Siyavash Doostkhah, from the Youth Affairs Network of Queensland, said corporal punishment at home should be just as unacceptable as that in the Don Dale Youth Detention Centre.
“We’ve got a level of violence that goes throughout the community, and one of the places in our view that that starts is at home,” he said.
“Thank god in the detention centre no young person has been bashed to death.
“But this is happening in homes.”
ABC reports, Mr Doostkhah said the prison officers at Don Dale could just as easily describe the abuse they carried out on the kids in the juvenile detention centre as merely corporal punishment used for “a good reason.”
In Australian states and territories parents were allowed to use what was described as reasonable force to discipline or correct a child, bar some restrictions in New South Wales.
Mr Doostkhah said the research had clearly shown “that there’s a direct correlation between things like corporal punishment and domestic violence, for instance.”
“Almost 100 per cent of violent offenders in adult prisoners were subjected to violence in their childhood,” he said.
He said he wanted laws to be put in place banning parents from hitting their children.
“Forty-seven countries have outlawed this practice,” Mr Doostkhah.
“And Australia, this is an area where we need leadership from the Government, rather than waiting for the entire community to wake up to this.”
RESEARCH What getting spanked as a child did to your personality
The more kids get spanked, the more likely they are to “defy their parents and to experience increased anti-social behaviour, aggression, mental health problems and cognitive difficulties,” according to experts at the University of Texas at Austin and the University of Michigan.
Researcher Elizabeth Gershoff said in a statement. Spanking was defined as “an open-handed hit on the behind or extremities.”
Gershoff and her co-author, Andrew Grogan-Kaylor, discovered that the more adults were spanked as children, the more likely the were to develop a range of negative outcomes later in life — including mental health issues
Gershoff and Grogan-Kaylor also compared the negative effects of spanking with those of “physical abuse” against children. Both were associated with the same harmful outcomes, according to the news release.
“The upshot of the study is that spanking increases the likelihood of a wide variety of undesired outcomes for children. Spanking thus does the opposite of what parents usually want it to do,” Grogan-Kaylor says.
“We hope that our study can help educate parents about the potential harms of spanking and prompt them to try positive and non-punitive forms of discipline.”
“We as a society think of spanking and physical abuse as distinct behaviours,” Gershoff said. “Yet our research shows that spanking is linked with the same negative child outcomes as abuse, just to a slightly lesser degree.”
Should smacking be banned?
Share your comments below.