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Church in Wales calls for smacking ban

The Church in Wales is adding its voice to a campaign calling for a ban on smacking. Brecon Cathedral is joining forces with Welsh children societies to campaign for an end to 'legalised violence' against kids. 'Children Are Unbeatable' is a coalition of children's charities including NSPCC, Action for Children, Barnardo's and Save the Children.

The aims of the Alliance are:

  • To change the law so that children and young people have the same protection from being hit as adults
  • A public education campaign about why 'smacking' children is not OK
  • For parents to have lots of information and practical advice and support about alternatives to 'smacking' and using a positive approach to bringing up children The group's holding a two-day road show at Brecon Cathedral and there will be a vigil service to remember all youngsters who've suffered.

Very Revd Geoffrey Marshall, Dean of Brecon, will speak at the event and will also wash the feet of children as a mark of respect. He told Premier's Des Busteed on the News Hour why he's against smacking.

The issue divides Christians with many pointing to verses in the Bible, which they say suggests physical punishment is a good way to install discipline in a child.

Proverbs 23 v 13 says:

'Do not withhold discipline from a child; if you punish them with the rod, they will not die.'

However Chris Dodd, Co-ordinator of the Churches Network for Non Violence disagrees.

He said:

"Violence against children is incompatible with the core religious principles of compassion, justice, equality and nonviolence and it breaches a child's fundamental right to respect for human dignity and physical integrity.

"The Alliance, now with the backing of the Church in Wales is now looking for a change in the law."

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