Is it right to smack children?

In a recent case, whereby a mother was jailed for 18 months after her children complained to social services that she had smacked them. However, a leading Judge has since Ordered for her release on the basis that her actions were no worse than those of “many loving and caring parents throughout the land.”


Unlike Scotland, it is not illegal to smack your child in England and Wales so long as the force used is reasonable and not deemed excessive. However, the question as to reasonableness and excessiveness is down to each individual’s own interpretation. The Children Act 2004 offers some guidance and makes it illegal to hit a child if it causes bruising, swelling, cuts, grazes or scratches and if found guilty, the perpetrator could face up to five years’ imprisonment.

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