2013/14: Should it be a crime for parents to smack their children?
Introduction to the media issueVideo clip at right:
Published on Jul 25, 2013: A July, 2013 Fairfax media interview with child psychologist Dr Louise Porter, who endorses the opinion of a group of doctors proposing that smacking children be made a criminal offence. If you cannot see this clip, it will be because video is blocked by your network. To view the clip, access from home or from a public library, or from another network which allows viewing of video clips.
What they said...
'The only humans it is still legal to hit are the most vulnerable ones: children'
The Royal Australasian College of Physicians
'What are we going to do? Have the smacking police?'
Child psychologist Michael Carr-Gregg
The issue at a glance
In August, 2013, The Royal Australasian College of Physicians, which represents 14,000 doctors and paediatricians from Australia and New Zealand (RACP), proposed changes to the law that would make it illegal for parents to physically punish their children.
RACP claims its proposal is an attempt to protect Australia's children.
In Australia, where a reported majority of parents condone the use of physical punishment in disciplining their children, opponents argue that criminalising corporal punishment is an overreaction that undermines parental authority, assigns guilt to otherwise good parents and intrudes upon parental choice.
Currently no political party at either a state or federal level has proposed to criminalise parents using corporal punishment on their children.