May 21, 2009
bFM Wednesday Wire’s Paul Deady talked to Deborah Morris-Travers yesterday, and the result was an unusually thorough discussion of the real issues behind the Christchurch “face punch” trial which has been trivialised by many in the mainstream media and in the odd lobby of people who think it’s OK to hit children.
Deborah also discusses the upcoming referendum, and why your YES Vote is so important.
- It’s significant that it was a jury ruling
- The Police had discretion to prosecution, and police the six-monthly reports issued since the 2007 law change show that they are only prosecuting cases where parents have seriously injured their children
- The court sentences being handed down in these cases are usually anger management and parenting education courses – which seems entirely appropriate, and provides additional support to the offenders to do their jobs properly as parents.
- Parents are not being criminalised – The public is being seriously misled by groups like Family First and the Kiwi Party who are pro-violence against children. These groups have sought to minimise the significance of the issue by referring to this case as the “ear-flicking” case.
- These groups collected enough signatures to force an unnecessary and expensive referendum on a stupidly worded question.
- Smacking Children is not good parental correction, and there are 92 international studies that show that positive parenting is better, and that hitting children is harmful.
- A YES VOTE promotes positive parenting and supports children.
- Independent of the Referendum, the Child Discipline Law is scheduled to undergo a full review by the Ministry of Social Development later this year.
- John Key has said repeatedly that the law is working well and National continues to support the law.
- Public perception of the law is strong – a recent UMR Research poll showed that 43% of the public support the law, 28% are opposed, and the rest are undecided.
- Children attain the best behaviour outcomes when they live in an environment that includes good structure, clear boundaries, warm communication, and love.
- In homes where parents use violence against their children to correct their behaviour over four years or more, the violence tends to escalate. In many homes where children are abused, the parents say that it started out as punishment, but the punishment has gone badly wrong.