When smacking becomes slapping, punching, kicking

Consternation over the so called anti-smacking laws seems to have largely faded away as the sky remained unfallen.

The law change, flawed as it was, was intended to protect children more from when smacking goes bad.

This case seems to show the law working as intended, where a mother admitted a representative charge of assaulting her child.

ODT: Woman admits assaulting daughter

A woman was sentenced to six months’ supervision by Judge Bernadette Farnan in the Queenstown District Court on Friday, after she admitted assaulting her child over a period of four years.

The woman, who was granted final name suppression, initially denied four charges against her, of assaulting the girl, now aged 11, by slapping, punching and kicking her about the body between April 21, 2011 and April 30, 2012; and between December 1 and December 25, 2015; punching and kicking her about the body between January 1, 2014 and November 30, 2015; and assaulting the child with intent to injure her by slapping and punching her in the head on several occasions.

Perhaps this mother simply ignored the law and ignored a general social abhorrence of inflicting violence on children.

But when smacking is promoted as being ok it can send signals to some that it is a normal way of disciplining and punishing a child.

And one person’s smack can easily become another person’s slap, and if physical assault on a child becomes a normal behaviour it doesn’t take much for that to slip further towards punching and kicking, especially in stressful situations.

The simplest safest approach is to not smack or hit children at all so there is less chance of escalation.

This doesn’t mean a total hands off approach is necessary, but if there is any chance of hurting then it should be avoided.

Leave a comment

26 Comments

  1. Missy

     /  31st August 2016

    Not sure how her being prosecuted is down to the ‘anti-smacking’ law, as she could have been before the amendment was introduced, what is described is outright assault, and as I understand it the crimes act adequately covered that.

    My understanding is that the amendment was meant to help with our horrific child abuse stats and stop our kids being beaten to death – which it hasn’t.

    I am not convinced that the amendment was necessary, nor am I convinced it has done any good to NZ, though it would be nice to see some actual stats, not just a report of a woman who was done for assaulting her child – which could have happened before the law came in.

    Like a lot of these feel good laws it appears to have done nothing to solve the problem it was introduced to help with.

    Reply
  2. Blazer

     /  31st August 2016

    you forgot to add the usual right wing rejoinder…’I was smacked as a child,and I turned out….all right!’

    Reply
    • Missy

       /  31st August 2016

      Can you please explain what my childhood discipline has to do with whether the amendment to the law is working to reduce child abuse stats, or reduce the number of children killed by parents and caregivers?

      Reply
      • Blazer

         /  31st August 2016

        I don’t know what your childhood discipline regime was.I am merely speculating,and we know thats…healthy.

        Reply
        • Kitty Catkin

           /  31st August 2016

          What nobody ever seems to explain is why, if hitting is as effective as they claim, it needed to be done again and again.

          Or why what would be violence if done to an adult is smacking/discipline if done to a child.I should perhaps have said ‘if done to a woman’.

          Reply
        • Missy

           /  1st September 2016

          Some speculating is healthy Blazer I agree, your speculating on this is annoying as it has nothing to do with my comment – something you never responded to.

          It is also a little disturbing that you have so obviously given thought to a little girl being smacked, there is lots of speculating that can be done based on your speculating….

          Reply
  3. Alan Wilkinson

     /  31st August 2016

    The odd clip on the bum is occasionally warranted. Punching never, nor using any implement or weapon. Nor repetitive, routine or frequent hitting and not anywhere else.

    How about you, Blazer? Can we blame your unfortunate childhood?

    Reply
    • Jeeves

       /  1st September 2016

      The odd clip on the bum is never warranted.
      It is the physical abandonment of your role as ‘adult in control’.

      If you can’t handle a small child without resorting to violence, then you’ve just given that child an easy ‘out’ of future difficult situations.

      I’ll bet my bottom dollar that those murderous king-hitters were all given the odd clip on the bum as children.

      The only thing you are achieving is pain to a child, and the only lesson learned is that violence is okay.

      Reply
  4. Iceberg

     /  31st August 2016

    The villain in this has always been the left. Who knew that decades of enabling the production of babies that people didn’t really want, would cause them to be beaten to death? Bradford’s bill was always an irrelevant smokescreen

    Reply
  5. But regardless, head hits are a short-cut to death. Keep your hands off the head, breasts and crutch areas, they are the resort of cowards.

    Reply
  6. Corky

     /  31st August 2016

    What’s not mentioned is the lives of those accused of assaulting their children being subject to police investigation and having their names besmirched.

    As can be seen by the above story., this new law has little effect on true abusers, while those who just smack their child’s backside can be taken to the cleaners by police.

