Saturday, July 26, 2008

Misleading Stats Used by Anti-Smacking Lobby

A press release just out from Family First sheds some light on the misleading statistics regarding the effects of an anti-smacking law in Sweden that were copiously refered to by the anti-smacking lobby, prior to the passing of the bill.

"...A document circulated on behalf of Barnadoes, Plunket, Save the Children, Children's Commissioner and EPOCH in 2006 stated that "In Sweden, the average annual deaths attributable to child abuse for the past 30 years or so has been less than one every four years." This was based on a 2000 paper by Joan Durrant A generation without smacking – The impact of Sweden's ban on physical punishment published by Save the Children which said "The rate of child homicide … in Sweden is something like one every 4 years"
"This statement, now referred to as the 'Swedish myth', has proved to be completely inaccurate and Morgan Johansson, the public health minister, said in 2006 that 'every year, eight to ten, sometimes as many as twelve children die in Sweden due to violence. This has been true for several years.' Even NZ's Children's Commissioner has acknowledged that Durrant's figures were wrong."
"Durrant also uses a completely irrelevant definition of child abuse, and excludes the killing of children as a result of neglect, intentional killings, post-natal depression, babies killed within 24 hours of birth, and those accompanied by suicide by the abuser. She has adopted a definition by Somander and Rammer (1991) which also excludes child deaths due to poverty, marital conflicts, alcohol abuse, sparing the child the kind of life led by the perpetrator, and giving no reason for killing the child."
"No wonder she has misrepresented the effect of the Swedish smacking ban on child abuse rates! Even UNICEF reports have ignored her definition," says Mr McCoskrie..."
Click here to read the rest of Family First's press release.
And in other news,

Family First NZ says that it is highly ironic that the anti-smacking lobby is gathering together at Otago University this coming weekend to try and sell the deeply flawed anti-smacking law. 
Otago University research showed that reasonable and appropriate smacking for the purpose of correction was not harmful and in some circumstances was actually beneficial in the development of a child. 
Click here to read the rest of the press release.