smacking debate heats up
Lobby group Family First put an advertisement in todays paper opposing the "anti-smacking bill". here's part of it. The ad got a quick response from Beth Wood . In her response she claims that this bill is not about child abuse.
Of course it isn't, its about violence against children isn't it. And of course all proponents of this bill apart from Beth Wood think that child abuse is violence against children.
Wood claims that Kiwis do not know the difference between smacking and child abuse. Although she admits that light smacking doesn't harm children (yet she wants it banned) she admits that harsh smacking does harm children (and that is already illegal).
Family First claims that the defence of section 59 of the Crimes Act has been successfully used 16 times. Wood says that we can never tell whether that is true "because District Court cases are not reported centrally and only reach widespread attention if reported in the media."
Well, I know that it is true because I and a lot of others have done our research on this. We have contacted the courts and the judges in some cases. Beth Wood has done her research too, and knows what Family First says is true - but because her ideological position is at variance with Family First, all she can do is attack and say "there is no research to back up their claims" and hope that people believe her.
The bill is going to go to a vote on Wednesday night, where it will have its second reading.