Family First Media Release 17 June 2013
Family First NZ says that six years since the anti-smacking law was passed in a supposed effort to lower our child abuse rates, it has been confirmed as a spectacular failure based on flawed ideology.
Family First is also rubbishing claims by Prime Minister John Key that the increased numbers of child abuse simply reflect an increase in reporting.
“The rates of child abuse deaths have stayed at the same rate as they were before the law was passed. That certainly has nothing to do with ‘increased reporting’. The politicians should front up and admit that the anti-smacking law has been a huge flop which has targeted good parents, rather than the rotten parents who are abusing their children, and has wasted valuable time and resources of the police and CYF,” says Bob McCoskrie, National Director of Family First NZ.
A recent survey of 1,000 NZ’ers found that only 12% of respondents think the law change has had any effect on the rate of child abuse. The survey also found that three out of four people back a law change to allow “correctional” smacking of children.
“The latest ‘marketing’ review of police activity related to the anti-smacking law continues to show disturbing trends, and reveals that almost 600 kiwi families have had a police investigation for allegations of smacking or minor acts of physical discipline since the anti-smacking law was passed yet only 9% of them have been serious enough to warrant charges being laid.”
“In the meantime, cases of actual child abuse have increased by a third in the past 5 years,” says Mr McCoskrie.
“Our predictions that violence would increase in schools has unfortunately been correct. And the role of parents has been abused, and they are now feeling powerless and undermined.”
“We must take pro-active action and tackle head-on the difficult issues of family breakdown, drug and alcohol abuse, violence in our media, mental illness, low maternal age, and other key factors identified by the various UNICEF, CYF and Children’s Commissioner’s reports.,” says Mr McCoskrie.
“Children will never be safe until we are honest enough as a country to identify and tackle the real causes of child abuse, rather than pass ‘feel-good’ but ineffectual laws.”