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Discipline

Three-quarters of Irish people don't believe slapping children works

Two children’s rights groups want the practice outlawed.

OVER HALF OF Irish adults would support a ban on slapping children, a new survey has found.

The survey, released today by the Irish Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children (ISPCC) and the Children’s Rights Alliance found that most Irish adults were under the impression that slapping a child was already illegal.

Overall, 62 per cent of adults surveyed believing that it is currently illegal to slap a child and 73 per cent view slapping as an ineffective way to discipline a child.

The results have led both organisations for call for an outright ban on hitting children.

Caroline O’Sullivan, Director of Services, ISPCC said;

“We know that slapping children is harmful, it is ineffective and has innumerable negative effects such as increased aggression in children, increased anti-social behaviour and damage to the parent-child relationship.

“Now is the time for the Government to step up and implement a ban on slapping in all settings without delay.”

Tanya Ward, Chief Executive of the Children’s Rights Alliance echoed that stance.

“Currently, physical punishment of children by parents/legal caregivers, child-minders and foster parents is permissible in Irish law. We believe this is unacceptable.

“We urge the Government to remove the common law defence of ‘reasonable chastisement’, and legislate for an outright ban on violence against children in all settings.”

Read: Nearly half believe it acceptable to slap a child – survey

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