Child Abuse Vs Spanking

by JWC

Child Abuse vs Spanking: 
California Assemblywoman Sally Lieber (D-Mountain View) has sponsored a bill (AB 2943) which would ban the use of an implement, the throwing, kicking, burning, or cutting of a child, the striking of a child with a closed fist, the striking of a child under 3 years of age on the face or head, the vigorous shaking of a child under 3 years of age, the interference with a child's breathing, or the brandishing of a deadly weapon upon a child...

California Assembly's Public Safety Committee voted 5-2 to advance the bill to the Assembly Appropriations Committee. The same place where a previous anti-spanking bill died.

At a public hearing, Sacramento-area mother of five, Sarah Berke, made the following argument: "As someone dead-set against the evil of child abuse, I also have a strong faith that calls on me to correct misbehaviour and rebellion when it occurs. This means a spanking once in a while. My faith and moral beliefs teach me to 'train up a child in the way he should go.'"

She went so far as to admit using a spoon to discipline her children: "Usually I have them go to their room, I go get the spoon, and we come in and talk about why they are getting the spanking and what they need to do to change their behavior," she told a news service. "I could be arrested and charged with child abuse, eventually tried in a criminal court and eventually sent to jail," Berke said. "My children could be taken away from me, or I could be sent for non-violent parental education. There are a lot of good parents out there that would fall into that category."

Come on Ms Burke. Do you really find it necessary to spank your children with a wooden spoon to change their behaviour? Maybe you should be sent to jail. What possible reason or benefit could there be for striking a child under the age of three? Do you not realize there are many successful forms of discipline available that do not include striking a child? Do you not realize that an older child could rebel against this behaviour and the violence could escalate? Give your head a shake. Better yet, educate yourself on the various non-violent forms of effective discipline.

Canada already has a similar law, which prohibits spanking with implements and prohibits spanking of children under the age of two or over twelve. Canadian courts are not inundated with parents charged with criminal child abuse as a result of this law.

I congratulate Assemblywoman Lieber. We need more people like her.

Darlene's comments to this Child Abuse Article titled "Child Abuse Vs Spanking" are at the last link below.

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Comments for Child Abuse Vs Spanking

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Apr 25, 2008
Canada's spanking law...
by: Darlene Barriere - Webmaster

JWC, we're in agreement on this contentious issue. I've made my position on spanking known throughout this website: There are too many undesirable side effects to make this form of discipline both effective and appropriate.

As for the Supreme Court of Canada ruling with regard to spanking, in essence, they ruled on three issues.
  1. That parents should not be charged with a criminal offense and thus be subject to incarceration if they utilize "reasonable" corporal punishment as discipline. Therefore, they chose NOT to criminalize spanking, which was the intent and hope of child and human rights activists who challenged the law that allows parents to spank their children.

    The Court further ruled that there be clear limits and guidelines set with regard to the child's age and the use of implements for the purpose of spanking:

  2. Children under the age of two and over the age of twelve are not to be spanked.

  3. The use of implements is prohibited, as the use of implements or weapons goes beyond "reasonable" corrective force.
If all parents were reasonable, we wouldn't need laws that set limits; but the fact is, parents aren't always reasonable. Setting guidelines and limits with regard to corrective and reasonable force IS necessary. I applaud Assemblywoman Lieber for sponsoring such a bill.

Darlene Barriere
Violence & Abuse Prevention Educator
Author: On My Own Terms, A Memoir

Nov 03, 2008
Spanking: Legally sanctioned child abuse
by: Mark

I too find it difficult to differentiate the difference between child abuse and spanking. If you were to punch your child it would be considered abuse, but you can strip off the child's clothes and beat the child's bare buttocks with a belt, hairbrush or other object and it is okay, because that's considered a spanking. It just does not make sense. You could not even hit a dog with a belt without the SPCA coming after you.

Aug 22, 2009
by: Anonymous

Spanking and paddling are sexual. If you get on the internet you can perhaps find many spanking and paddling videos which are sexually arousing. Men, and potentially women, across the universe "get off" to spanking thoughts and footage all the time. This being said, do we really think it is even remotely appropriate for people to be doing this in a threatening manner to children?

I hope that you can do all you have the power to do in order to raise awareness and help to put an end to this misguided treatment of children. As I and other citizens will strive to do as well.

As a child, I and other children were threatened by this and I knew it was very wrong for them to be doing it, however I was just a child and I did not know what to do.(I guess I still am not sure what to do about it) It left a disturbing imprint to this day.

I know the words spanking and paddling are sexually arousing to many of us, however if we do not get this out in the open, I do not see how we are going to put an end to the horrible mistaken use of a most wonderful action when conducted between mutually consensual lovers.


Mar 12, 2012
never with a board
by: Anonymous

when a parent or step-parent is allowed to use a board on a child there is something bad wrong with our world!!! Especially when the children are very well disiplined children. But even if they weren't well behaved, there are other and better ways to get the job done so they will listen better and do better. We need to make sure that in Missouri it IS against the law for a board to be used on children of any ages.

From Darlene - Webmaster: On this website, never with a board or anything else. This site deals with the dark side of ALL spanking.

From Victim to Victory, a memoir
Darlene Barriere
author. speaker. survivor. coach
From Victim to Victory, a memoir

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