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Protect our Children from Potential Harm

Protect our Children from Potential Harm – Repeal Section 59

Stopping Violence Services agencies are pleased that the Government appears to be taking calls to prohibit the physical punishment of children seriously. This follows the release earlier today of a media statement, and government papers that show the Government is looking into the impact of repealing Section 59 of the Crimes Act, which allows for parents to hit their children

‘We urge the Government to repeal this law’ said Paul Prestidge, the Executive Officer ‘All we want is the same law for our children that we have for adults. At present animals have more protection than children’

Groups affiliated to the National Network of Stopping Violence Services provide a range of programmes and services to families affected by violence. One of the common justifications that men use for their violence is that it was ‘administering discipline’, usually with a complete lack of understanding of the level of force they are inflicting, or of the impact on their partner or child.

‘Often parents are upset or angry with their child when they smack, and, in this state they may hit harder than they intended to. As well as putting our children at risk, and teaching them that force, or violence is the way to teach people a lesson, there is no evidence that smacking children does any good, even if an occasional smack may not cause serious harm’ said Paul Prestidge

As well as repealing this law, we urge the Government to commit resources to support parents, and to continue public education campaigns that give parents practical ideas about how they can provide guidance and protection for their children without resorting to smacking.

ENDS

Contact: Paul Prestidge
National Network of Stopping Violence Services
Ph 04 499 6384 / 025 529 556

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