From the mailbag 1

May 24, 2009

There is steady flow of incoming messages here at The Yes Vote headquarters. We are stoked by the support, mainly by people working at the coal face – Early Childhood Educators and people who work dealing with the consequences of family violence.  We’re also bemused by messages from some members of the lobby of people wanting to regain their right to hit their kids in the guise of correcting their behaviour.  We respect these people’s right to an alternative view, but reject the anger and misguided disregard for New Zealand’s awful record of child abuse and murder. Thankfully the love-to-hate ratio is very high, which reinforces our basic faith in humanity, and that the power of love and nurturing is much greater than the power of hate and violence.

Here is a sample of some of the messages:

I believe no person should be able to physically abuse a child, a smack of any type is not okay.  Child abuse in NZ is appalling, our children have rights and should be treated with respect.  Violence breeds violence.

I strongly support the no smacking legislation and  as a third year early childhood teaching student I will strongly enforce the ideals in my teaching practice.

We value the rights of each child to live free from all forms of violence.

I have always supported the deletion of Section 59 from the Crimes Act so that it cannot be used as a defence of “reasonable force” after using violence against a child. Assaulting an adult is not allowed by law, so why should it be legal to assault a small defenceless child? There are better ways of bringing up a child to be a peaceful and responsible citizen than hitting it.

We fully support existing legislation and believe that the Police are using thier discretion regarding the law appropriately. We believe that the law is helping to change behaviour about hwat is acceptable child rearing pracitce in terms of the use of physical violence.

We support the new law, and totally support the principle that every child has the right to be safe from violence. To return to the pre-2007 law would be a step backwards for New Zealand.

Thank you for your support, it means a lot to us!

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

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