A smack as part of good parental correction

The Otago Daily Times reports:

A daughter described her mother as “a monster” as she told the Dunedin District Court about seeing her mother beating her younger brothers with a belt and screaming abuse at them.

The adult sister said her 9-year-old brother begged her to let him stay with her and her husband, telling her “he promised he would be good and he wished that she [his mother] would die in a car accident”.

The woman was giving evidence yesterday on the second day of the trial of her 41-year-old Invercargill mother, who faces 14 charges of assault against three of her children, aged 3, 9 and 12.

The charges include assaults using a belt, jug cord, wooden spoon, fibreglass tent pole and a jandal as a weapon, and allegedly took place in Gisborne, Napier and Invercargill between April 2006 and March 2008.

The adult sister told the jury and Judge Stephen O’Driscoll she saw her mother “viciously” laying into two of her younger brothers with a belt, for at least 20 seconds, hitting one until he cried before turning on the other.

Thanks to Sue Bradford, this woman isn’t able to use the defence of “reasonable force for the purpose of correction”.

But at least some of her alleged assaults appear to be totally acceptable to Larry Baldock:

I’m not opposed to the wooden spoon or ruler because you can control things with that better than you can with an open hand.

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9 thoughts on “A smack as part of good parental correction

  1. Bollocks Toad. A S59 defence wouldn’t have flown in this clear case of child abuse. Stop trying (vainly IMHO) to paint the repeal of S59 as the saviour of the country’s children. Never was, never will be and as such Sue Bradford’s halo will forever be skewed.

  2. From the evidence as reported, DavidW, I doubt a “reasonable force for the purpose of correction” defence would fly in this case. She’s facing 14 charges, so there seems to be a pretty clear picture of systematic abuse.

    But some of the individual instances reported bear remarkable similarity to the facts in cases where that defence was successfully used.

  3. So, you’re comparing a woman who assaulted her children with a belt, jug cord, wooden spoon, tent pole, and a jandal, for a sustained period of “at least” 20 seconds, to someone who administers “a smack” (IE one single smack)…

    Pretty long bow to draw there I would have thought.

    The article also talks about the woman “screaming abuse” at them. I’ve always known that mental and verbal abuse can be just as damaging, if not more so, as some physical abuse. Yet people choose to focus on the physical abuse, rather than other forms of abuse. Why? Maybe because it’s easier to quantify and measure?

  4. Geez Toad you are just so blind to the concerns of reasonable New Zealanders and their abhorrence at the possibility of the police and CYFS becoming involved in a families life because some stupid or malicious individual creates an inappropriate reaction to what they see as normal healthy parenting. We ordinary citizens in no way condone what you portray here whether it is an accurate picture or not is not established but so far I think 90% or more would agree there is OTT punishment here.
    I am at a complete loss that a rewording of S 59 could not have achieved a good outcome without the polarising attitudes of the defenders of Bradford and Baldock. There is an army of us who by accident or design reared well adjusted, apparently successful healthy kids without any help from childless social workers with their pathetic efforts to draw long bows of connection between those who occasionally use a light smack to discipline children and those who bash kids to death and too often escape conviction and penalty.

  5. “So, you’re comparing a woman who assaulted her children with a belt, jug cord, wooden spoon, tent pole, and a jandal, for a sustained period of “at least” 20 seconds, to someone who administers “a smack””

    no, I think he’s comparing it to some of the more infamous cases that were successfully defended under section 59, which did involve people repeatedly hitting their children with implements.

  6. Or in their language, kahikatea, “administering a smack” with implements.

    I just love that work “administer” in this context. Makes it sound so innocent.

  7. @ kahikatea:

    But the title is “A smack as part of good parental correction”.

    Slightly misleading …

  8. childless social workers with their pathetic efforts to draw long bows of connection

    Just a quick plea of defence for childless social workers, whom incidentally we all lambast when they don’t intervene swiftly, just as vigorously as gravedodger lambasts them for intervening too much:
    The social workers I’ve met, childless or otherwise, don’t, as a rule, have time for political indoctrination or nanny-statism. Mostly they’re just trying to get through a large caseload of people’s messy lives, without making a stuff up that could see them in the newspapers the next day. I’m a fan of social workers. The alternative is more police and ambulance drivers.

  9. childless social workers with their pathetic efforts to draw long bows of connection
    Just a quick plea of defence for childless social workers, whom incidentally we all lambast when they don’t intervene swiftly, just as vigorously as gravedodger lambasts them for intervening too much:
    The social workers I’ve met, childless or otherwise, don’t, as a rule, have time for political indoctrination or nanny-statism. Mostly they’re just trying to get through a large caseload of people’s messy lives, without making a stuff up that could see them in the newspapers the next day. I’m a fan of social workers. The alternative is more police and ambulance drivers.
    Sorry… forgot to say great post – can’t wait to read your next one!

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