Common sense or double standards?
By Ruby Harrold-Claesson, lawyer.





This article was written in response to an article in the Guardian, June 10, 1999, "Smacking case father walks free", following the case where a Scottish sheriff court ruled that a parent used excessive force when he slapped his daughter, but the judge abstained from sentencing him, stating that he had suffered enough.

The Guardian has not responded to the invitation to publish this article.





The ordeal for the father who was prosecuted for spanking his daughter in the dentist's waiting room on Christmas Eve last year is reportedly over. He was found guilty, but the court has abstained from sentencing him, stating that he had suffered enough. Fortunately there are still sensible judges in the Courts in Great Britain.

The father was charged, prosecuted, tried and found guilty when he performed punishment on his child that has been accepted from Biblical times. There is no British law, forbidding parents to spank their children, yet the father was prosecuted on charges of assault. Since it was possible to prosecute the father in question, there can be no real need for a law that forbids parents to spank their children.

A minority of pretended child protectors, however, advocates for legislation and a total ban on physical punishment of children in Britain. That would put parents in Britain under the tutorship of the social workers, psychologists, school and kindergarten teachers and at the mercy of the police, the prosecutors and the courts. They would also find themselves under constant threats of 'blackmail' from their own children - just like we parents are in Sweden.

In the USA parents accused of spanking their children are very often acquitted. In Sweden no parents are acquitted, and if they are found guilty the judge would never show any mercy on them or their families - that they have suffered enough. Instead they have to face some kind of sentencing - preferably prison. We can only imagine the kind of ill-feelings that are bred in the family and the ultimate results for their children. I have been in contact with many Swedish parents who express resentment for their children and abandon them emotionally and physically, after they have been put through the legal mills because they tried to correct some unaccepted behaviour in their children. Who stands to gain? Definitely not the children.

Sweden claims that it protects children. At the same time 37 000 children are slaughtered every year in Sweden. Those are the statistics of Sweden's free abortion! Only less than half a century ago a woman who 'committed' an abortion would be sent to jail. Today parents can kill their unborn children in Sweden - some have had several abortions instead of using contraceptives - but woe the parent who gives birth to a child, feeds and nurtures him or her for a few years then smacks his or her bottom when he or she is persistently disobedient and defiant! Morals have changed, but not necessarily for the better.

Double standards diminish credibility. Yet, Sweden, Great Britain and The USA - all operate with double standards. When the wrath of the USA was unleashed on Saddam Husein after the occupation of Kuwait, and when NATO bombed Milosevic and his gangsters - both Saddam & Milosevic were "persistently disobedient and defiant" - The USA and NATO received the support of the anti-smacking countries! A family is a miniature society. Parents are however - upon pain of prison sentences - forbidden to physically chastise their persistently disobedient and defiant, even criminal, children! It just doesn't make sense, does it?

How to control adults by means of children's rights

Taboos - Smacking parents

Crime and punishment

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