In my experience there are few things quite so shocking as going out of your way to do something good, spending time and effort to do the right thing, then turning around and then suddenly finding yourself deep in trouble because of it.
This comes pretty close to that.
A Wellington mother says her family has been left traumatised by new anti-smacking laws, after her son’s school reported her to Child, Youth and Family for smacking him on the hand.
“I don’t want to feel like a child abuser, and I don’t want to be labelled as a child abuser because I smacked my son,” she said. “It’s brought a lot of trauma to our family unit and unnecessary stress.”
The woman, who did not wish to be named because she says she fears losing her children, says another smacking several months later resulted in a visit from police.
The mother said she had not previously been involved in Family First and had had some sympathy with Sue Bradford’s anti-smacking bill, “not thinking that it would affect us on a personal level”.
Here’s a woman who one would presume to be in the small minority of parents who supported the smacking ban law. She was clearly fooled by Sue Bradford saying things like this:
- “My experience over the last two years of campaigning for the repeal of s59 of the Crimes Act has revealed to me personally that too many New Zealanders see children as being their property.”
- [the bill is]…”a necessary step in a complex process of weaning our society away from a culture of violence and abuse of our children.”
- …”we view children as second class citizens not deserving of the same rights and protections as adults.”
- “I reject absolutely the idea that parents have a God-given right to beat the evil out of their kids.”
(Pretending the opposition to the bill was just religious extremism was a very common tactic. )
- They [The Auckland District Law Society] suggest that, rather than outright repeal, the degree and nature of acceptable violence against children can be calibrated – e.g. by saying that it is okay to use force against three to twelve-year-olds and that there should be no ‘striking above the shoulder’. I believe all children have the right to live in violence-free homes.
- “My Bill to repeal Section 59 aims to remove the defence of reasonable force from parents who badly beat their children, often with weapons that leave permanent physical injury.”
- “Those who perpetrate the abuse and successfully apply section 59 as their defence remain unaccountable to our justice system.”
That’s a selection of quotes from this post.
Clearly, this woman would never have thought of herself as “seeing children as her property”, or propagating a “culture of violence” or viewing her kids as “second class citizens”. She never thought that she would be treated the same was as parents who “who badly beat their children, often with weapons that leave permanent physical injury”.
No, she was and remains a good parent. She never imagined she would be placed in the above categories.
But now she has. She’s been reduced to a state of fear, afraid of the Government using it’s power to remove her children.
She was not afraid because she supported Sue Bradford, believed her statements, but discovered too late the nature of propaganda – whipping up hatred against a non-existent threat, to disguise the real effect. By doing this Sue managed to get get many victims of the law to support it.
But even worse, while opponents saw the curtain of state infiltration into families dropping and took proper precautions, this poor woman kept doing what good parents do, never thinking that someday she might be the target of the bill who’s objectives she supported.
Just one of the more disgusting end results of the lies of Sue Bradford – reducing the enemies of child abuse to living in fear.
Update: Read the letter here.
I really am grieved about where our country is heading. We as a family have been made only too aware, that if we tick anyone off for whatever reason, whether a neighbor, a shop keeper or teacher and they call the police, it is their word against ours. Now that we are in the system, it doesn’t matter whether we are guilty or not. If the police officer doesn’t like us for any reason, they have the power to separate our family. This is a horrible reality!
Again I would like to stress that we are an average NZ family. We have four children – sons and daughters, both teens and younger. We are all law abiding citizens, we don’t drink, smoke or do drugs. We have always encouraged our children to respect authority and after this experience, have all been very traumatized.
An assault charge is no small matter. I have been involved in children’s work for the last ten years, not to mention all the community work I have done with under privileged children over the years. (the real victims of child abuse.)
If I were to receive an “assault on a child” charge, I couldn’t do these things, and I haven’t even mentioned paid employment. This is an awful thought.
This new law seems to me, only to be creating insecurity for families that are genuinely trying their best to raise healthy, secure children, that are good law abiding citizens, and a lot of extra work for the organisations that are already over worked and under staffed.
We as parents need to be encouraged and supported by the government, not undermined and stripped of all authority.