Family First NZ is labelling the review on the smacking law released today as inaccurate and misleading.
“The police report claims that, on average, one smacking complaint is being dealt with by the police each week nationwide,” says Bob McCoskrie, National Director of Family First NZ. “This is totally false and simply reflects the fact that many calls that police are attending are being deemed so inconsequential that the police attending are not even recording the information in the database.”
The report says that “an absence of a notification on a Police file does not necessarily mean that no notification was made.”
“Recent research from Christchurch School of Medicine shows that up to 80% of parents are continuing to smack their children without abusing them. And people who are collecting signatures for the Referendum against the anti-smacking law are regularly being told of parents being investigated by police. In one half hour period, one collector was told of three investigations alone, two of them on grandparents.
“If there is really only one complaint a week as claimed, we really need to be asking why the politicians spent so much time, energy and debate on a law that had so little need – or effect,” says Mr McCoskrie.
“And meanwhile, child abuse continues with five child abuse deaths since the passing of the law including Nia Glassie, 16 month old Sachin Dhani, and ten-month-old Jyniah Mary Te Awa from Manurewa.”
“The smacking law has failed to stem the tide of child abuse, but has targeted many good parents and grandparents with the trauma and fear of police investigation and CYF involvement.
Nine cases alone notified to Family First have been documented on their website: http://www.familyfirst.org.nz/index.cfm/cases.html
Family First believes that the full weight of the anti-smacking law will not be felt until after the election – to avoid further political fallout. Currently, there are approximately 245,000 signatures on a petition demanding Referendums on smacking and addressing the real causes of child abuse.