Whilst our Prime Minister has been busy peddling the virtues of a big society, and the importance of children in it, his government still refuses to ban corporal punishment of children in the home.
It’s no secret that here at Researching Reform we are passionate advocates of banning assaults against children in all contexts, including their homes – after all, if it is illegal for a grown man or woman to hit another adult, even if the assault doesn’t leave a mark, why should the same not apply to children?
And now, a growing number of United Nations Member States are signing up to banning corporal punishment in all settings by making it a crime to do so.
Although we have banned smacking in schools, nurseries and other places outside of the home, we continue to allow ‘reasonable chastisement’ in the home. Much to our shame, this ‘defence’ was invented by the British, during the Colonial era, and persists in several countries that were dominated by the empire.
Isn’t it time we formally apologised for this element of our colonial past by making corporal punishment in the home illegal? As long as we continue to quietly condone this primitive form of parenting, how can we take any government’s proposals to protect our children seriously?