I realise it is a topic that the majority of us would rather not have to discuss, or witness for that matter, but I have recently been exposed to the moral concern of public discipline to children by their parents. Working on a weekend, I was confronted by a couple who took to their kid in a physical display of punishment, hitting him harshly next to my counter. The line of customers behind them were not impressed; a couple walked a way in disgust.
The four minute clip shows a foreign woman brutally bashing a toddler, while those that filmed and those in the background of the room, stand around to view the action. The child is slapped, punched, shoved and hit repetitively with objects until she is barely able to move.
I spent a good hour feeling absolutely distraught at what I had seen, but luckily came across relief to have me feeling slightly more at ease. The Malaysian woman was sentenced to 18 months imprisonment and the young girl is now in foster care.
At the end of her sentence, the court will determine whether the woman will be allowed to resume custody of her child.
I still find myself angry.
To what extent is it okay to physically discipline your child? Clearly the footage in this video is something our society would deem inhumane and morally disgusting, but let me take you into a little glimpse of the world we are living in today.
In Australia, the laws against hitting your children stands at this: The visual interpretation of a child’s injuries.
“Breaking the skin or actual bruising is often the measure.” – Dorothy Scott, director of the Australian Centre for Child Protection.
Psychological injuries are most likely more permanent, but if not visible, does this mean they go unheard of?
Countless countries across the world have already made the move to ban physical force as a means of punishment against children, but Australia seems to be hesitant to get on the bandwagon.
In Feburary this year, Dr Gervase Chaney, leader of Australia’s paediatric community, called for a ban on the practice. The debate appeared in the Herald Sun, with 91% of votes demanding that the act must not be ‘outlawed’.
A child is as human as we are, if not more. We, as adults, are protected by the laws of our nation against harm and criminal threat. Does a child not deserve access to the same rights? Or are they to be left black and blue?
- Woman poses as CAS worker, removes child’s clothes (blogs.windsorstar.com)
- Sign the petition to FIX FOSTER CARE (bioncatm.wordpress.com)
- Like rubbish thrown away (theage.com.au)
- Families Matter! (and) Family matters? (policyperformanceconsultants.wordpress.com)
- Final Reflections on Australia’s review before the UNCRC (oatsandsugar.com)
- Atlanta foster care system improves adoption rates (ajc.com)
- Like rubbish thrown away (smh.com.au)
- Sacramento child abuse investigator target of state foster-care probe (sacbee.com)
- Considering Adoption? Consider Adopting a Child in Foster Care (blogs.lawyers.com)
- To Spank or not to Spank… (metropolitanmom.wordpress.com)