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Govt. Survey Shows Huge Support For Nats Stand

A Justice Ministry survey out today revealing 75 percent support for parents smacking their children without leaving a mark endorses what National has been calling for for months, says National's Social Services spokesman, Bob Simcock.

"But the Government response to the overwhelming support in this survey is to say there'll be no change to the current law.

In September, Mr Simcock lodged a Members Bill calling for an amendment to Section 59 of the Crimes Act which allows parents to use reasonable force to discipline their children. The amendment asks for a clearer definition of 'reasonable force'.

"In the last year, the current law has been used to defend parents who have severely beaten their children with hose pipes, canes and pieces of wood," says Mr Simcock.

"National finds this totally unacceptable, as do the vast majority of people surveyed by the Government.

"The decision to do nothing is a gutless betrayal of children who need the protection of the law. Parents who beat their children, leaving severe bruising and swelling, will just continue to hide behind the excuse of 'reasonable force'.

"In a month when an unacceptable level of violence has impacted on so many lives, the Government is saying it will do nothing to stop children being thrashed.

"The majority of New Zealanders want a law change and National is committed to seeing it happen. While a parent should be entitled to discipline a child, family violence must stop," says Mr Simcock.

Ends




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