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.


John Key has announced that National will oppose ACT MP John Boscawen’s Bill to legalise violence aganist children.

So regardless of what Labour will do (and Trevor Mallard seems to be equivocal, although also appears to be firming up Labour to oppose), the votes of the Green, Maori and National parties should see this appalling Bill soundly defeated.

End of story! Larry Baldock, Bob McCroskie and the rest of the spankers will now have to go off and find another way to legitimise the abuse of children.

And big ups to Sue Bradford. A great victory for our kids welfare!

“Every” parent?

Larry Baldock on Campbell Live last night state:

“Every parent has become a criminal, whether they are charged or not.”

But Larry, um, I’m a parent and I’m not a criminal – at least not for that reason.  I haven’t assaulted my kids.

Maybe the quote was edited out of context, but surely the point he was trying to make was “every parent who assaults a child for the purpose of correction has become a criminal.”

Of course, even if that were his point, he would still be wrong because (a) the new law removes a defence against assault not smacking, and (b) he is using the term ‘criminal’ in the popular sense of describing someone who has committed a crime, rather than the legal sense of someone who has been convicted of a crime.  Legally, one solitary parent has become a criminal since the correction defence for assault was removed. And one is a lot less than every.