    Bottom line. Social engineering designed to disintegrate the family unit. And its worked, with a new report out showing most children are not within a two parent family unit, or have a step farther and mother.

    If anyone knows the report I’m talking about, can I have link please.

    Reply
  7. Joe Bloggs

     /  31st August 2016

    Slapping, punching, kicking the body and head?

    Just yesterday we were talking about an 18 y.o. who has been imprisoned for 3 years and 9 months for committing acts of violence in much the same way. Only his violence was committed in the space of a few seconds.

    Today’s offender has a four year history of beating up her own child, but gets only 6 months supervision … So where’s the consistency in sentencing?

    Reply
    • Gezza

       /  31st August 2016

      Exactly. Needed to care for children, maybe?

      but, from the ODT (very brief) article:

      “The trial began on Thursday, but on Friday morning the woman admitted a representative charge of assaulting the child between April 21, 2011 and December 12, 2015. Police withdrew the remaining charges.”

      Why? Perhaps they weren’t based on very reliable evidence? We don’t know.

      Reply
      • Gezza, I don’t know the circumstances. But it seems to me the Police prosecution did a great job for the child by getting a guilty plea to a number of assaults over a four and a half year period. If that is not grounds for 1. MSD putting in place a carefully crafted PTSD treatment for the child, and 2. An equally crafted psychiatric treatment for the mother to establish the best course of medical (mental?) treatment for the mother who by admitting guilt has taken the first step towards reconciliation and repair and make any punishment awarded part of the treatment plan. Mothers protect their children unless they have a huge medical problem. Nature tells us that is a given?

        Reply
        • Gezza

           /  31st August 2016

          Good points Bj. In a way, that’s what I’m saying. There’s so little covered in that reporter’s article we really don’t have clue what the judge took into account, or her reasons for that sentence.

          But that point does also, I guess, apply to the case Support raised yesterday.

          I don’t know whether the judges restricted reporting, or the reporters were just not interested in that & preferred the more sensational aspects of the cases.

          Reply
          • Kitty Catkin

             /  31st August 2016

            Joe; one offender was male, the other female.

            A former neighbour was given I forget how much PD, not allowed back into the house which was searched for weapons and all the rest of it. This man, a quiet, mild-mannered man, had taken his wife by the shoulders, held against a wall for as long as it took to tell her to shut up in response to an earbashing too many from her.

            It did do both of them good, as it made them communicate about why it had reached this stage with her nagging him and him putting up with it until he was unable to-so it had a happy ending, I heard. But I wonder if she would have been treated by the law in the same if she had grasped him and shouted at him to shut up.

            I also wonder if the mother who did a sex act on her baby (pass the bucket) and sold it for porn would have been sentenced as lightly as she was had she been the baby’s father and done this.

            Reply
    • Joe Bloggs, “Consistency” is not really in the judicial lexicon, because each and every case has its unique differences. Do you want a trained and experienced Judge to look up a list of standard punishments, and write down the one that is prescribed? Or do you allow the Judge (think about that noun) to exercise, in the knowledge of the evidence given, a balanced punishment for the crime committed? I know what I prefer.

      Reply
      • Joe Bloggs

         /  31st August 2016

        I understand what you say BJM but reports of significant inconsistencies between judicial sentencing are all too common.

        Reply
  8. Kitty Catkin

     /  31st August 2016

    Did a sex act, videoed it etc.

    BJ, women can be as violent as men. Most men also protect their children. I don’t believe that it is a medical problem-but I think that people tend to do as they were done to, a sweeping generalisation, I know.

    Animal mothers generally protect their children, but sometimes, often if there’s something wrong with the little animal, they won’t, they attack them and drive them away. I have seen it happen with Angora rabbits, normally the gentlest animals imaginable.

    Reply
    • Kitty, I do believe in maternal and paternal instincts amongst humans. Yes, I have observed animal behaviour in both groups and note that abnormal behaviour is normally either drug induced or unnatural. Yes, I have seen women at the end of their tether, and invariably there has been an external driver. If you create a child you carry a huge responsibility for life. That is what distinguishes us from animal behaviour, we exercise the ability to make choices.

      Reply
  9. Blazer

     /  31st August 2016

    when your life is shit,you have no money,you owe loan sharks for your furniture,your phone,your clothes,maybe a car,and the fridge is empty but the friendly House shopping truck offers you a 2 litre milk and a box of weetbix for $15,then the kid starts crying,maybe,just maybe you ,,,lose the plot!

    Reply
    • Gezza

       /  31st August 2016

      That doesn’t seem to have worked as a defence in most of the serious child abuse & child murders we’ve had so many of.

      Reply

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: