It’s no secret that at Researching Reform we are advocates of an assault-free childhood, and have written extensively on the subject, but this new warning from the Council of Europe directed at Ireland, should be heeded world-wide.

The latest statistics on smacking children in Ireland, though dismissed by their government, indicates that a quarter of parents still hit their children. And in the UK, six out of ten parents of children aged four and under, say they regularly assault their children.

Whilst hitting children is currently banned in England within most institutions like schools and care homes, as is the case in Ireland, the Council of Europe continues to fight for the removal of hypocritical distinctions which allow for assaults of this nature to take place in the home, at the hands of parents. It’s a point we make often, but if it is illegal to ‘tap’ an adult, whether a relative of the victim of not, then the same must also be true of assaults against children.

It’s time to address this embarrassing double standard and show our children we genuinely value them and their place in the world.

If you’d like to read more on our anti-assault campaign, you can do so here.