Parents call police over violent kids

Nelson Mail 05 May 2008

Nelson young people are becoming increasingly violent towards their parents, say police concerned that the passing of the anti-smacking bill could be contributing to a new trend in domestic violence. Police say they are receiving at least one or two calls a week from parents who say they are being physically abused or threatened by their children. Senior Sergeant Ross Lienert, the Tasman police district youth services and family violence co-ordinator, said some parents were asking police to step in to help them, because they were worried about disciplining violent children. There had been a suggestion that the removal of section 59 from the Crimes Act which took away the excuse of reasonable force in disciplining children had “depowered parents, so they’re calling on us to intervene”.

…He also said it was possible that young people were being more violent towards their parents because they thought the anti-smacking bill protected them. “Some parents have said, `We can’t touch them, so we’re calling on you to deal with it’.”