Family First, a pro-family organisation, has taken out a full page advertisement in the Herald on Sunday to highlight the facts relating to Sue Bradford’s anti-smacking bill, also labeled the “home invasion” bill, due to receive its 2nd reading in Parliament this week.
“Family First opposes child abuse in all its forms. But unfortunately, anybody who has expressed any support for s59 of the Crimes Act and the important role of parents providing appropriate direction, guidance, and correction for their children has been labeled by anti-smacking lobby groups as a child abuser, guilty of assault, and accused of raising violent children,” says Bob McCoskrie, National Director of Family First. “This has made it difficult for honest open debate on such an important issue.”
Mr McCoskrie says the advertisement presents some of the facts relating to the effects of smacking (including research that debunks the myth that reasonable smacking damages children), the effect of a ban on smacking (and the threat this will be to the huge majority of kiwi parents doing a great job), and the actual contributing factors to child abuse which politicians should be directing their attention towards.
“Bradford’s bill sends a clear message to parents that they can no longer be trusted to act in the best interests of their children,” says Mr McCoskrie. “The State and its agencies know better, and parents who responsibly correct their children will become guilty of assault and criminalised. This threat of investigation and intervention is an unacceptable burden to place on good parents.”
“The debate on smacking has simply diverted us away from dealing with the real contributors to child abuse – confirmed in the UNICEF report released during the week, and CYF’s own report last year – which are family breakdown and dysfunction, poverty and stress, and drug and alcohol abuse.”
The advertisement has been sponsored by supporters of Family First – parents and grandparents themselves – and asks politicians to reject the bill and tackle the real causes of child abuse without criminalising good parents.