Monday, April 09, 2007

Section 59 is doing the job!

Report of the Riding Crop case from

1. The mother was controlled. "The discipline was entirely controlled, over with very quickly and was very effective. AFTERWARDS he gave me a hug and apologised."

2. The small bamboo cane ("about the thickness of my little finger and between 12 and 18 inches in length. The type you use to stake a small pot plant") left a slight red mark that lasted less than an hour.

3. The riding crop left no red mark - it was two light smacks over trousered bottom on a 12 year old

4. Love was shown at the time of the smack (no yelling and swearing). "He apologised for his behaviour and I reassured him that I loved him but disliked the behaviour."

5. The boys behaviour changed. "After the discipline we had a well behaved, loving and compliant boy." "FROM this point on the boys behaviour changed radically for the better. We had a happy laughing cheerful child who was obedient and a pleasure to have around."

From reading the reports in the link above and from talking with the mother Section 59 worked very well in this case. This Timaru mother used reasonable force in the circumstances. (The Newsmedia reports, the MPs and the NGOs are not to be believed)

Report of the Wooden Spoon case from
Mum who hit son faces jail - 5:00AM Monday April 09, 2007

A Hawkes Bay woman faces a jail term for taking to her son with a wooden spoon and leaving him with 4cm welts - a case being heralded as proof that the law forbidding assaults on children works.

The Flaxmere woman pleaded guilty in the Hastings District Court last week to assaulting her 7-year-old son.

The boy described his state after the beating as "sad, angry and unhappy".

He has been removed from the home, though the mother is trying to regain custody.

She will be sentenced in the Napier District Court on May 3.

Last November, she became angry with her son because he was taking too long to get ready for tee-ball. She started yelling and swearing and belted him on his palms and the insides of his arms with the spoon until his father intervened.

The boy showed his teacher the following Monday and the teacher alerted Child, Youth and Family.

He was taken to hospital where his bruising was checked. The mother later told police she had taken on too much and realised she needed help.

The case became a political football this week when National MP Chester Borrows hailed it as showing that the Crimes Act - and section 59 which permits reasonable force in the right circumstances - rightfully caught out parents who assaulted their children.

But Green MP Sue Bradford, who is trying to amend the act, said she never held the position that the present law failed in every case.

"There are cases where section 59 is used successfully, and I'm pleased it was in this case, but I have a fundamental objection to the fact that the defence of using reasonable force exists at all."

Her bill would remove the legal defence for using reasonable force against children for correction, but allow its use to restrain a child.

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