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Smacking is not assault; Views of Wales.

I AM writing to express my serious concerns regarding your one sided article "Why Wales needs to change the law on smacking."

I am a father of three children. Two of them are now adults and responsible parents themselves. The thought that they could be under investigation leading to a possible criminal offence for occasionally smacking their children is worrying and unreasonable. It is also disrespectful to common sense and intelligence to suggest that smacking is an assault or child abuse! To conflate a proper, occasional, loving method of discipline with unacceptable violence against a vulnerable human being is unhelpful to the discussion. To do so would pave the way for the inevitable criminalisation of caring, devoted parents. Jill Kirby, former Director of the Centre for Policy Studies, recently said, "there is no connection or similarity between a smack by a loving parent and violent abuse". This misuse of language in public discourse is inaccurate, dangerous, and offensive to the millions of loving parents who choose to occasionally correct their children by smacking. Beating a child is, of course, already illegal in the UK.

I find it difficult to believe that many "professionals" and your article constantly fail to distinguish between "hitting " and smacking. There is no evidence that reasonable physical punishment in the context of a loving disciplined relationship between parent and child has negative or lasting psychological, emotional damage. Indeed there are polls and surveys that suggest the opposite.

I was brought up by a loving, caring single mother (widow) who in the context of sacrificial and committed love would occasionally underline the seriousness of wilful disobedience by smacking me and my other brothers. Looking back this confirmed her love and devotion to our wellbeing rather than abandoning us to sometimes selfish tantrums and rude, disrespectful anti-social behaviour. Myself and many others do not see this as "indignity and humiliation".

Lowri Turner represents myself and hundreds of other normal parents as she conveys our reasonable objections. A political vote against this unnecessary amendment will lead to intrusive outcomes disturbing to the family life of the majority of law abiding parents.

Meirion R Thomas Malpas, Newport

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Title Annotation:Features; Review
Publication:Western Mail (Cardiff, Wales)
Geographic Code:4EUUK
Date:Aug 2, 2017
Words:357
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