Smacking your children is set to be banned in Wales in a bill that some campaigners fear could lead to parents being put in jail for disciplining their children.
The legal defense of “reasonable punishment” is set to end in the country after the Welsh Government has drawn up the plans.
It is already illegal to hit a child in Wales, but the reasonable defense loophole that has its roots in Victorian times allows for parents to carry out light physical discipline on their kids, as the defense legally entitled parents to be allowed to physically discipline their children, as long as they didn’t leave marks on them and didn’t use a tool like a belt or a cane.
The Welsh Government has said that they want to change the law to give children the same protection as adults.
Campaigners, however, have warned the government that it is “playing with fire” and risks criminalizing parents.
A campaign group called Be Reasonable that is anti-smacking-ban fears that the change could see “hundreds” of parents behind bars, and a spokesman for the group, Jamie Gillies, told the Welsh Assembly’s Children, Young People and Education Committee police data estimated 1,360 smacking crimes could be recorded in five years if the bill is to become a law.
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