Christian Action Network Pleased That Spanking Ban Clause Separated From Bill - 24 October 2007

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The Christian Action Network is pleased that The Portfolio Committee on Social Development has accepted the ACDP’s proposal to separate Section 139 from the Children’s Act Amendment Bill.

The Network believes that the right of parents to lovingly discipline their children as they choose should be retained.

“A ban on spanking would turn law-abiding, diligent parents into criminals overnight. An outright ban on smacking could not be consistently enforced. It would waste police time on trivial incidents while genuine cases of child abuse go unchecked,” says International Co-ordinator of the Christian Action Network, Taryn Hodgson.

“A ban is not necessary. An ordinary spank is not child abuse. Most parents spank their children at some point. Does Parliament believe they are all child abusers? Nor does spanking teach children that violence is the answer. Most people were spanked as a child and are now perfectly peaceful citizens.

 The Network maintains, in accordance with many empirical academic studies, that spanking is an effective form of discipline for young children.

 The Family Policy journal published by the Family Research Council (USA), states that,

“Critics claim that spanking a child is abusive and contributes to adult dysfunction. These allegations arise from studies that fail to distinguish appropriate spanking from other forms of punishment. Abusive forms of physical punishment such as kicking, punching, and beating are commonly grouped with mild spanking. Furthermore, the studies usually include, and even emphasize, corporal punishment of adolescents, rather than focusing on preschool children, where spanking is more effective. This blurring of distinctions between spanking and physical abuse, and between children of different ages, gives critics the illusion of having data condemning all disciplinary spanking.”

“Children need guidance and correction and need to be taught what is right and what is wrong.  This is the jurisdiction of parents and not the state”, says Hodgson.

 "We urge MPs not to bow to pressure from minority groups who want to the state into a surrogate parent."

 Debates in the National Assembly will continue on this issue and the outcome will be finalised next year.

 “He who spares the rod hates his son, but he who loves him is careful to discipline him.” Proverbs 13:24

 CONTACT: International Co-ordinator of the Christian Action Network, Taryn Hodgson on 072 215 4801 or 021-689 4480, E-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

Christian Action P.O.Box 23632 Claremont 7735 Cape Town South Africa [email protected] - 021-689-4481 - www.christianaction.org.za
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