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Section 59 of the Crimes Act and a Parent's Right to Discipline their Child

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The change to Section 59 of the Crimes Act compromises a parent’s right to discipline their child. Parents are in a position of authority in which they are responsible for shaping their children into respectful, law abiding citizens, and often a light smack to the hand or bottom is an effective way of teaching the right attitude and behaviour. If a child displays behaviour that goes against what their parents are teaching them, a light smack is often necessary in letting the child know what they are doing is wrong.
Changing the Crimes Act will not stop serious physical abuse from happening to children. Research carried out in Christchurch has suggested that serious offences of child abuse occur as a result of parental personal and economical problems, such as low income, alcohol and drug abuse, and gambling – not from parents trying to correct the disobedient behaviour of their children (Collins, 2009). In Sweden, where smacking has been banned for the past thirty years, there are still reports of aggravated assault happening to children up to the present day. Rather than change l...


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