Barnardos asks kids about smacking, and lies about the research
Barnardos have been interviewing children by phone to see what they think about getting smacked. The question they asked
Do you think that adults who are taken to court for hitting a child should be let off if they say they were disciplining the child?Well, of course they shouldn't unless they were their caregivers. The kids had to push 1 if they should be let off 2 if they think they should not be let off, 3 if they don't know and 4 to hear the question again. Just over half said they should not be let off. Many probably didn't understand what " let off" meant- left off convicting is the assumption.Nor is it clear whether "adults" included strangers.
They interviewed stressed kids who called the Whats Up hotline, a hotline for kids to talk about anything they wish, including abuse. While the kid was waiting to speak to a real person, they were given an automated message with the above question. That's a little like asking turkeys on the 15 December whether they are looking forward to Christmas. There was only a 10% valid response rate.
Barnardos' media release says it asked kids about whether adults should be able to claim a legal defence for assault.
They lied. They asked if adults should be let off.But if these adults are not parents or caregivers of the smacked kid they never had a legal defence, ever. Let off means a case is dropped or they're discharged without conviction - not merely being found not guilty. The release also says:
Importantly, many of the callers suggested that parents should be let off with a warning or community service if they perpetrated low levels of violence against children.How many? well,just one actually. The report provides all comments provided by the kids - quoting just 10 children, although it does provide some statements that counsellors said the kids had made. But only one said parents should be let off with a warning, and none said parents should be charged, let alone prosecuted or have community service.
Barnardos should really stop lying to the media. Imagine if they had asked this question.
If a child was having a tantrum in the supermarket, knocking down tins in the process, and a parent gave them a smack to cut it out, should that parent be let off if they are taken to court?My response - which no doubt wouldn't have been one of the options:why should they even be charged and prosecuted let alone taken to court if they haven't broken the law sufficient enough to warrant sanctions?