Welsh Govt pushes ahead with smacking ban

The Welsh Government has published a Bill which will criminalise parents who smack their children.

The Children (Wales) Bill will remove the parental defence of “reasonable chastisement” from the law.

The Be Reasonable campaign, spearheading opposition to the ban, said parents suspected of smacking would face suspension, investigation by the police and social services, and prosecution.

‘Unnecessary’

Speaking for the campaign, Lowri Turner said: “It is disappointing that the Welsh Government has decided to press on with this unnecessary piece of legislation that will do nothing to protect children, but will criminalise loving parents.

“If the law is changed ordinary parents including doctors and nurses will be treated like abusers and criminals – something supporters of the Bill have consistently tried to deny.”

“Loving parents who smack could be subject to police investigation and social services intervention, and even suspension or dismissal from their jobs, plunging them and their children into poverty and turmoil.”

She noted that the Welsh Government’s own research does not show that light, infrequent smacking is harmful.

No public support

ComRes polling shows that 76 per cent of Welsh adults say smacking should not be a criminal offence.

And 85 per cent of respondents to the poll said they were smacked as a child, while 68 per cent agreed it is sometimes necessary to smack a naughty child.

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