Spanking and the law - Mothering Forums
 
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#1 of 18 Old 12-03-2003, 05:42 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Inspired by Mamaduck's "public hitting" thread....not sure if this is the right forum for this question, but.....
Why is hitting children legal? I mean, we can call the police when we see a child being hit--but the bottom line is that it is not against the law of the land. But why not????
It is against the law to hit your spouse, your parent, but not your child?
Are there organizations actively trying to change these laws? What could the possible legal obstacles be? WHY isn't it obvious that child are people too, and assault is assault regardless of the age of the victim? :
Why don't the laws protect our country's smallest, least powerful, and most vulnerable citizens from violence in the home? And what can I do to help?
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#2 of 18 Old 12-03-2003, 11:23 PM
 
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Some people shudder at the thought of children having any rights at all. And there are people who blame EVERYTHING on lack of spanking.

There was a story and a thread some time ago about a 7-year-old boy who was beaten by his teacher and had to go to the emergency room. The mother called the police, but the police said the teacher was well within her rights to do so (the boy had been caught picking his nose). The police also said it would have been illegal if it was the mother who had done this, but was fine for the teacher. This was in Alabama - DO NOT send your kids to school there!

This is not a very child-friendly country in general.
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#3 of 18 Old 12-03-2003, 11:51 PM
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Personally, I don't want the government to have any say on how I raise my children, the minute we let the government dictate what goes on in our homes will all be in big TROUBLE. What if some wacko's decide it isn't okay for us choose to vax or not, or if they thing extended nursing isn't necessary, you don't have the right to educate your child where you want, the less government involvement in our lives the better.
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#4 of 18 Old 12-04-2003, 04:44 AM
 
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The government already dictates much of what goes on in our homes. There are some laws against physical abuse that were not always there - in my state, for example, it's illegal to hit a child in the face. Homeschoolers also have to live up to government requirements. Pretty much anyone with children whose births are registered will have to put up with some interference.

I think the government making a law that actually benefits children would be a nice change!
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#5 of 18 Old 12-04-2003, 10:58 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Wouldn't be the gov telling us how to raise our children. Would be the gov protecting the basic human rights of our children--the same right afforded to any other citizen. Hitting other people should not be legal!
Spanking in schools is legal in many states--including my own (FL). But, my county/district does not allow it (thank goodness).
Am I wrong in believing that there are countries where spanking has been outlawed? I thought there were a couple in Europe....
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#6 of 18 Old 12-04-2003, 04:15 PM
 
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Spanking is illegal in Norway.

I think really, it's our children telling us how to raise our children! They are, after all, the experts.
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#7 of 18 Old 12-04-2003, 04:15 PM
 
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.
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#8 of 18 Old 12-04-2003, 06:32 PM
 
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Here's a good resource:

Center for Effective Discipline

There's a National Spank-Out Day on April 30 - a tool kit is available on the site with some really good tips for raising awareness in your area.

I've been meaning to ask the Family Law professor at my school about the best way to approach having laws established that outlaw hitting of children across the board (I'm guessing it would have to be done on the state level), but my direction has been pulled in too many other directions lately. I'll get with her soon and share my findings here.

I totally agree with Greaseball. This is not about government poking its noses further into our homes. It's about extending to the littlest human protections that every human over a certain age already enjoys. Personally, I am ashamed to live in a world where it's okay to hit those smaller than us. To me, it sends the message that children are somehow less valuable than the rest of us - when the truth, IMO, is exactly the opposite: They are *more* valuable than the rest of us because they are the *future*. I applaud those countries that stand up for children by outlawing violence against them. (I think Sweden is one of those countries, as well).

Sorry.... beginning to rant. Off the soapbox now .
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#9 of 18 Old 12-04-2003, 06:36 PM
 
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Another tidbit about corporal punishment in the UK:

Violence against children illegal in UK
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#10 of 18 Old 12-04-2003, 08:31 PM
 
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If I were to call the police and say that in a park, a male was removing a female's pants and hitting her, the police would rush over, but if they saw it was a man and his toddler daughter, they would just leave! That makes no sense!

