Uni lecturer says smacking, spanking and hitting children should be made illegal in Australia.

While physical punishment of children is illegal in 49 countries, ‘reasonable chastisement’ is still allowable in the UK, the US and Australia, shares Daily Mail.

Corporal punishment is something Charles Darwin University law lecturer Felicity Gerry says is not acceptable.

‘Slapping, spanking, smacking and hitting a child with a wooden paddle are forms of violence that would amount to assault if applied to an adult,’ she told The Daily Telegraph.

Ms Gerry says a total ban on ‘serious violation’ of the UN Convention of the Rights of the Child need to be implemented to help change society’s ‘deeply embedded’ way of thinking.

‘Using physical force intending to cause a child pain or discomfort to punish or correct behaviour … is embedded in cultural views, government law, social policy and in some religious texts,’ she said.

‘Either society must demand change, or law-makers must make the brave decision to change the untenable laws that permit child abuse in the form of punishment.’

The lecturer says corporal punishment may work to change children’s behaviour at the immediate moment, but it doesn’t have much affect in the long term.

Parenting expert, Dr Justin Coulson, has said he can’t believe the debate is still ongoing.

Smacking only causes harm, says Dr Justin.

Research shows even a tiny smack has a big impact on kids in a very negative way. It has no purpose and he compares it to hitting your spouse, which is never acceptable.

A recent poll on 7 News Australia Facebook page asking “Should it be illegal to smack children in Australia?” has had a resounding response of NO it should not. With parents saying they should be allowed to discipline their children however they choose.

Share your comments below.

Shutterstock photo

  • use other methods. getting a child to stop what they are doing and talking to them so that they understand that their behaviour is disruptive etc is usually enough to stop them from continuing it


  • I’m not sure it should be made a criminal offence. My children hated to be told not to touch things and we went visiting a friend of mine who had just started her love affair with cacti. The children touched them, got spines in their fingers and amid crying, said why didn’t you stop us? Tell us ‘No’ or give us a smack before we got hurt? I said I frowned at you – and they always took a frown to mean that they would get hurt if the continued their actions after that. Don’t know what I would have done if they were trying to poke a fork into a light socket like my girlfriends children at her parents home.


  • I don’t believe in smacking. Parents should really be taught alternatives.

    • I agree – there is never a need for smacking.


  • Hitting a child with an object is just ot right.


  • I agree with the lecturer on this topic. There are so many ways to teach children without violence. Would adults like it – to be punished this way?


  • When we teach our children not to be physical aggressive to their siblings or other children, we surely wouldn’t give the right example to hit/smack (= a physical aggressive action) ourselves. But to make it illegal goes a step too far for me.


  • The problem with making anything illegal is the false claims they may come about. Children who want to get back at their parents my claim they are being smacked. I agree that any form of physical punishment is wrong but if it follows down in the generations it is automatically imbedded in to the minds of each parent and sometimes hard to break the pattern. Education is the key. teaching those who know no other way a new way.


  • Can we please make it illegal for children to assault their parents?
    Those who have never been phyically punished by anyody are often the worst offenders.


  • I don’t smack but I don’t tell other people how to punish their own children either.


Post a comment
Like Facebook page

LIKE MoM on Facebook

Please enter your comment below
Would you like to include a photo?
No picture uploaded yet.
Please wait to see your image preview here before hitting the submit button.
Your MoM account

Lost your password?

Enter your email and a password below to post your comment and join MoM:

You May Like


Looks like this may be blocked by you browser or content filtering.

↥ Back to top

Thanks For Your Star Rating!

Would you like to add a written rating or just a star rating?

Write A Rating Just A Star Rating