Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Police Practice Guide for Smacking Law Confirms Worst Fears for Parents

Family First Press Release - MEDIA RELEASE - 19 June 2007
In response to the Police Press Release of 19 June 07

The Police have confirmed that they will prosecute parents who lightly smack their children, even if the smacking is inconsequential.

In the Police Practice Guide released by Deputy Commissioner Rob Pope today, it states that "while smacking may, in some circumstances, be considered inconsequential, a prosecution may be warranted if such actions are repetitive or frequent."

"This makes it quite clear that the discretion clause, trumpeted as the saviour to good parents, will only apply for a limited time and that in effect light smacking of an inconsequential nature will end up being prosecuted," says Mr McCoskrie, National Director of Family First NZ. "This flies in the face of assurances given by Helen Clark and John Key."

The Police Practice guide also acknowledges the confusing nature of the new law in its introduction by stating that "until case law develops on the section, it is not known how it will be interpreted and applied by the Courts. It will take time to see the impact of the new law."

"If the Police are having difficulty determining the law and its effect, how is a parent trying to do a good job and parent effectively and within the law supposed to have confidence in what they are doing," says Mr McCoskrie.

"The Practice Guide also confirms that the Police will be keeping records of all complaints – even those of a minor, trivial or inconsequential nature."

"It is interesting to note that the Police, in the absence of clear definitions in the law of who is a "child" and what constitutes "reasonable force" will be forced to make subjective decisions based on the age and maturity of the child and the circumstances that led to the use of force. In other words, and ironically, we're back to the original section 59."

"The politicians have delivered a 'feel-good' law change to the Police with no substance or certainty for parents, and some poor family is going to be the 'test case' of a law which, according to a recent poll, 78% of NZ'ers will ignore and 77% say it will have no effect on child abuse."


dad4justice said...

Many police have told me they did not join police to become social workers and be very worried parents, as any referrals to CYFS and you're family is history because the children will become state ward money machines trapped in the sinister world of the destruction of family industry. This country needs divine help now to fight this vile evil from unscrupulous socialist control freak engineers !

S59-Sexual Pain said...


Please let me tell you something very personal.

I was hit as a child in accordance of Section 59. I responded sexually to the pain from corporal punishment. I discovered that some children respond in this way and I fell into that group.

This childhood physical discipline resulted in me engaging in self-injury, by deliberately cutting and burning myself - well into adulthood. This behaviour became very addictive and extremely difficult to stop. Furthermore, the years of shame from this sexual response and self-injury behaviour caused me to become suicidal - resulting in two attempts to take my own life.

I had to seek professional help. It has taken many years of therapy and counselling for me to overcome the effects of the childhood physical discipline administered by my parents who believed in the Section 59 Culture that you all so feverishly cling on to.

Andy Moore said...

Hi S59-Sexual Pain,

Thanks for commenting; it sounds as if you have had a hard time of it. I'm sorry to hear this.

If I could respond firstly by saying that we do not condone hitting, and neither did Section 59 allow parents to hit their children.

What we do condone, and what was legal under Section 59, was the careful, loving discipline in the form of a smack.

Of course, parental discipline of children can and should take varied forms; prolonged or heavy "smacking" is unreasonable and illegal.

The effects of your physical discipline as a child could just as easily have come about through verbal, mental, or physical abuse.

It is the principle that we have a problem with. The principle that the Government is putting in place. They are saying: "we know how children should be raised; 83% of New Zealanders do not".

Raising children is the parent's job, not the state's.

Section 59 was far better off left alone. Now we have a poorly written law, that even the police - and more so the parents find hard to understand.

S59-sexual-harm said...

Hi Andy,

Your response feels like you are diminishing my sharing with you.

I am not going to argue with you about the politics surrounding S59. I do not believe that political discussion is appropriate here.

Furthermore, that is not the reason why I shared my story with you.

I need to respectively correct you, and remind you that I was hit with implements ie wooden spoons etc. I believe that was OK under S59 law.

I also believe you very clearly know that as well.

The pain from the discipline already described is what caused the pain - and the damage - sexually and psychologically. It is this culture of discipline, by using implements and inflicting "mild" pain that caused so much harm in my childhood.

Or perhaps it really is OK for some children to be damaged sexually because they are unlucky enough to be 'wired' in that way in that they respond sexually to pain.

I was hoping that my brief disclosure may help you gain some insight as to why a proportion of the population engage in sadomasochism, sometimes appropriately referred to as "bondage and discipline" and why others, like myself get caught up in self-harm behaviour.

Perhaps my sincere efforts are in vein. I simply want to help you understand that some of us were seriously damaged by "reasonable painful physical discipline". And most of it was through ignorance.

Finally I quote your sentence:
"The effects of your physical discipline as a child could just as easily have come about through verbal, mental, or physical abuse.

Please do not imply that I was abused as a child - because I was not. And, yes I agree with you that verbal, mental or physical chastisement can lead to problems too. (The word "abuse" is often used as a smokescreen)

Andy Moore said...

