Consultation on the Children (Abolition of Defence of Reasonable Punishment) (Wales) Bill

Tystiolaeth i’r Pwyllgor Plant, Pobl Ifanc ac Addysg ar gyfer craffu Cyfnod 1 Bil Plant (Diddymu Amddiffyniad Cosb Resymol) (Cymru)

Evidence submitted to the Children, Young People and Education Committee for Stage 1 scrutiny of the Children (Abolition of Defence of Reasonable Punishment) (Wales) Bill

CADRP-63

CADRP-63

 

About you

Individual

1      The Bill’s general principles

1.1     Do you support the principles of the Children (Abolition of Defence of Reasonable Punishment) (Wales) Bill?

— No

1.2     Please outline your reasons for your answer to question 1.1

(we would be grateful if you could keep your answer to around 1000 words)

Parents have the right and responsibilty to discipline their children( Gov.uk )

This bill would undermine parents in this respect. It will cause  good caring parents who occassionally smack thier children stress and potentially criminalise them.  

It will not protect children at risk or children who are verbally and emotionally abused by parents.

There are grey areas which are clearly defined. What will the physical assault entail. eg if a parent suddenly pulled a child away by their arm to prevent harm to them and the child claimed that caused pain, would that be considered assault. If a parent picked up a struggling child to remove them from a difficult situation or simply to take them up to bed when they refused to go and in holding the struggling child  tight , caused mild bruises ,with that be considered assault?

1.3     Do you think there is a need for legislation to deliver what this Bill is trying to achieve?

(we would be grateful if you could keep your answer to around 1000 words)

There is no need as the present law protects children from all but a light smack of the open hand. The politicians say that any accusation of assault due to light smack would be treated proportionately. What does that mean when according to the law the mildest smack would be considered assault ?It would be better for the police and social services concentrated on apprehending parents who break the present law.

Research has shown there is no evidence that an infrequent light smack causes any harm to children.

2      The Bill’s implementation

2.1     Do you have any comments about any potential barriers to  implementing the Bill? If no, go to question 3.1

(we would be grateful if you could keep your answer to around 1000 words)

In theory there are no barriers to the impletation of the bill. The main problem will be policing it . Will children be encouraged to tell their teachers or friends if their parents smack them. Will people spy on their neighbours family  ?

2.2     Do you think the Bill takes account of these potential barriers?

(we would be grateful if you could keep your answer to around 1000 words)

No

3      Unintended consequences

3.1     Do you think there are there any unintended consequences arising from the Bill? If no, go to question 4.1

(we would be grateful if you could keep your answer to around 1000 words)

It will increase the stress on hard pressed parents.

It will increase the work load of over stretched social services and police. This could lead to children who at risk being missed. The prosecution of a parent for smacking child could cause great difficulties for the family and adversely the children concerned, causing far worse distress  for the child than the original smack.

4      Financial implications

4.1     Do you have any comments on the financial implications of the Bill (as set out in Part 2 of the Explanatory Memorandum)? If no, go to question 5.1

(we would be grateful if you could keep your answer to around 1000 words)

At a time when the finances of  Welsh Gov are greatly stretched , the money would be better spent on other needs.

5      Other considerations

5.1     Do you have any other points you wish to raise about this Bill?

(we would be grateful if you could keep your answer to around 1000 words)

The bill does not protect children from many kinds of common abuse which are far more detrimental  to a child's emotional well being ,than an occassional smack.