Petition to ban smacking children in England

Petition to ban smacking children in England

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Grace Butler started this petition to UK Parliament and

Sweden became the first country in the world to explicitly ban the physical  punishment of children in 1979.Norway, Finland, Austria and Denmark outlawed the practice in the 90’s and in 2000 Israel became the first non-European state to ban smacking. More recently countries in Africa, Latin America and Asia have joined the growing list of nations where corporal punishment is banned. South Africa banned it in September 2019 and most recently Scotland in October 2019.

Shockingly In the UK, corporal punishment by a parent or guardian remains legal in England and Wales,it is only subject to restrictions banning excessive force.In England and Wales, this is commonly interpreted by the courts to mean physical violence leaving a mark such as a bruise, swelling or redness, or otherwise severe enough to classify as actual or grievous bodily harm.However the actual physical punishment of ones children in England and Wales is a grey area in the Law and means that a lot of parents are getting away with hurting their children and having their children live in fear of their guardians and parents.

John Finnie the MSP who introduced the anti smacking bill in Scottish parliament summarised the issue in the clearest way -“It is staggering that our smallest and most vulnerable citizens are the only people who do not currently have this protection, and now is the time to rectify that,” It is sickening that what would be illegal to do to a stranger is not illegal to do to ones own children. It is 2019 and the law needs to change.

When I was 6 I wrote to Tony Blair (PM at the time) stating that I thought that hitting children was wrong and I couldn’t understand why it wasn’t illegal, at 6 years old I recognised that this was awful and now at 20 I think it’s outrageous that nothing has been done to outlaw smacking children. I was never hit as a child and I don’t understand why parents do so, there needs to be legislation in place in order to hold perpetrators of this accountable. Considering that Scotland has just become the first UK country to outlaw smacking children I think it’s appalling that it’s not the same in England.

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At 500 signatures, this petition is more likely to be featured in recommendations!