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Artit Oubkaew
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Artit Oubkaew
World News

'The government is one month away from criminalising loving parents': Christian charity warning over smacking legislation

by Sophie Drew

The Welsh Government has suggested people call 999 if they see a child being smacked, ahead of changes to the law coming into play in March. 

The new legislation will see a blanket ban on all forms of physical discipline against children - a move that has sparked concern from campaign group The Christian Institute. 

The organisation has campaigned against the changes, stating that the new law will criminalise "good, decent, loving parents." 

They're also concerned that an increase in calls regarding 'reasonable chastisement' could mean services are overstretched and therefore unable to help children being genuinely abused. 

The Welsh Government promised not to allow good parents to be criminalised, but the organisation argues that the new legislation does exactly that. 

Ciaran Kelly, from The Christian Institute, said: "The Welsh Government is one month away from criminalising good, decent loving parents, who want to bring up their kids with 'appropriate discipline' and that doesn't make them abusers. 

"It makes them good parents who are concerned for the welfare of their children. 

"In this debate, sadly, that has been so often conflated with abuse, and that's really wrong. 

"So the Welsh Government has said that people should ring 999 if they see a parent smacking their child and no, we're not talking about hitting or beating, we're talking about the kind of thing that ordinary parents have done for generations, which is a sharp tap on the back of the hand or on the back of the legs, that sort of thing. 

"Polling in Wales said that 85 per cent of people had experienced what was called 'reasonable chastisement' from their parents and I think everyone would agree that 85 per cent of the population aren't abused; 85 per cent of their parents weren't abusers. 

"So we've got a real concern, that this is an example of the state reaching into families, not just Christian families, but all families and saying: 'We know how to parent your children better than you do' and we think that's fundamentally wrong." 

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