Australian Gov website about corporal punishment.
Currently there is no law against 'reasonable' force.
OK people, as long as the marks of the punishment are gone within 24 hours your good to go!! WTF!!!!! CRAP law!!!!Corporal punishment that results in bruising, marking or other injury lasting longer than a 24-hour period may be deemed to be "unreasonable" and thus classified as physical abuse. As an example, theNew South Wales Crimes Act 1900(NSW) establishes that corporal punishment is unreasonable if the force is applied to any part of the head or neck of a child or to any other part of the body of a child in such a way as to be likely to cause harm to a child that lasts for more than a short period. Corporal punishment that is unreasonable in the circumstances may lead to intervention by police and/or child protection authorities."
State Legislation and or common law relating to corporal punishment by parents Legislative Act or Criminal Code ACT The ACT has no legislation concerning the use of corporal punishment by parents. The Child Welfare Ordinance 1957 allowed a person with the lawful care of a child to administer physical punishment, however the Act was repealed by the Children's Services Ordinance 1986. At present the defence of "reasonable chastisement" remains in common law. ACT Child Services Ordinance, 1986.
NSW The Crimes Amendment Act 2001(NSW) introduced an amendment specifying that physical punishment by a parent should not harm a child more than briefly and specifies the parts of a child's body that can be subject to force. This amendment to the Crimes Act 1900 (NSW) did not entirely remove parental capacity for corporal punishment nor explicitly ban the use of physical force towards children, but it did introduce strict guidelines on what is acceptable. Crimes Act 1900 (NSW) s61AA:
NT On the basis of the Criminal Code Act (NT), it is lawful for parents and teachers (unless parents expressly withhold their consent) to apply force to a child for the purposes of discipline and correction. Criminal Code Act (NT) s27: <www.austlii.edu.au/au/legis/nt/consol_act/cca115> QLD The Criminal Code Act 1899 (Qld) states that:it is lawful for a parent or a person in the place of a parent ... to use, by way of correction, discipline, management or control, towards a child or pupil, under the person's care, such force that is reasonable under the circumstances.It therefore remains lawful for a parent to physically punish/correct their child.
Criminal Code Act 1899 (Qld) s280: <www.legislation.qld.gov.au/LEGISLTN/CURRENT/C/CriminCode.pdf> SA There is no legislation that explicitly provides for the use of corporal punishment by parents in South Australia. However, there is a section in the Criminal Law Consolidation Act 1935 (SA) that provides for contact between persons that would generally be regarded as accepted within the community. There also exists a common law defence of "reasonable chastisement". Criminal Law Consolidation Act 1935 (SA) s20(2): <www.austlii.edu.au/au/legis/sa/consol_act/clca1935262/>
and common law defence
TAS Physical punishment by a parent towards a child remains lawful under the Tasmanian Criminal Code Act 1924 (Tas). The Act reads:It is lawful for a parent or a person in the place of a parent to use, by way of correction, any force towards a child in his or her care that is reasonable in the circumstances.
Criminal Code Act 1924 (Tas) s50: <www.thelaw.tas.gov.au/index.w3p> VIC There is no legislation concerning corporal punishment by parents in Victoria, however, there is a common law defence for parental use of corporal punishment. Victorian common law allows parents to administer corporal punishment to children in their charge provided the punishment is neither unreasonable nor excessive. Common law defence WA Under the Criminal Code 1913 (WA) it remains lawful for parents to physically discipline their children. Section 257 of the code states that:it is lawful for a parent or a person in the place of a parent.... to use, by way of correction, toward a child or pupil under his care, such force as is reasonable under the circumstances.
Criminal Code Act 1913 (WA) s257: <www.austlii.edu.au/au/legis/wa/consol_act/ccaca1913252>
There used to be an exemption under NZ law about reasonable force for children, but was repealed in 2007 due to the fact that it was used in court successfully, for quite shocking cases.
The problem with 'reasonable force' is that it is very hard to define, and can be a slippery slope.
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26-07-2013 16:21 #71
Last edited by MilkingMaid; 26-07-2013 at 16:40.
26-07-2013 16:22 #72
I personally think the bigger question here, is "why do we feel it necessary to use any type of physical force/punishment on children" because really, why DO we feel it is necessary? It would come down to sociological conditioning. It was once the norm, it was once perfectly acceptable, in fact, expected. But we are now more aware and educated than ever before, with access to a wide range of resources with varying disciplinary methods for us to learn about, adopt and apply. So why do we still feel the need to defend smacking and say it is still an acceptable thing to do?
Why are we so afraid of changing our opinion and views on this? Is it fear of being labelled as a 'bad' parent if you are/were a smacker? Is it fear of feeling guilty for that same reason? A fear of being 'wrong' and not willing to accept there are other, alternative methods?
