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    Emails from Ruby Harrold-Claesson

    By admin | February 15, 2007


    Email from Ruby Harrold-Claesson – 15 November 2007

    15 November 2007 – Smacked 5-year old – father acquitted

    Dear All,

    On Nov 9, inst. Ystad District Court acquitted a father who had smacked his 5-year old daughter. I have translated an article that was published in Aftonbladet for your convenience.

    This case, like the 2004 case with the 15 year old who spat in her stepfather’s face, is going to get a lot of attention.

    I guess people are starting to realise that “We are bringing up a generation of monsters” that Linda Skugge wrote about and that really “The children are embarrassing Sweden” to quote Roger Lord. And maybe they are beginning to realise that it is better to smack them to change their ways than have some desperate parents shoot them off in an attempt to protect their families, like the case in Rodeby on October 6, inst.

    Sincerely

    Ruby Harrold-Claesson
    Sweden
    Attorney-at-law
    President of the NCHR/NKMR
    http://www.nkmr.org

    Smacked 5-year old – father acquitted
    He admitted smacking the District Court meant that the blows were not hard enough

    Aftonbladet – 2007-11-14

    http://www.aftonbladet.se/nyheter/article1250685.ab

    A father in southern Skåne has been acquitted, in spite of him admitting to smacking his 5 year old daughter.

    The District Court’s views are that the blows should not be judged as abuse.

    The reactions to the verdict came immediately.

    A faulty verdict. I expect that it is going to be changed in the appeal, says Göran Harnesk, general secretary for Children’s rights in the Society (Bris), to the Telegram Bureau.

    According to the District Court, the 54 yr old father from Skåne, has smacked his daughter’s bottom on several occasions. But the corrections have not been sufficiently long lasting and intense for him to be punished. The pain has not been sufficiently serious, according to the Court. Göran Harnesk thinks it is the wrong way to reason.

    Zero tolerance is what it is about. A child can feel bad even if it doesn’t feel physical pain. It is the belittling that is decisive, he says.

    Convincing impression
    The judge and one of the lay-judges gave dissenting opinions and wanted to sentence the father to fines for assault to a lesser degree. However, the Court was unanimous in acquitting the girl’s 42-year old mother, who admitted that she had “flicked” her on the head on one occasion when she was stubborn. That, according to the verdict, does not meet the level of punishable abuse.

    It was the girl who spontaneously started telling a nurse about her punishments when she attended her five year health examination. I a video filmed questioning the girl said “Daddy has smacked me on my bottom so it hurt when he had come home from work and was very angry. …Also Mamma hit me on my head once so it hurt.”

    According to the District Court the girl gave a mature and convincing impression. Her parents have explained their actions by the girl’s stubbornness.

    Clear legislation
    The Children’s ombudsman (CO) Lena Nyberg is not allowed to comment on particular cases, but she points out that Sweden has a very clear legislation concerning child abuse.

    – Adults are not allowed to use physical punishment or violence towards children.
    The CO deems that there is the need for a new information campaign about adult’s violence towards children like the one that was staged when the anti-smacking law was passed in 1979.

    – Now there is a new generation of parents who perhaps need to be informed that it is forbidden and what they should do instead of using violence when the feel that they are not on top of the situation, Nyberg says.

    The Telegram Bureau was unsuccessful in reaching the prosecutor, but the lawyer Hans Hulthén, who represented the girl, has told the Skåne Daily that he is considering an appeal to the Court of Appeal.

    Facts: Previous acquittal was overturned

    In 2004 a man was acquitted by the Varberg District Court, in spite of the fact that he had smacked and pushed his 15-year old stepdaughter. The verdict was changed in the Court of Appeal and the man was sentenced to fines for petty abuse.

    Smacking is prohibited in Sweden since 1979. From 1980 to 2000 it seems that the number of children who were smacked declined. Since then the numbers have been on the increase. According to an investigation made by the University of Karlstad and the Children’s home Charity, 1,1 percent of the parents who were interviewed in 2000 admitted that they had smacked their child. In 2006 the number was 2.3 percent.

