Friday, 3 August 2007


Friday, 3 August 2007, 12:22 pm
Press Release: Family First

Anti-Smacking Law Diverting Police Resources From Real Child Abuse

The anti-smacking law is wasting valuable police time and resources when police should be focusing their energies on actual child abuse like the two recent Rotorua cases.

A Howick-Otara police family violence coordinator has highlighted a case of an 11-year-old calling 111 and complaining to the police after being corrected by his parents. The police say he had learnt about the law at school and was misinformed.

“The anti-smacking bill has placed healthy and reasonable discipline into abuse categories and police are now wasting time having to investigate complaints of what is simply appropriate and reasonable parental correction,” says Family First National Director Bob McCoskrie.

“The police should be focusing their energy on investigating drug and alcohol offences, domestic violence, violent crimes and actual child abuse, rather than being distracted by complaints from children who don’t like correction and boundaries from their parents.”

Similar cases have surfaced in Sweden including a recent case of a 6-year-old ringing the police because she was angry at her mother for not being given a handbag like her mother’s. Police time was wasted investigating the malicious claim.

“Although we want children to speak up when there is violence in their homes, the anti-smacking law has resulted in appropriate parental correction being interpreted as ‘parent assault’and having to be investigated. Not only are parents confused by the law, but children are too,” says Mr McCoskrie.

“Good parents are being targeted by this flawed law, diverting our attention from the at-risk families we should be working with.”



FamilyIntegrity said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
FamilyIntegrity said...

From Ruby Harrold-Claesson
President of the NCHR/NKMR

New Zealand - Comments on boy's mischievous report
This scenario with the 11 year old boy that is reported here, is exactly what was predicted by some judicial organs when Sweden was preparing its anti-smacking law in 1978-79. There have been several cases where children in Sweden have reported their parents - to punish them - eg the case of the six year old in Sundsvall on July 12, 2007 and "Teacher Case II (1992)", case no. 15 on the list of cases that I presented to the Select Committee at the oral hearing in Hamilton on 27 July 2006.

In my written submission to the Select Committee, dated February 27, 2006, I quoted from the preparatory works for the Swedish anti-smacking law. The NZ legislative was fully informed as to the disastrous consequences of the Swedish anti-smacking law. They were not in good faith about the repeal of Section 59. They knew what to expect, so that is exactly what Helen Clark and Sue Bradford and co. want for their fellow citizens. It is appalling that Kofi Annan promoted an anti-smacking agenda before his term of office as UN Secretary General
ended. There seems to be a global conspiracy against the Family, the
corner-stone of society.

Here follows an excerpt from my submission, (page 8):

Before the Bill abolishing physical punishment of children in Sweden was presented in Parliament it was sent to various bodies in the society for their comments. Among those who opposed the proposal were the State Prosecutor and the Regional Prosecutor in Östergötland.

The State prosecutor (Riksåklagaren) commented: "One can wonder if the law, even in future, ought not to leave space for a difference
between children and adults when it is a question of judging physical punishment or other humiliating treatment. This could be achieved by adjusting the contents of the proposed law so that the child should not be subjected to physical punishment or other humiliating treatment of a
kind, which is punishable under the penal code. Thereby we would point out that treatment not deemed criminal or worthy of being criminalised would be clearly exempted. In the first place I am not at all referring to cases of abuse, but rather to the fact that many cases of treatment, which would be humiliating for an adult, and thus punishable under the law, must be accepted by children.... As far as I have understood the proposed Bill it is not primarily aimed at increasing the rate of criminalisation, but rather as a codification of the views which are prevalent in the society. It would be most unfortunate for the law-enforcing authorities if the proposed Bill should open a pipeline of police reports which lead to nowhere." (My bold text.)

The Regional Prosecutor in Östergötland remarked: "For my part, I do not think that this law will have the effect of reducing the number of cases of child ill-treatment. I do not think this law is going to have any effect at all. (...) I could imagine as a possible negative effect that, in the future, people are going to run to the police with reports about child abuse both in urgent and in non-urgent cases, now that there is a law which says, that children must not be physically
punished in any way. This will lead the police and prosecutors to
investigate a greater number of cases than before and even in many cases where there is no reason for an indictment. Such an effect of an extended possibility of accusation is undesirable and many unjustified police investigations will certainly have very negative consequences for the children in many cases." (My bold text.)

The County Administration in Östergötland expressed the views that people accept that violence should not be used in their contacts with each other. They stated that most young parents adhere to raising their children without smacking them, but that they would resort to smacking as a corrective in dangerous situations and when under pressure. They continued: "It is also important to point out, that children today are very much exposed to being ndoctrinated to violence that appears for example in the media where violence is often seen as the easiest way to solve conflicts." (My bold text.)

Ruby Harrold-Claesson
President of the NCHR/NKMR