Kiwis Know the Difference Between Child Abuse and a Smack

Kiwis Know the Difference Between Child Abuse and a Smack

Media Release
14 July 2009

Youth against Child Abuse New Zealand wishes to address the confusion surrounding the disciplinary action of smacking, and anger-driven child abuse. Too often these two actions are considered to be the same, a mistake that is often made by some of the advocates of the new anti-parental correction law.

Yes Vote; the group that was created to represent the minority who will vote ‘yes’ in the upcoming anti-smacking referendum, are adamant that a light smack for the purpose of child correction is the same as child abuse. They claim, “A ‘yes’ vote is a vote to protect children from assault.”

YACA believes that there is a great difference between child discipline that is carried out in a loving, controlled way in order to train a child, and child abuse which is the uncontrolled and unacceptable behaviour of angry parents.”

A smack, given out of love for a child is completely different to beating a child out of anger, and all good parents know the difference,” Says YACA Canterbury Regional spokesperson, Charles Smith.

YACA is also alarmed that the Yes Vote group are equating ‘physical discipline’ with ‘family violence’, something that the Government has been seeking to address in their ‘Family Violence, it’s not okay’ campaign.

The Youth of New Zealand know this country has a terrible record on child abuse, but equating physical discipline with child abuse is just not okay as it undermines all the good parents who are trying to raise good citizens.

“The horrific rate of child abuse in New Zealand has nothing to do with good parental discipline, because the motive for both actions are completely opposite to each other,” Says Mr. Smith. “Child abuse happens when parents lash out at their children in anger, while a smack given for the purpose of correction is given out of love, for the training of the child.”

The polls have consistently shown since 2005 that more than 80% of the population see that there is a substantial difference between child abuse and child discipline.

YACA is looking forward to the New Zealand public showing their agreement with this by voting NO in the upcoming referendum.



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