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MP backs call for a Full Stop to hitting Children

September 10, 2004 12:00 AM

Tom Brake supporting the NSPCC Full Stop campaignWith the Children Bill expected to be debated in The House of Commons early next week (2nd reading), the NSPCC has welcomed a show of support from Tom Brake, MP for Carshalton & Wallington, for the campaign against physical punishment of children.

The NSPCC is lobbying for the abolition of the nineteenth century legal defence of 'reasonable chastisement' which sanctions the physical punishment of children. Such a move would give children the same protection as adults under the law on assault.

NSPCC Policy Advisor, Lucy Thorpe, said: "We are asking all MPs to give equal protection to children under the law. There is a real opportunity before us to remove an archaic law that is clearly out of step with the values of modern society and at the same time send a message that hitting children is wrong. There should be no grey areas.

"Children are the weakest and most vulnerable members of society, yet we have a law in place which provides a defence for those who physically punish them. We urge all MPs to commit to changing this legislation so that it clearly says hitting children is just as unacceptable and unlawful as hitting anyone else."

In pledging his support for abolishing 'reasonable chastisement' to give children equal protection from assault, Tom Brake MP said: "We all share a responsibility to look out for children. The Bill we have before Parliament presents one of the best opportunities in the last 15 years to safeguard children and I fully advocate the scrapping of the obsolete, outdated and discredited defence of reasonable chastisement.

"This should be accompanied by widespread programmes of education and support for parents to promote more positive and respectful forms of parenting."

Those looking to support the campaign can visit www.nspcc.org.uk/campaigning for more details.

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