    During the first half of this year there were 714 police notifications about abuse of small children, according to the National Council for Crime Prevention. The reports have been increasing for several years.


    Email from Ruby Harrold-Claesson – 7 November 2007

    Dear All,

    In case you haven’t seen the YouTube videos “Deconstructing America” I would like to bring them to your attention.

    The American society faces the same problems that we have had in Sweden since the beginning of the 1970’s under Olof Palme and his social democrats and that you are seeing more and more of in New Zealand – the removal of parental authority, banning of critical lawyers, the child care industry etc.

    See Deconstructing America Part 1

    and Deconstructing America Part 2

    Pleasant viewing!

    Sincerely

    Ruby
    http://www.nkmr.org/english/


    Email from Ruby Harrold-Claesson – 14 March 2007

    Dear All,

    Here an interesting article with comments from the Daily Mail.

    The terror aged ten: Asbo for boy who drinks, smokes pot, and steals

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/pages/live/articles/news/news.html?in_article_id=441819

    This is the kind of indisciplined children – or rather child thugs –
    that New Zealand will have to deal with if mixed up good old Sue
    Bradford’s bill is passed. I’m sure you remember Roger Lord’s article
    “The children are embarrassing Sweden,
    http://www.nkmr.org/english/the_children_are_embarrassing_sweden.htm,
    and Linda Skugge’s article ” We are bringing up a generation of
    monsters”
    http://www.nkmr.org/english/we_are_bringing_up_a_generation_of_monsters.htm.

    Dont give up hope, miracles still can happen.

    I’ll be praying for you.

    Ruby


    Email from Ruby Harrold-Claesson – March 2007

    Swedish children safer?
    http://www.ombudsnet.org/enoc/resources/infoDetail.asp?ID=9382&flag=news

    This article “The facts of the steps taken by Sweden to discourage the use of physical punishment of children” was created by Carla Guy “carlaguy” at the Families Commission on July 20, 2006 at 16:34 – the day after I arrived in New Zealand – and it was first published at:
    http://www.acya.org.nz/site_resources/library/Documents/Other_Resources/Swedish_children_safer.doc

    At the end of the article they published the link to the Norwegian article about me, with the title: “Wrong skin colour made her unsuitable”
    http://www.sfm.no/Arkiv-2005/Art-Jan-05/14.01.2005-RHClaesson.htm

    However, they omitted to inform the public about another article in the same newsmedia:
    “Strong reaction due to article in sfm.no about Swedish lawyer”
    http://www.sfm.no/Arkiv-2005/Art-Jan-05/14.01.2005-Diskriminering.htm

    To start with, it is very obvious that the person who wrote the article lacks scientific skills. She has three footnotes – all of them referring to the same publication by Joan Durrant, the ideological advocate and propagandist. A scientist writes the information once then the next time the publication is referred to he/she writes: “See note XX supra” or “Durrant op. cit. (note 1)”

    Also, there are so many inaccuracies in the Families Commission’s article it is embarrassing.

    Firstly “carlaguy” writes: “She is being brought to New Zealand by the fundamental Christian organisation, Family Integrity, (…)”. In fact, it was “Section59 Coalition”.

    Then to her points:
    [1] – “Sweden implemented the change New Zealand is considering over 50 years ago, in 1957.”

    Rebuttal: Anyone with basic knowledge in Maths can see that 1957 to 2006 does not add up to “over 50 years ago”.

    [2] – “Since 1957 in Sweden, parents charged with assaulting their children have gone through the investigation and prosecution system in the same way they would if they had assaulted an adult with the added scrutiny that any action taken would have to be demonstrably in the child’s best interest.”

    Rebuttal: So, she claims that it is in an 11 yr old’s best interest that his father between Autumn 1997 – June 2000 was prosecuted and sentenced for forcing the boy to take a shower.

