Smacking children has always been a controversial subject. Whether or not it is socially acceptable has been a huge debate that still continues.
New law may be bringing an end to that debate – as the law stands it is illegal to smack anyone – including a child. However, there is a legal defence to allow parents to smack their child.
That legal defence is now being binned by the Scottish and welsh governments who believe it no longer needs to be there and children should not be smacked at all.
This will mean that England is the only place within the UK where parents can smack their children legally.
This legal defence is considered on a case by case basis, but the general rule is that the smack shouldn’t leave a mark on the child.
This applies to parents and guardians; however, nannies and babysitters are allowed to smack the child with the consent of the parents or guardians.
Smacking can come under child cruelty, especially if it leaves marks and makes, wounds or causes any grievous bodily harm.
pexThe law still needs to be passed in wales, however, the welsh minister for children is optimistic about it being passed. Irranca-Davies has said It can no longer be acceptable in a modern and progressive society for children to be physically punished,” he said.
“It is right that as a Government, we take action to protect children and support parents to use positive and effective alternatives to physical punishment.”
The NSPCC Cymru/Wales added: “We welcome the steps being taken by the Welsh Government towards removing the defence of ‘reasonable punishment’.
“Every child deserves equal protection under the law and should be protected from such draconian forms of discipline.
“It is wrong that a defence which does not exist in a case of common assault against an adult can be used to justify striking a child.
“Closing this loophole would also bring Wales in line with dozens of countries around the world.”
The debate continues as campaigners push towards passing this reform into Westminster and English law.
If you’re concerned about a child’s safety or feel that they need any help or support you should ring the NSPCC, and raise your concerns with them.