Be Reasonable responds to latest anti-smacking “research”

Responding to the latest report by anti-smacking activists Elizabeth Gershoff and Anja Heilmann, Be Reasonable has issued the following statement:

Parents who love their children should be trusted to decide when a smack on the bum is appropriate. Ordinary mums and dads are fed-up of so-called experts demonising their parenting. You may or may not agree with smacking but should you criminalise parents who use it? Will it really improve children’s life chances for their parents to be convicted of child abuse merely for tapping them on the back of the hand?

Scientists can tell us many things but they cannot tell us whether smacking should be a criminal offence. That is simply beyond their remit. By all means debate which parenting techniques you think are better than others and offer us your advice. But don’t start criminalising those who take a different view from you.

The smacking bans in Wales and Scotland are highly controversial and we’re yet to see what happens when the new laws there are implemented. The bans were voted through by out-of-touch, virtue-signalling politicians despite clear public opposition. In both cases around three-quarters of the population were against a ban.

The public don’t want to see ordinary parents arrested, prosecuted, and convicted of child abuse for using a mild smack, because they know their own parents would have been arrested if this had been the law during their childhoods.

These anti-smacking zealots can’t hide from the deeply repressive reality of what they are campaigning for. The Scottish Government even issued leaflets telling people that if they “see someone physically punishing their child” they “should call 999 to report a crime in progress”. They also remind people they can “report crimes anonymously to Crimestoppers”. It’s chilling. And it will just waste time and resources that could be better spent identifying and protecting children who are being neglected or abused.