    [3] – “A parent in Sweden is extremely unlikely to be convicted of assault if they merely smacked a child. To be convicted first the offence would have to be detected and reported. The police have full discretion to act in the child or the public’s best interest and to determine whether or not a reported assault warranted investigation. Any investigation would have to yield sufficient evidence to show that a criminal assault had occurred. A decision to proceed would have to be demonstrably in the child’s best interest (the benefits of proceeding must outweigh the potential damage). The prosecutor would have to believe that the evidence will support a conviction and that prosecution would be a better route that summary punishment or a waiver of prosecution. Finally, a judge would have to be convinced that the assault took place and that the child’s best interests would be served by punishing the parent.”

    Rebuttal: Cf Point 2 above and the Case Law I presented to the Select Committee.

    [4] – “There has been no increase in the number of parents drawn into the Swedish criminal justice system for minor assaults in the past 25 years.”

    Rebuttal: Before 1978 no parent would have been drawn before the police and prosecutor like the priest who had slapped his 16-yr old daughter. (See Case 1 in my Case Law). Deborah Coddington quoted Prof. Christian Diesen in her article “Anti-smack campaign fails to pack a punch”, (http://subs.nzherald.co.nz/author/story.cfm?a_id=271&ObjectID=10393619). Diesen said that there are “7000 reports of child abuse per year in Sweden, but only 10 % are prosecuted.” These are statistics from the Swedish National Council for Crime Prevention.
    Diesen says “only 10% are prosecuted.” He wants to see more prosecutions – even if the parents should be found not guilty.

    Recent statistics show that there are 11 000 reports of child abuse per year in Sweden and that there has been a 14% increase between 2005 – 2006. See http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/PO0702/S00378.htm

    [5] – “In 1979 a statement was added to the Parents Code which explicitly prohibited corporal punishment.”

    Rebuttal: Imagine calling a law “a statement”!

    [6] – “Sue Bradford’s Bill does NOT introduce a ban on corporal punishment – civil or otherwise”

    Rebuttal: But that is exactly what Bradford herself has said.

    [7] – “In Sweden parenting education is encouraged and promoted, with parents actively encouraged to seek help with child management difficulties and to learn about alternative methods of discipline. Most parents participate in parent education and support programmes.”

    Rebuttal: There was no such program, despite the promises that were made. Instead there have been coercive methods, through the police, the prosecutors, the social workers and the criminal and administrative courts.

    In recent years there have been private initiatives: New method helps parents regain parental authority http://www.nkmr.org/english/new_method_helps_parents_regain_parental_authority.htm

    [8] – “Public support for physical punishment has declined since the early 80s. This has been most noticeable among the younger generation of Swedish parents”

    Rebuttal: Parents have either to comply or face charges, fines and prison sentences and see their children removed from their homes and placed in foster homes where they will REALLY be abused. Strange enough, what is called child abuse, had a 14 % increase between 2005 – 2006.

    [9] – “Over the past 20 years in Sweden there has been more use of care and support measures put in place with families in their homes. These measures are designed to improve parenting support and skills and prevent family breakdown and family violence. This reflects the country’s attitude to improving the quality of life for children and families and respecting their rights. It’s important to know that support people are assigned to many families who are under stress, and when children are removed from their homes this often means that the whole family is removed to a special facility that provides 24 hour support and assistance to families.”

    Rebuttal: Helping families is not the rule, but the exception to the rule. On Nov. 16, 2001, the former Social Affairs minister, Lars Enqvist, said in a Radio interview:
    “Even if 20% of the children who are placed [in foster homes] are orphans (…) I know that many are placed despite the fact that there ought to an alternative for them to remain at home if they could be get support to the family, to mother or father and the children, like the Law of the Social services envisages. It is so simple that one really has to fight for the municipalities to invest money on that.”

    [10] – “Research shows that since the early 80s to 1995, the number of children in Sweden coming into care has dropped by over a quarter, youth crime has remained the same, and youth alcohol, drug use, rape and suicide rates have all decreased”

    Rebuttal: Cf. above.

    [11] – “Around one child a month dies at the hands of a parent or caregiver in New Zealand. In Sweden, the average annual deaths attributable to child abuse for the past 30 years or so has been less than one every four years.”

