Locked up for smacking my son … How a slap brought police and social services in to tear a family apart (UK)

Evening Standard UK 06 April 2008
There was nothing ominous about the knock at the door, but when I pulled it open I was confronted by four police officers and our street was thick with panda cars. This is not a scene you see too often in our home village of Great Malvern, not even if there has been a rare burglary in the respectable part of Worcestershire where we live happily among other decent, law-abiding families. But the police were not coming to our aid. Instead they were coming to arrest me and my husband Folke for child abuse. Looking me straight in the eye the officer said: “We are about to arrest you for cruelty and neglect to Guy Pope.” Guy is our 11-year-old son. And my crime? Smacking him once after he had ignored my warnings to stop his temper tantrum and repeated swearing.

…Nearly a year later I’ve lost my job at a private school – and my unblemished career with it – and my family is still subject to the whims of the social services because, I believe, we had the temerity to fight our corner.
Family First Comment: Note that the UK still allows ‘reasonable chastisement’.