Friday, 16 November 2007


15 November 2007 - Smacked 5-year old - father acquitted

Dear All,

On Nov 9, inst. Ystad District Court acquitted a father who had smacked his 5-year old daughter. I have translated an article that was published in Aftonbladet for your convenience.

This case, like the 2004 case with the 15 year old who spat in her stepfather's face, is going to get a lot of attention.

I guess people are starting to realise that "We are bringing up a generation of monsters" that Linda Skugge wrote about and that really "The children are embarrassing Sweden" to quote Roger Lord. And maybe they are beginning to realise that it is better to smack them to change their ways than have some desperate parents shoot them off in an attempt to protect their families, like the case in Rodeby on October 6, inst.


Ruby Harrold-Claesson
President of the NCHR/NKMR

Smacked 5-year old - father acquitted
He admitted smacking the District Court meant that the blows were not hard enough

Aftonbladet - 2007-11-14

A father in southern Skåne has been acquitted, in spite of him admitting to smacking his 5 year old daughter.

The District Court's views are that the blows should not be judged as abuse.

The reactions to the verdict came immediately.

A faulty verdict. I expect that it is going to be changed in the appeal, says Göran Harnesk, general secretary for Children's rights in the Society (Bris), to the Telegram Bureau.

According to the District Court, the 54 yr old father from Skåne, has smacked his daughter's bottom on several occasions. But the corrections have not been sufficiently long lasting and intense for him to be punished. The pain has not been sufficiently serious, according to the Court. Göran Harnesk thinks it is the wrong way to reason.

Zero tolerance is what it is about. A child can feel bad even if it doesn't feel physical pain. It is the belittling that is decisive, he says.

Convincing impression
The judge and one of the lay-judges gave dissenting opinions and wanted to sentence the father to fines for assault to a lesser degree. However, the Court was unanimous in acquitting the girl's 42-year old mother, who admitted that she had "flicked" her on the head on one occasion when she was stubborn. That, according to the verdict, does not meet the level of punishable abuse.

It was the girl who spontaneously started telling a nurse about her punishments when she attended her five year health examination. I a video filmed questioning the girl said "Daddy has smacked me on my bottom so it hurt when he had come home from work and was very angry. ...Also Mamma hit me on my head once so it hurt."

According to the District Court the girl gave a mature and convincing impression. Her parents have explained their actions by the girl's stubbornness.

Clear legislation
The Children's ombudsman (CO) Lena Nyberg is not allowed to comment on particular cases, but she points out that Sweden has a very clear legislation concerning child abuse.

- Adults are not allowed to use physical punishment or violence towards children.
The CO deems that there is the need for a new information campaign about adult's violence towards children like the one that was staged when the anti-smacking law was passed in 1979.

- Now there is a new generation of parents who perhaps need to be informed that it is forbidden and what they should do instead of using violence when the feel that they are not on top of the situation, Nyberg says.

The Telegram Bureau was unsuccessful in reaching the prosecutor, but the lawyer Hans Hulthén, who represented the girl, has told the Skåne Daily that he is considering an appeal to the Court of Appeal.

Facts: Previous acquittal was overturned

In 2004 a man was acquitted by the Varberg District Court, in spite of the fact that he had smacked and pushed his 15-year old stepdaughter. The verdict was changed in the Court of Appeal and the man was sentenced to fines for petty abuse.

Smacking is prohibited in Sweden since 1979. From 1980 to 2000 it seems that the number of children who were smacked declined. Since then the numbers have been on the increase. According to an investigation made by the University of Karlstad and the Children's home Charity, 1,1 percent of the parents who were interviewed in 2000 admitted that they had smacked their child. In 2006 the number was 2.3 percent.

During the first half of this year there were 714 police notifications about abuse of small children, according to the National Council for Crime Prevention. The reports have been increasing for several years.

1 comment:

Ruby Harrold-Claesson said...

The following quote from the Swedish Children's ombudsman (CO) (= commissioner) in the article is most interesting.

"Now there is a new generation of parents who perhaps need to be informed that it is forbidden and what they should do instead of using violence when the feel that they are not on top of the situation," she says.

The "new generation of parents" that the CO refers to is the very generation that was brought up under the anti-smacking law. They were taught - in kindergarten and at school - that it was forbidden according to the law for their parents should smack them. Many of them provoked their parents to the limits and beyond and then reported their parents in when they were smacked, leading to the same kind of harassments that - I warned you all - NZ parents are experiencing today. Isn't it strange that the CO finds it necessary to inform the new generation of parents, who grew under the anti-smacking law, that it [smacking] is forbidden at the same time the Swedish authorities and their so-called experts boast about the extreme success of the anti-smacking law and claim that only a feeble percent of parents smack their children?

Maybe it is like Helen Clarke said "it would be against human nature" to forbid parents to smack their children. Or may be the necessity to "inform" the new generation of parents that smacking is forbidden in Sweden shows that the social-engineers have failed despite the over 7000 police notifications and the 10 percent of parents that are prosecuted for child abuse per year - one parent for forcing his 12-yr old to take a shower.