    Rebuttal: See “Step-parents abuse children to death more often”
    http://www.nkmr.org/english/step_parents_abuse_children_to_death_more_often.htm
    The authors clearly state that 258 children under the age of 16 were killed by their parents between 1965 and 1999, ie 7,6 children per year. See also
    The Swedish Myth: The Corporal Punishment Ban and Child Death – Chris Beckett http://www.storesonline.com/members/846699/uploaded/Child_deaths_in_Sweden.pdf and
    Two episodes from the New Zealand smacking debate http://www.nkmr.org/english/sue_bradfords_bull.htm

    [12] – ” It is important to remember that the Swedish legal system, and their child welfare and child protection services operate very differently to those in New Zealand and care needs to be taken when trying to compare statistics and other information.”

    Rebuttal: I agree with that statement 100 %.

    Finally, please read Prof. Jacob Sundberg’s ‘The Trip to Nowhere’ http://www.nkmr.org/english/the_trip_to_nowhere.htm.


    Email from Ruby Harrold-Claesson – March 2007 – Youtube: Child Services Abduction Video

    Youtube: Child Services Abduction Video.
    Friday, 09.03.2007, 01:06pm (GMT12)

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LLhHI1t8wEI

    How Norway and Sweden Uplift Children

    Please support the NKMR/NCHR’s work for the right to protection for private and family life in the nordic countries

    Thanks for bringing this sordid Norwegian case to the attention of the New Zealand public.

    More info:

    The spokesman for the Organisation for Foster Children in Norway has criticised the publication of the taking of the two children, 8 and 11 yrs of age, into state care in the following words: “The parents only damage the children when they publish films showing the children being taken by force by the Child protective services (Barnevernet).”

    “The children can be stigmatised, and that can follow then later in life”, Secretary of State Kjell Erik Øie told the newspaper.

    The Organisation for Foster Children in Norway supports the Government’s reaction. The spokesman means that such films can be very traumatising.

    For more information please see the Norwegian URL:

    http://www.p4.no/story.aspx?id=220246

    And listen to the radio http://www.p4.no/story.aspx?id=220246#

    This is so typical, the government and the organisation are trying to claim that the publication of the film is traumatising for the children. They are obviously incapable of seeing that Barnevernet’s actions towards the children are the very things that are traumatising for them.

    A tiny reflection: This Norwegian Case has been spread around the world in the space of a few days. Imagine if the Internet had existed during the Second World War, the Jews would have been able to expose the atrocities perpetrated by the Nazis and perhaps the Holocaust might have been stopped before it became so extensive.

    Ruby Harrold-Claesson

    Lawyer

    President of the NKMR/NCHR

    http://www.nkmr.org


    Email from Ruby Harrold-Claesson — 22 February 2007

    Dear All,

    My deepest sympathy to the children and parents of New Zealand on Sue
    Bradford’s Bill passing the second reading. However, there’s still hope
    for the third reading.

    Bradford claims that she wants to reduce child abuse, but in fact she
    has opened a pipeline for child abuse. The Swedish anti-smacking law did
    not prevent child abuse or murders, but it made all parents insecure in
    their parenting roll, created badly behaved children and made criminals
    out of good parents who smacked their children when words and
    admonitions were insufficient to prevent certain behaviour.

    It is imperative that a CYF complaints authority be established. We do
    not have any such body in Sweden; we have the Parliamentary Ombudsman
    (JO) but it is a “toothless paper tiger”. I try to avoid making
    complaints to JO because the result is often just “criticism” and when
    the complaint is not investigated that gives carte blanche to the faulty
    bureaucrats. I have also reported several social workers to the police,
    but they are never prosecuted for their wrong doings.

