Adults need limits and boundaries too

April 28, 2009

The following email arrived at The Yes Vote headquarters today.

Here is a true story. All I ask is that you do not use my name as the child concerned is currently 19 and does not need identifying in this way.

I am a “successful university educated person”.  In 1992, I was made redundant from my management position in the health sector and started attending self esteem classes at my local Women’s Centre.  One evening soon after my then Husband came home and told me to put his dirty socks in the wash house. I said no (see self esteem).

He then asked my daughter to do this she said no so he hit her so hard across the head that she fell to the ground.  I picked her up and stood there with her stunned in my arms trying to decide if it was ok that he had done this.

It was like a crossroad — I knew I either walked or told her to do what her dad said.  I am proud to say I walked. I want any parent in this situation to know that hitting a child is wrong and to not need to decide.

Because of my own extensive abuse as a child I had no idea of the limits and boundaries as to what is ok to do to a child. The no smacking law makes this clear and should be upheld.

Thank you for what you do.

Plunket Barnardos Save the Children Unicef Jigsaw Ririki Parents CentrePaediatric Society Womens Refuge Epoch

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