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Wales’ smacking ban will lead to ‘Stasi’ culture say Welsh Conservatives

20 Feb 2022 4 minute read
Welsh Conservatives MS Gareth Davies (left) and the Welsh Government’s smacking ban ad, right.

Wales smacking ban, due to be introduced next month, will lead to a “Stasi culture” according to the Welsh Conservatives.

Welsh Government ministers have said that a change in the law would not result in caring parents becoming criminals.

However, guidance for social services states that parents who physically punish their children could be “charged with assault” and have a criminal record.

The Children (Abolition of Defence of Reasonable Punishment) (Wales) Act 2020 will come into force on 21 March this year.

The Welsh Government said that the purpose of the legislation is to help protect children’s rights. Under the law, parents and other adults acting in a parental capacity will no longer be allowed to physically punish children in Wales.

But Welsh Conservatives Senedd Member Gareth Davies said that the Welsh Government “didn’t seem to be able to let go of the authoritarianism developed during the pandemic”.

“A campaign that urges people to report those who use more traditional parenting methods than nosey ones in the Labour Government is introducing a Stasi culture to Wales.

“I urge the Labour Government to urgently rethink the campaign and inform parents of the new law rather than urge people to report their fellow citizens who are parenting their children as they see fit.”

Simon Calvert of the Be Reasonable campaign, which opposes the change in the law, said: “This recent guidance gives the lie to the frequent claims made by ministers, officials and activists that repealing the reasonable chastisement defence would not criminalise ordinary, loving parents.”

He added that the move had “little to do with tackling genuine abuse, which is already illegal” and said that “many people will think they have been misled over the impact of this ban on ordinary parents”.

‘Reasonable punishment’

A Welsh Government spokesperson responded: “We have always been clear that this legislation is about protecting children and their rights. It gives children the same protection from assault as adults.

“It will make the law clearer – easier for children, parents, professionals and the public to understand. From 21 March, all types of physical punishment will be illegal in Wales.”

As the law stands in England, Wales or Northern Ireland, it’s illegal for a parent to smack their own child, except where the smacking is “reasonable punishment”.

But without a legal definition of “reasonable punishment” the decision about whether a smack is reasonable or common assault depends on the individual circumstances of each “punishment”.

Under current laws, factors that would be considered include the age of the child and the nature or force of the smack and that “reasonable punishment” would not include anything that left a child with swelling, bruises, cuts or grazes, reddening of the skin, abrasions or a black eye.

Scotland outlawed any type of physical punishment against the child in 2020, declaring: “There is NO legal justification for hitting your child. The defence of ‘reasonable punishment’ that exists in England, Northern Ireland and Wales no longer counts in Scotland.”

Under Scottish law physical punishment was defined as slapping and smacking with a hand or an implement, kicking, shaking or throwing, scratching, pinching, biting, pulling hair or boxing ears, forcing children to stay in uncomfortable positions, burning, scalding or forced ingestion.

From 21 March 2022, the defence of ‘reasonable punishment’ will no longer be available in Wales; all types of physical punishment will be illegal.

Information, advice and support is available for anyone who needs it, to help them find positive ways to manage children’s behaviour and to help avoid such a situation ever happening.


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Cathy Hill
Cathy Hill
7 months ago

“Stasi” and “Soviet” are two words that have been thrown by representatives of The English Establishment at Cymru recently…it would appear that they are dusting off the same playbook they used to attack Corbyn, demonstrating how little they understand about Welsh culture or the people in Cymru. They do not seem to realise the difference between attacking an English Labour Party Leader and casting aspersions on the Senedd, the people elected to it and by extension the citizens of Cymru (for I earnestly believe that one day we will, in law, be citizens of Cymru rather than subjects of the… Read more »

hdavies15
hdavies15
7 months ago

Does the smacking ban also apply to if one who wants to smack a Tory spokesman who appears to be childish ? Just asking for a friend.

Rob
Rob
7 months ago

Very similar to what was said when it became illegal for a husband to rape his wife.

GW Atkinson
GW Atkinson
7 months ago

What do you expect from a party that covers up for child molesters.

Owain Morgan
Owain Morgan
7 months ago

In other words, the Tories think it is okay to smack children. Thanks for that confirmation Tories. Now we know some of the reasons Tories grow up to be so bitter… violent parents 😕😢

Quornby
Quornby
7 months ago

How do nincompoops like this get to be candidates?

Vyvyan
Vyvyan
7 months ago
Reply to  Quornby

Other nincompoops select them.

I.Humphrys
I.Humphrys
7 months ago

No expert I, but if a child is naughty cuddle them till they giggle.

Mab Meirion
Mab Meirion
7 months ago

Gareth, you are still young enough to join a party with a future in Wales, give it some thought…

Last edited 7 months ago by Mab Meirion
J A M Davies
J A M Davies
7 months ago

I just want to get this right, and want to understand the Tory Party as an entity…From recent events I gather that they believe it right and proper to contravene their own laws on social gatherings during pandemics….That they condone the behaviour of their sex-pest politicians…That they undemocratically repeal and rape the democratically won rights of a devolved government …That they now condone the use of physical violence towards children. How, and why, exactly are they still ALLOWED to partake in politics?

R W
R W
7 months ago

So now the Tories come out in support of child battering!! How low are they willing to stoop to exactly?

Kerry Davies
Kerry Davies
7 months ago

Has he finished learning to Zoom yet or is he still brown-nosing Boris?

Earl Richards
Earl Richards
7 months ago
Eifion
Eifion
7 months ago

Traditional method….. Like sending children up chimneys to clean them I guess.

Last edited 7 months ago by Eifion
Charles Coombes
Charles Coombes
7 months ago

So are tories saying its OK to smack children.

Kurt C
Kurt C
7 months ago

Doesn’t he understand, he can still pay for someone to smack him as part of an adult special situation. Yet again proof Tories hate kids. All they do is fail to protect and improve lives. Just argue againstconserving cruel times.

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