    Here is a case that I have reported in the nordic section of the NKMR
    web site. I have had contacts with the journalist and only this morning
    I had a long telephone conversation with the mother.
    Her five year old son was abducted by the social services in November
    last year. The child had a scratch on his neck and the staff at his
    day-care center asked him what had happened. He told them that the
    string of his little sister’s toy that was hanging from the door frame
    caught around his neck when ran past it. The staff member was not
    satisfied with the boy’s answer so she asked him a few more times what
    had happened then in the end he said “Mom tried to choke me”.
    Everyone at the day-care knew that he was always making up things yet
    they turned a feather into a poultry farm! They made a report to the
    social services and they in turn contacted the police. The parents were
    given half an hour’s notice to report to the police station and, not
    suspecting anything they took their three children with them. Two
    officers asked the little boy to accompany them and the parents told him
    to go with them. They led him away and when the parents finally were
    informed of what was happening the mother offered them to remove her
    from their home and let the boy remain with his father. The social
    workers chose to place the little boy in a foster home among total
    strangers and his parents weren’t allowed to see him for 15 days.
    The doctor who examined the boy said that his first explanation – and
    that of his parents – was the most likely cause of the scratch he had on
    his neck, but the social workers and the administrative courts decided
    to take the boy into care. The police scrapped their investigation and
    the child was released to his parents when the administrative district
    court with two votes against two decided to release him after 43 days in
    custody. The verdict weighed in favour of the reunification of the boy
    with his family. It was the chief justice of the court who tipped the
    balance.

    After he was released the little boy asked his mother why she didn’t
    come when he had called for her from his hiding place under a desk at
    the police station. That is gross child abuse committed by those whose
    duty is to protect children from harm.

    The parents and the boy are completely traumatised and they intend to
    sue the social workers – which I encourage them to do. Their lawyer has
    informed them that he will not represent them against the municipality
    because he will have to live and work there for many years to come.
    That’s what I call being spineless!

    Sue Bradford is a danger for New Zealand, as you all so rightly have
    pointed out so many times. It is so easy to break down and destroy, but
    extremely difficult to rebuild and reinstate values lost.

    Sincerely

    Ruby


    Email from Ruby Harrold-Claesson — 3 February 2007

    From: Ruby Harrold-Claesson
    Subject: Norwegian version of the best interest of the child

    Hi Everyone,

    This little message is to inform you about a video about a Norwegian case of
    forcibly taking children into public care that has been posted on YouTube. A
    team of social workers carried the kicking and screaming children to the
    waiting car. The adults resisted but to no avail. It was a brutal abduction
    of the children. They will be traumatised for life.

    Here is the URL:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LLhHI1t8wEI

    Similar methods are employed in Sweden, but mostly they abduct the children
    at school or at their day-care – to prevent complications with the parents –
    and the parents are informed afterwards.

    See for eg “Enfuriated mother attacked social worker”
    http://www.nkmr.org/english/enfuriated_mother_attacked_socialworker.htm

    Sincerely
    Ruby


    Email from Ruby Harrold-Claesson — 25 July 2005

    to the Blog “Big News” 25 July 2005

    Ruby Harrold-Claesson said…
    Child protection lobbyists and the social services usually stress the importance of “protecting children from violence”. This was one of the arguments used to justify the smacking ban in Sweden. Only six (6) of the 268 Swedish parliamentarians voted against the law. Three abstained. They had looked beyond the façade and found that there was a great deal of totalitarianism behind the law.

    During the consultation period several important organs of the state e g the State Prosecutor, the Regional Prosecutor in Östergötland and others voiced their doubts and fears. For more info see THE EFFECTS OF THE SWEDISH ANTI-SMACKING LAW – CONSULTATION PAPER at
    http://www.nkmr.org/english/anti_smacking_law_consultation_paper.htm. Some important organs of the state were very negative to the proposed law because of the indoctrination in violence that permeates the society in the Newscasts, films etc. Some even meant that the “administrative violence” that would be the result of the law should not be taken lightly. In fact, children who are removed from their parents care because mother or father has smacked them are severely punished by the state – because separation from their parents, siblings and other members of their family and their home environment is devastating for the children.