Could I just clarify this a bit.

You say that you were physically disciplined as a child, and it was not abuse (so, presumably reasonable; your parents were not being wrong), however, you responded sexually to this mild pain?

Look, if this is the case, I don't know. Ultimately, it is up to the parents to use their discretion in how they bring up their children.

Do you agree that the occasional smack, as part of parental discipline, administered in a loving, controlled and caring way, and when the child understands why he/she is recieving it, is ok?

s59-sexual-pain said...

No Andy, I am NOT going to get into such immature debate with you - political or otherwise. Either you take my story seriously or you don't. Either way, it changes nothing.

Let me tell you something else. For many years I saw my parents as 'perfect' who could 'do no wrong'. That was before I grew up. Then, I suffered what is commonly known as "Stockholm Syndrome" (toward my parents). And I lived in denial. I self-harmed in secret and paid the price!

Now, I know that my pain was real. And I know that my parents were fools.

Andy, You have your whole life ahead of you. Mine is practically over. One day (I hope) you will grow to be wise enough to take such suffering as I have endured seriously, rather than to treat it as a joke.

s59-sexual-pain said...

After seeing this heading on your webpage

"Bring Back The Wooden Spoon!"

I now have one big regret. I am sorry I did not kill myself as I had intended. My life-long pain is a joke to you and so my death would have been very appropriate.

Andy Moore said...

Far be it from me to treat such pain as a joke.

For many years, I too saw my parents as "perfect", and that they always made the right decision. Now that I am a bit older, I am able to see that they did not get everything right. I was smacked sometimes when perhaps it wasn't necessary. And by the same token, other times when I did deserve punishment, I managed to escape it.

Fact is, as I said before, it's the parent's responsibility under God to bring up their children in a way that is right.

See this post to read some commonsense views from other Kiwis (who may or may not be Christians (I hardly think that 83% of New Zealand's population are Christians)), on why parents should not be restricted by the Government in this matter.

s59-sexual-pain said...


I do not want this to go on much longer with this discussion, but now that you have brought God into the fray - I ask you this:

1) Do you hold true Christian principles? And if so then why do you take the anti-Christian stance and attempt to deny my pain?

2) Do you think a loving Christian God would approve of the sexual damage that was done to me (and others) during childhood by inflicting pain with a wooden spoon?

3) And do you think I should share my truth about my childhood pain; or should I have ended my own life instead?.

I wonder what God would say to that?

Andy Moore said...

1) Read my posts, I have not denied your pain.

2) No, I do not believe that God would approve of the sexual damage done to you.

I do not deny it, however I find it hard to imagine what form it could of taken... etc...

3) the former. I would never want anyone to kill themselves!

Good on ya mate.

s59-sexual-pain said...


The reason you "find it hard to imagine what form it could of taken...etc..." is because you had the good fortune not to be 'wired' and respond to pain sexually as some of us have as children. Why God has designed some of us like this is beyond me, but you need to be very aware that this is the truth of the matter.

I think all of you, (and the whole 83% of the population if necessary), need to realise that fact before you mouth off about the goodness of 'smacking' children and inflicting pain with wooden spoons. (and such like)

Andy Moore said...

We're not necessarily mouthing off about the goodness of smacking children. What we're saying is, it is the parent's decision, not the Government's.

s59-sexual-pain said...


I think that is fair comment. Now it is my responsibility (as it is anyone else's, who has been told the risks) is telling those parents the dangers of inflicting pain with implements and that their children may be damaged in the same way as myself and others of whom I know. (It was a relief to learn that I am not alone)

That is the work God has provided me with while I am still in this world and I intend to carry out his work. Nobody deserves to suffer (as I have) because a parent used a wooden spoon to inflict pain as punishment.


Andy Moore said...

Ok, I see what you're saying.

However, if we restrict all forms of discipline, then how are parents to get their children to obey them?

If we rule out physical discipline, then why not ban verbal and all other forms of discipline and correction?

If misused, any otherwise legitimate form of discipline is unacceptable.

s59-sexual-pain said...


Your last comment seems to be an attempt to misconstrue my message. Who suggested even restricting all forms of discipline and ruling out physical discipline completely here? I did make it very clear to you at the onset, that am not going to comment on any law, good or bad as it may or may not be, because that is not what I am here for.

I think you have enough intelligence and common-sense to understand and think through all of what I have said. You will have to work out in your own mind what is safe discipline and what is not. Your conscience should play an important part in your future thinking, now that you have been given some new information. Life is one big learning curve and we never really leave school. Our thinking changes as we discover new paradigms of learning. Perhaps my childhood disclosure may be somewhat challenging. However, I believe that can only be a good thing for all concerned. Otherwise, why would I even bother to tell it.

Nobody deserves to suffer (as I have) because a parent used a wooden spoon to inflict pain as punishment.

dad4justice said...

s59 -sexualpain you are unwell .

s59-sexual-pain said...


