February 12, 2010
In September 2009 the Swedish Ministry of Health and Social Affairs and Sweden’s Save the Children published Never Violence – Thirty Years on from Sweden’s Abolition of Corporal Punishment, 2009. The report briefly outlines the background of the ban, reports on trends since the 1979 law change and corrects claims made by opponents.
Trends reflect the decline in support for physical punishment in Sweden:
- in the 1960s, over 50% of children had been ‘smacked’ once or several times per year
- by 2000, only around 10% were smacked
- about 9% of parents still believe in using cp
- there has been a sharp decline in punishment by punching and using implements
The report also contradicts claims made by opponents in Sweden and elsewhere:
- the percentage of reported assaults on children that are prosecuted has not increased
- increased reports of suspected assaults reflect public awareness- not more assaults
- youth crimes of theft and property damage have decreased, not increased
- violent crime rates have stayed relatively constant, not increased
- there is no indication of increased criminality among young people.
The full report may be read on the Swedish Government’s English language website.