Child abuse should have taken a beating under anti-smacking law – but it has flourished

corporal-punishment

Alf is bound to say he is not surprised at the findings of a ONE News Vote Compass survey showing only 23% support the anti-smacking law.

Family First NZ has seized on the survey to say it confirms it’s time the politicians listened to New Zealand families.

Alf, of course, has always been listening to New Zealand families, and especially to families in Eketahuna North where they clamour every three years to re-elect him

Part of his appeal is his disinclination to be namby-pamby when it comes to giving wayward brats a bloody good walloping.

Bob McCoskrie, National Director of Family First NZ, did not mention Alf in a media statement today.

No matter. Alf does not need his endorsement.

But Alf agrees with him that the law has been an unmitigated disaster and the problem of child abuse has got worse.

McCroskrie mentions a report by the Salvation Army at the beginning of this year (“Striking a Better Balance”) which showed that in the five years since the passing of the anti-smacking law…

* Recorded police offences of violence, sexual assaults and neglect of children rose 68%;

* More serious child assaults have increased by 83%;

* Notifications to CYF have risen 66% (nearly 60,000 higher), and

* Cases of substantiated child abuse or neglect rose by 41% over the past five years.

McCroskie observed:

“This law has done nothing to prevent child abuse and in fact is doing more harm than good because it is penalising and attacking good parents raising great kids.”

“According to the police reviews on the law, almost 600 kiwi families have had a police investigation for allegations of smacking or minor acts of physical discipline in the 5-year period after the anti-smacking law was passed yet only 9% of them have been serious enough to warrant charges being laid. A law is obviously a ‘dog’s breakfast’ when there is such a high rate (90%-plus) of cases warranting no further action by the police. Yet for these ‘good parents’, the experience will have been hell.”

“Contrary to incorrect media reports which the media have had to apologise for, parents are being prosecuted and sometimes convicted for non-abusive smacks on the bottom or hand.”

The Family First boss goes on to say the most recent police reports admit there has been an upward trend in smacking cases, and ‘more widespread use of the legislation’ by the police.

Another huge concern expressed by police themselves is the big increase in false allegations of assault. This may come from neighbours or even the children themselves, McCoskrie reckons.

Then he looks at party policy.

Both potential coalition partners for National have made the repealing of the law as it stands as a bottom line. NZ First say ““NZ First policy is to repeal the anti-smacking law passed by the last parliament despite overwhelming public opposition.

Accordingly we will not enter any coalition or confidence and supply agreement with a party that wishes to ignore the public’s clearly stated view in a referendum on that issue.”

The Conservatives say “We will repeal the existing law in favour of a law similar to those in Australia. The NSW law would be our preferred wording. This law allows a light smack to be used for disciplinary purposes. Provided we have sufficient numbers, change to this law will be a bottom line.

McCroskie harks back to a poll of New Zealanders in April, commissioned by Family First, which found almost three out of four voters want the anti-smacking law amended.

Support was strongest from NZ First, National and Labour party voters.

Dunno about amending it.

Let’s just dump it.

We would still have good old-fashioned assault on the books for bad buggers and brutes who get too stroppy and beat too much crap out of their kids.

Mind you, here’s a thought about the ONE News Vote Compass survey measuring the somewhat low support for the anti-smacking law.

Maybe it tells us more about TV One viewers than it tells us about the real weight of support for the anti-smacking law. People who watch much of TV One’s pap perhaps should not be allowed to express their opinions on good family law.

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