Saturday, 17 March 2007

"An open letter to the Prime Minister from the Timaru mother"

"An open letter to the Prime Minister from the Timaru mother"

Dear Ms Clark,

I refer to your many comments in the media in respect of repeal of S59 about people hitting their children with riding crops and getting off.

I am the mother who disciplined her son with the riding crop. This was controlled discipline, not an angry assault. My son had just swung a baseball bat at his stepfathers head. He could have killed my husband.

After the discipline we had a well behaved, loving and compliant boy. A riding crop is designed to give a stinging sensation but is not injurious. There were no marks left on my son at all.

I may have been acquitted, but I certainly have not "got off". Even though I was acquitted CYF seized custody of my son, tore our family apart and nearly three years later I am still fighting to have him returned as CYF do not agree with the fact I physically disciplined, even though all forms of non physical discipline had not worked with this child and this was the only thing that did.

My almost 15 year old son is desperate to be at home where he feels loved and secure.

I am a responsible Mum who dearly loves her children. My sons behaviour was unacceptable. I corrected it. Repeal of S59 removes a parents ability to correct a child. Many politicans have lied about our case in order to bolster their agendas.

I am fed up with people who were not party to the facts of our case using it as a reason to make a very bad law change.

We have been through hell at the hands of CYF.

My son was placed on Risperdal whilst in CYF care to modify his behaviour. This has been banned in the states for use on children because of the life threatenning side effects. The side effects of Risperdal and the psychological damage to him by being removed from a family who love him, were much worse than the thirty second sting to his bottom.

I am still fighting for my son to be returned to my custody. The hell we have been through at the hands of CYF is a worse punishment than any the court could have issued if I had been found guilty.

Please do not for one moment think I got off. CYF have seen that I did not.

I ask that you reconsider your stance on repeal of S59.

Your constituents do not support your stance according to online polls.

If you support repeal you are supporting the destruction of many more families through state intervention as the police will involve CYF (as they do already) when investigating complaints. Even if the complaints are unfounded CYF will still hold children from their parents. I know this as I am a support worker for PANIC (parents against negative intervention of CYF) and have seen many cases like this.

Ms Clark you are not a Mum, so you can only speculate what hell it is for a parent to have her child taken away. This punishment is worse than any that could be inflicted on a parent, short of a child dying.

I might have been acquitted but have been punished as if guilty.

Please do not quote our case again, unless you are properly representing the facts. Tell the public how the state have punished me even though I was found NOT GUILTY.

If you wish to discuss any part of this email with me, please call me on......

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