Well, it’s official.
As of last week, and thanks to $9 million spent by the New Zealand taxpayer on a referendum that nobody has to do anything about, nearly 90% of us voted in favour of being able to assault children legally.
The point must be made that when I say ‘assault’ I mean smack. I use the word assault because if I ‘smacked’ any adult in the street the charge I would face is ‘assault’. Do we live in such a backward world where people get so worked up after a law is passed to protect children?
When the law was originally passed all it did was remove Section 59 of The Crimes Amendment Bill which allowed parents to use the defence of ‘reasonable force’ when disciplining their children. For example, 28 strokes of the birch would not have counted as punishment under the revised law. I’m just thinking as well… what normal parent would want to use ‘reasonable force’ against a child. More to the point what adult would believe that using force against any innocent is the right thing to do. Also why would you want to protect your rights to hit the most innocent members of society – those who need the most protection – and campaign publicly to do so? I just don’t understand why or how people see smacking, hitting, or caning of children as OK.
Previously you may have read about my current experiences with IVF and the commencement of our journey through this process (IVF and IVF2). By implication this tells you that I am yet to be a parent. It is very easy for me to say these things when I have never had the fright of my life as my three year old runs out onto a busy intersection without looking. I cannot say what my reaction would be because it hasn’t happened yet and it would be a reaction. But things should never happen when you’re reacting.
Spare the rod and spoil the child? I’m sure we’ve all come a long, long way from this biblical nonsense – or maybe we haven’t. People in NZ obviously want the right to hit their children. They have shown it with their voting pens. Good work there, he says sarcastically. I would now like to hold a referendum and vote in favour of hitting people who don’t indicate when they are cutting across in front of me on the motorway. Just a gentle smack would do. A light smack on the bottom would be all it would take to stop these people from not using their indicators, despite the fact that the indicator switch is one of the closest at hand when you are seated in a driving position. Maybe not just a gentle smack… I would actually like to use reasonable force against these people. Yes… reasonable force. I would like to retrain them by using reasonable force.You can’t do that Boon – it’s assault.
The unfortunate side of this defence of ‘reasonable force’ is the fact that my ‘reasonable force’ might involve a trousers down smack with some kind of reinforced wooden cutlery. However, someone else’s ‘reasonable force’ might include putting their child into a clothes drier and hanging them out onto a clothesline. If you’re overseas reading this think I’m enhancing my point by going to an untrue and exaggerated extreme, cut and paste Nia Glassie Case into Google and see what you find out.
In this referendum month of August two New Zealand children have died because parents and caregivers used what they believed to be ‘reasonable force’ when disciplining – or just had no idea at all about parenting or humanity.
Being part of a couple who can’t get up the duff without a bit of science helping along the way it breaks my heart to hear these horror stories of severe abuse. It starts you thinking… why can these dickheads have children at the drop of a hat and I’m forced to make love to a jar in a room at a hospital and put my sperm in the freezer to bring my child into existence. If these so-called ‘parents’ don’t want their children let me and Mrs. Boon have a go.
It’s something that we’ve thought about. The only problem with the adoption/fostering of children these days is how open it is. Biological parents still have access – to an extent I suppose, dependent on their fitness – but it’s all monitored by the government through their wonderfully resourced and thoroughly agile Department of Children, Young Persons and their Families (CYFS). I don’t think I’d like to be a parent under those circumstances… the thought of giving all of your love to a child and then having that child head off and find biological parents at some later date, or have a relationship all the way through their childhood, would make me feel like half a parent. The carpet of love could be pulled out from under you at any moment.
New Zealand has voted in favour of hitting children. 87% in favour. It’s still astounds that nearly 90% of New Zealanders have voted that smacking/hitting/assaulting children should NOT be a criminal offence. I don’t believe it. I just don’t believe it. What is wrong with you people… (thanks to the nearly 12% that voted with me. You are the right kind of people).
I promise to blog on a slightly more upbeat note next time.