    Here is a case that I am working on:

    On October 16, 2003, the social council in the southern Sweden municipality Svalöv decided to take seven brothers and sisters into public care. The seven children were born between 1990 – 1999. Their father, Mats Nilsson, had been accused of “disturbance of peace” of his children, for eg pulling their ear, taking them by the back of their necks holding their arms or the like. He was arrested and confined pending trial. The mother, Charlotte Ydström-Nilsson, was not accused of any misdemeanors, yet five of the children were immediately placed in foster care. The two boys who were not taken immediately were at home because they were sick. One of them was suffering from ear-ache and fever and the other, the middle child who was born with myelocele thus an invalid confined to his wheel-chair, had only just returned from the hospital after an operation. The social workers promised the mother that they would let the sick youngsters remain with her but a few hours later they returned with an ambulance and transported them to separate destinations.

    On November 27, 2003, the father was completely acquitted in the Criminal court. However, the social council proceeded in the care case and on December 18, 2003, three weeks after his acquittal, the Administrative County court ruled in favour of the social council and against the children and their parents. On April 21, 2004, the Administrative court of Appeal in Gothenburg confirmed the ruling of the lower court. The lawyers did not appeal the case to the Supreme Administrative court.

    On June 30, 2004 the parents applied to the social council to have the care order lifted. The mother, who was then pregnant with child no. eight has had to keep out of the way of the social workers for fear that they would take the baby at birth and she has had to avoid meeting her other children. The baby was born in September 2004 and the mother moved to a neighbouring municipality, yet on January 19, 2005 the social council that decided to take the couple’s seven children into care decided to take the newborn baby into care. However, it is most unlikely that they will ever find the mother and her baby.

    The couple has since then been fighting the Swedish bureaucracy to get their seven children back from state care. The most recent verdicts concerning the family were delivered on March 8, resp. March 31, 2005 in the Administrative County Court and June 28, 2005 in the Administrative Court of Appeal in Gothenburg. In these cases, the judges ruled in favour of the social services viz against the parents and their children.

    Do you really want cases like this one and many others that I have worked with in New Zealand?

    The anti-smacking lobby claims that children of “smacking parents” are violated, will lose their self confidence and will become violent adults. Why the exaggeration? Isn’t is strange that all those generations of children who have been smacked – and even beaten – are not necessarily mentally damaged or violent individuals? In fact, statistics show and a former head of penitentiaries in Sweden, Mrs AnnBritt Grunewald has confirmed, that the majority of the prison interns in Sweden have been in the foster home system.

    Also, it must be taken into account that violence is used to resolve differences between individuals and States eg the war in Irak. And, for those who would like to believe that Sweden is a peaceful society because of the anti-smacking law should read Prof. Robert Larzelere’s findings in Sweden’s smacking ban: more harm than good http://www.christian.org.uk/pdfpublications/sweden_smacking.pdf

    For more information about the Swedish/Nordic experiences see The NCHR’s Article Archives section “Bringing up children and youths” http://www.nkmr.org/english/archives_4_bringing_up_children_and_youth.htm

    Ruby Harrold-Claesson
    Attorney-at-law
    President of the NCHR/NKMR

    UPDATE
    email from Ruby Harrold-Claesson 18 October 2006

    “The Verdict came by fax today. The court refuses to let the children go. I’m so disappointed for those poor parents.” “Many thanks for your kind thoughts and your expressions of sympathy for Mats Nilsson and his wife Charlotte Ydström-Nilsson and their seven children in unnecessary foster care. Even their eighth child, their two year old, is on the losing end. She has been deprived daily loving contact with her father and her siblings. These two years – or how much longer this cruel injustice will last – can never be compensated.

    “Until October 16, 2003, the Nilsson family was a big, happy family living at one and the same address. On that day the family was broken up and six of the children were placed at one address, the seventh, a boy who is handicapped by Spina Bifida, was placed at a second address and mother and father were left alone. Then baby came along on Sept. 13, 2004, and mother and father had to separate – mother went “under ground” to protect the baby. Now the ten family members are living at four different addresses. That is Family Care Swedish style!

    “The father called me four times yesterday. He had difficulty hiding his disappointment. The only thing we can do now is appeal and hope that there is some justice somewhere in the Swedish Administrative courts.

    “OBS! It’s cases like this one that will become a reality for many parents in NZ if Sue Bradford gets her Bill through.”

    Topics: Sweden | 1 Comment »

    One Response to “Emails from Ruby Harrold-Claesson”

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