Correct. And the reasons for it have been clearly explained.

dad4justice said...

What else would I expect from a spin doctor from the labour/green party and please do sure be genuine , before you endorse your wrongful propaganda , you don't fool me lady .

s59-sexual-pain said...

hey, dad4justice.

I would have thought you had more sense than to make such abusive comments. How DARE you affiliate me with a damn political party. Your abuse at me will get you absolutely nowhere.

Your posting is inappropriate and totally unacceptable. If you are a Christian then I suggest you behave yourself and uphold your Christian principles.

dad4justice said...

The world is a camera - keep smiling , please , as every act is a boomerang and I did not mean to offend. I must have got you mixed up with someone else with the same writing style on another blog . Do have a good week-end .

Anonymous said...

Clearly people can be abused by reading text. Your abuse at me will get you absolutely nowhere

Logic dictates therefore that to stop abuse we should all stop typing.

s59-sexual-pain said...

Kia ora dad4justice,

You certainly are right. “The world is a camera and every act is a boomerang”. I could not have expressed it better myself.

Making such assumptions as you did is very dangerous. I certainly hope you never make the same mistake again.

Your posting was very hurtful indeed, especially since my postings are very personal and contain truthful fact. And I have a long medical file to prove it. For anyone to allege my childhood story to be “wrongful propaganda” is very inappropriate. In fact, I was so hurt by your remark; I looked at your profile and wondered if I should take legal proceedings. I considered your remark to be very close to defamatory.

I do not intend to make any comment over S59. That has become a political football that I want no part of.

My postings have nothing political behind them. What I do adhere to is education and that is where I am coming from. The motives behind my postings are to raise awareness. I also hope that my personal disclosure (to Andy) may help others who may be in a similar quagmire.

Your previous comment, “you are unwell” I took on board as saying that you acknowledged my life-long pain and the reasons behind it. Yes, I am still unwell and I need ongoing medical support to help me with my pain addiction. As I said in my postings to Andy, my make-up as a child had a pain-sexual aspect to it. That is the way I was “wired” (if that is the right description for it).

When I was spanked, particularly with implements, such as a wooden spoon, I responded sexually to the pain. That was the trigger that led to my self-injury behaviour. This became addictive early on in my life. I was also damaged sexually so that now my sexual issues are dysfunctional.

The other problem is the taboo surrounding such addictive behaviour and the strong shame barrier that prevents speaking about it. That is a very lonely place to have to endure over many years. This caused me to become suicidal. This “intermingling” of pain and sexual feeling responses is the driving force (at least in my case) that led to my self-harm. The pain becomes very pleasurable. It is an extremely horrible thing. I now have physical scars resulting from my years of self-harm.

I am aware that there are others out there who are sharing childhood testimonies. They may not be taking the same approach as I am, but I have seen other testimonies out there that tell a similar story. Some touch on sadomasochism and self-harm, as well as becoming involved with excess alcohol and illicit drugs. I have exchanged notes with a few of these people and discovered that our childhoods are very familiar. To say that corporal punishment “did nobody any harm” is a terrible myth.

My journey to heal has been very long and hard. I had to take full responsibility for my own self-injury pain addiction so that I could begin to heal.

And I am sure you will understand that it is the healing power of God and Jesus that played a major role in my continued healing and my being able to write about my childhood experiences as I have here.

What really does bother me is the lack of research and awareness of this self-injury ‘condition’ and the reasons behind it. Society does not want to talk about it. This code of silence makes it very difficult to deal with. The Mental Health Foundation may have some information – I don’t know. But I see it all around me now. I see people in public who have self-harmed. I saw a woman on the train some weeks ago with “design” cuts and scratches on her arms and legs. Obviously these were self-inflicted.

To finish, can I please give you an external example of ‘pain-pleasure’? I invite you to read a biography about the Australian composer, Percy Grainger. He was into sadomasochism. When you read about his childhood and how his mother treated him, you may gain a better understanding. Certainly, his corporal punishment was severe, (far more severe than what I had experienced) but the outcome appears very similar to what I have described about myself. The biographer does say that Percy Grainger’s physical discipline as a child may have led to his sadomasochism. Grainger was actually into flagellation. I certainly never went that far.

Percy Grainger’s biography:

And here is yet another example.
This is another personal story called: “Spanking, pain and pleasure”.

I ask that you do not add any more discussion to my postings because I want to wrap it up. You can respond by saying thank you or some other simple acknowledgement if you wish. But please do not add any more discussion. It may also be prudent to monitor anyone else from the cyberspace “woodwork” who may want to comment, before it is allowed to be posted here.

I see that some Anonymous person has already added a stupid comment here. I do not want to waste anymore of my time or energy entering into further discussion to defend my childhood account.

In finishing, I do want to add that I was impressed with how Andy Moore handled my postings. He was, for the most part, very prudent with his responses. I got a bit angry (and a little irrational) at one point when I felt he was not listening to me. But in the end I think my discussions with him concluded very appropriately.

I now leave it there.