just not a problem;

A survey by the Australian Childhood Foundation found 69 per cent of adults in 2006 thought it sometimes necessary to "smack" a naughty child - down from 75 per cent in 2002.

But such minimal force is unlikely to be caught under an anti-smacking law such as New Zealand's, where parental force for the purpose of correcting a child is banned. The 2007 law won bipartisan support because of provisions permitting parents using reasonable force to prevent or minimise harm to the child, or to stop them engaging in offensive or disruptive behaviour. Police, the law states, have the discretion to dismiss complaints where the offence is "inconsequential".

No prosecutions have been brought for smacking children under the new law, which has had "minimal impact" on police activity, New Zealand police say.

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