Cases Prove Child Abuse Not Being Protected by Section 59

Three cases of assaults on children over the past fortnight have proved that the claim that section 59 is protecting child abusers is totally false.

A Hawkes Bay woman faces a jail term for taking to her son with a wooden spoon and leaving him with 4cm welts. A Tauranga mother who admitted she slapped her 10-year-old daughter about the face and body at least five times to discipline her for back-chatting has also been convicted of assault.

And yesterday, an Invercargill mother was convicted of assault of a child after she used the child’s folder to hit him across the arms and used her open hand to hit him across the buttocks. The boy received extensive bruising to his hands, arms, lower buttocks and upper thighs.

“Section 59 did not protect these parents – and nor should it have,” says National Director Bob McCoskrie. “But what these cases do show is that the current law is working.”

“These assaults are quite obviously not reasonable – and are quite different to light smacks which over 80% of NZ’ers support as being appropriate for the parental guidance and correction of children. Kiwis understand the difference between reasonable correction of a child and child abuse.”

Mr McCoskrie says these cases prove it is time to ditch the Bradford ‘Anti-Smacking’ Bill and start tackling the real causes of child abuse – family breakdown, drug and alcohol abuse, poverty and stress.

“A ban on smacking is simply a failure to deal with the real causes of child abuse,” says Mr McCoskrie.

ENDS