INDEPENDENT NEWS

Christian Heritage asked where smacking stops

Published: Thu 16 Dec 1999 07:23 PM
Rape Crisis asks Christian Heritage where they think smacking stops and assault starts
Rape Crisis challenged the Christian Heritage Party today, asking them where they thought smacking ended and assault began.
"Of course smacking is assault. If we take the reasoning of Christian Heritage, then when a person hit another on the street we wouldn't convict them," said Claire Benson, National Spokeswoman for Rape Crisis,"Police get 'smacked around' a lot in the line of duty - and this is regarded by our justice system as a serious crime."
Rape Crisis believes that Christian Heritage should have been more honest about their anti-child stance before the election.
"Many parents will admit to hitting their children - and many will admit to regretting it. If we condone child abuse in our laws then how can we condemn those parents who beat their children to death?," Said Ms Benson,"Our community needs to take responsibility with supporting parents in their role and alleviating the stresses of modern family life."
Rape Crisis is supporting the call to remove section 59 of the Crimes Act that allows 'reasonable' physical punishment by parents.
"Most people have grown up being smacked by adults, and haven't learnt other solutions," says Ms Benson, "We need to provide education for parents and other adults and we need to start by practising what we preach and changing our laws. People learn best by modelling good behaviour - if we have child abuse enshrined in our legislation it sends the message that children deserve less protection than adults."
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===== Julie McGowan National Coordinator National Collective Rape Crisis & Related Groups P O Box 6181 Te Aro Wellington ph: 04 384 7028 fax: 04 384 7202

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