Corporal punishment: the debate rages on


You could end up in big trouble because physical punishment could soon be an offence.

Spare the rod and spoil the child – that’s been many South Africans’ point of view for decades. A hiding now and then keeps kids in their place and out of jail, right?

Definitely not, children’s rights activists say. Corporal punishment humiliates and traumatises children. And far too often a few smacks on the bum turns into a full-on assault.

In 2007 opponents of corporal punishment by parents were unsuccessful in getting the Children’s Act changed to outlaw it. But from 7 to 11 May, when the Department of Social Development once again hears presentations on the issue, they’ll be trying again.

The possibility of a law that says you may not smack your own child in your own home is again causing much debate. Is corporal punishment really as bad as some people say it is?

YOU’s Carol Coetzee investigates. Read more in YOU 16 February 2012.

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