26-07-2013 16:30 #73
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26-07-2013 16:32 #74
I'm in two minds about it. I have smacked DD8 a few times. The last time was perhaps 2 years ago. She is a good kid. We use other discipline methods - time out, removal of much loved items, no tv, no playing with friends.
There is a difference between a smack to discipline a child/protect them from doing something dangerous and assaulting/beating a child.
I've seen parents hit their kids across the face or whacked them up the back of the head. I don't consider this "smacking" but assaulting. That should be illegal. A smack to the hand or bottom should not be illegal.
Would pinching come in to it. It's not a "smack" but it hurts. I have a friend who was never smacked but her Mother would pinch her on the inner arm between the armpit and elbow. I think that is cruel but don't think it would be covered under this "smacking" law.
I have another friend who was beaten by her defacto. Black eyes, bruises all over her body, hair ripped out. She took out a restraining order, but the Police refused to charge him with assault, because it was of a "domestic" nature so apparently the same laws didn't apply as they would have if it was to a random person. How can that happen but charges could be laid if you smacked your child on the bottom/hand?
Surely, even if these laws were in place, the Police wouldn't charge every parent who gave their child a smack. It would be for those parents that assault and beat their children. If you can do that to your child - do you really think this smacking law would make any difference to them? I don't. If the Police knew of/saw those people assaulting their children, there are laws/procedures in place to stop that now.
I was smacked as a child with both a hand and a cloth covered kettle cord. I learned what was acceptable behaviour and what wasn't. I do not resent my parents for it. I never was in doubt about their love for me. Just as my DD is in no doubt about my love for her, even though she has been smacked.
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26-07-2013 16:53 #75Senior Member
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The argument "it happened to me and I turned out okay" becomes a moot point when it happened to others and they didnt. Before I started smoking my lungs were apparently fine but many people smoked in cars with me. Others, however, didnt get off so lightly which is why its now illegal. And no one argues against smoking in cars and that the government is trying to interfer in their child raising? Why is smacking different?
26-07-2013 18:36 #76Senior Member
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- Oct 2009
However, I think the argument now has developed into whether we should legislate over moral issues.
I am no advocate for smacking, but I get a little wary when legislation is brought in over moral issues.
And I don't see it as a case of protecting children either. We already have legislation to protect against assault, so we are talking about making the gentle tap/ the swat of the hand illegal.
I believe that those who are likely to commit assault on their children will not be deterred by a change in legislation, as what they are doing is already illegal.
And then what next? It is better for children to feed them fresh home cooked foods. So do we legislate against feeding them processed food? Some people give their kids Maccas every day, so do we make that illegal to send the message that we (societally) do not approve of kids being fed junk food?
26-07-2013 18:44 #77And I don't see it as a case of protecting children either. We already have legislation to protect against assault, so we are talking about making the gentle tap/ the swat of the hand illegal.
Um, it's a bit more than a gentle tap/swat that is legal in Australia. As long as it is 'reasonable force' and does not leave marks after 24 hours it's OK.
Corporal punishment to children is NOT under the assault laws.
That's why the law as it is is unacceptable, and doctors who are seeing the results of this are asking for the law to be changed, especially as 'reasonable force' can easily morph into unreasonable force.
Zero tolerance for violence towards children is far safer.
And I don't see it as a moral issue for parents, I see it as a basic human rights issue.
Last edited by MilkingMaid; 26-07-2013 at 18:55.
26-07-2013 20:14 #78
I'm all for it, we have enough violence in society as it is, and violence towards children is unacceptable. I do have to question what on earth the punishment would be? I would hope it was a parenting education course or something like that, not jail time. If people like Adrian Bayley who are repeat violent and sexual predators keep getting out and then murder, how is smacking children going to prosecuted.
26-07-2013 20:31 #79Senior Member
- Join Date
- Mar 2013
Regardless of my opinion on smacking, I don't actually see what difference this law would make. Docs can't currently keep up with the number of child abuse cases reported to them. there are little kids my sister teaches who are known to be physically and/or sexually abused (quite a few different kids, shes at a school in a pretty bad area) and docs can't do anything about it. How on earth are they going to police this?
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26-07-2013 20:40 #80
I haven't read the whole thread but i'm sure someone has already pointed out that if an adult hits another adult, it's assault. You can't say "oh i was just trying to teach him something". So why is it not assault to smack a child who is smaller in size and strength and more vulnerable? You don't own your children, so I personally don't see what gives a parent to hit their child as their chosen form of discipline. I grew up with a brother who had severe ADHD but my mother still never smacked him.
I'm not sure how it would be policed though as a lot of the time, it's done in the home and no one would ever know.
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