Children as young as 7 have been given citations for hitting their parents. Older children can go to jail. That also makes no sense.
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#11 of 18 Old 12-05-2003, 11:14 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Dragonfly--thank you so much for the wonderful links! On the first one, I found that spanking is illegal in: Austria Croatia Cyprus Denmark Finland Germany Israel Iceland Latvia Norway
Sweden. Yay! Why are we (the US) so far behind???

And I also have a first step: a letter to the editor! I don't think I'll use the "sample letter"....I will work on one myself.

I wrote my OP on a very hormonal day, and then worried that I might be looked at as some radical freak. SO glad to see that there are others (in other countries and on this board) who see the absurdity of legal spanking.
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#12 of 18 Old 12-05-2003, 11:28 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally posted by sleeping queen
Personally, I don't want the government to have any say on how I raise my children, the minute we let the government dictate what goes on in our homes will all be in big TROUBLE. .
I am pretty sure that people said the same sorts of things when domestic violence toward women first began to be taken seriously. I'm sure that many people felt (and probably still feel) that what goes on between a man and woman in the privacy of their home is no one's business -- even when what it includes a man striking a woman against her will.

I have a very hard time understanding why domestic assault against a spouse is clearly not okay, and cause for police intervention, but hitting a small child is still something that is considered "private family business."

Its one thing to say that different families have different rules and different ways of doing things, and that some families may be a little eccentric in some eyes - but thats okay and should be accepted. I agree with that. But I think *hitting* within a family is an entirely different matter. Matters of home, family, and privacy should not be used to protect and perpetuate violence.

It makes absolutely no sense to me that striking a person over a certain age is illegal, but under a certain age and its proteced by law. How is that sensible?
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#13 of 18 Old 12-05-2003, 04:55 PM
 
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Okay, mamaduck - it's settled. When we start lobbying, you're our spokeswoman.
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#14 of 18 Old 12-05-2003, 07:01 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally posted by mamaduck
It makes absolutely no sense to me that striking a person over a certain age is illegal, but under a certain age and its proteced by law. How is that sensible?
It makes no sence at all :

When someone hits the intention is to cause pain - that's violent in my eyes.
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#15 of 18 Old 12-05-2003, 08:19 PM
 
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I agree Ms Mom. It is sad to me that people insist on utilizing spanking as a parenting tool.

It doesn't make sense to me either.

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#16 of 18 Old 12-05-2003, 10:38 PM
 
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Another person on board for making spanking illegal.

I feel like in some ways laws do change the hearts of (wo)men (to still from a famous quote). If spanking were deemed illegal, it would cause certain people to rethink it and say "why could this possibly be illegal if it were okay".

I also see it is a basic human rights issue and not as a way of letting the government into our "private family business".

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#17 of 18 Old 12-06-2003, 12:55 AM
 
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Maybe this should be a separate thread.. in a separate forum even?

Anyway, I was brainstorming about ways to be proactive about ending violence perpetrated on children in the name of discipline. Then, for some reason, I got to thinking about celebrities having children - probably all the buzz about Gwyneth Paltrow.

So, in brainstorming, I came up with this: Wouldn't it be great if there was some way to shower new celebrity moms with some really great Gentle Discipline resources. A set of parenting books - especially the likes of "Becoming the Parent You Want to Be", "Kids are Worth It!" etc.; contact information for the Center for Effective Discipline, Center for Non-Violent Communication, a subscription to Mothering and a heads-up about this board; that sort of thing.

Celebrities love a cause, and they love to go on about the new stuff in their life and what they've learned - and they have a HUGE audience. Heck, just look what Cindy Crawford did for the New Native Carrier.

Just a thought, anyway.
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#18 of 18 Old 12-07-2003, 08:54 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally posted by fyrflymommy
my mom claims that in missouri it's assault if you strike a child anywheare other than their buttocks and if it leaves a mark. don't take my word on this.....i have no idea where my mother heard this:


In CT the law is you can spank with an open hand on the behind anything else is abuse.
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