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Hitting as punishment.

(7 Posts)
SandCastlesGoSquash Sat 09-Feb-13 19:08:39

My ex has told me he plans to hit our son as punishment. He currently doesn't have him alone due to my previous concerns and DS only being 8 m/o, but looking up online has confirmed what ex said about hitting being legal as long as no marks are left.
Does this mean that even though I would never agree to him hitting DS, that my ex will legally be allowed to do this? Or do both parents have to agree before this type of "punishment" is allowed? Surely this is just giving people a free ticket to beat a child as long as they're careful not to leave marks? sad

IneedAsockamnesty Sat 09-Feb-13 23:48:29

Its very sketchy legally for a nrp to use physical contact as punishment and try and call it reasonable chastisement,

I know this because my 13yo's dad has very recently spent a night in the cells after he hit dc ( leaving no marks what so ever). He is now not allowed any contact with dc nor is his vile alkie girl friend and will never see him ever again.

Xenia Sun 10-Feb-13 08:40:34

He can decide. However perhaps sent him the NSPCC materials on it so he knows what is allowed. For example it cannot leave a mark and he must not use an implement. You might like to point out to him that most hitting is illegal and that although you would not want to deny him unsupervised contact unless he can agree not to smack the child you may well have to obtain a court order. That might be enough to stop him.

Sadly the law (and I lobby against it) is that a parent - either parent - can smack their child.

nursingchildrenandyoungpeople.rcnpublishing.co.uk/archive/article-chastising-a-child-the-legal-position

On smakcing from that legal article:

"but not so hard that they cause actual bodily harm; this could be
characterised by leaving a mark of any kind on the child’s skin, including
bruising, scratching and reddening. Also unlawful is any act which may be
said to cause cruelty to a child, which may include the use of an instrument to
smack a child."

IneedAsockamnesty Sun 10-Feb-13 11:20:47

Xenia that's a really full answer, do you mind me asking, do you reckon that my ex got arrested because our dc is older and he decided to walk into the police station himself to make a complaint? Or is it more likely to be because he's disabled? Or the policeman feeling particularly helpful.

It was only about 6 weeks ago.

SandCastlesGoSquash Sun 10-Feb-13 14:17:56

Sock I'm glad your son doesn't have to go through that again, poor boy!
Xenia, surely most hitting would cause a red mark though? And this red mark then wouldn't be able to be seen within a half hour or so?
If it got to an age where he was speaking, and he was hitting him and son was saying he was scared to go, would I still have to send him if there was no marks then?

IneedAsockamnesty Sun 10-Feb-13 20:16:02

My understanding is that without a contact order you do not have to send him at all and it would be down to dad to take you to court and during that process you can bring up your child being scared.

If you have a contact order and your child starts expressing fear and you legitimately believe that he is actually frightened to go as a result of being hit then you can either apply to the court straight away for a variation to the order or if your child is marked go to the police and apply for a order preventing direct contact as a emergency

Or

At the first reasonable opportunity after refusing contact apply for a variation/ protection order.

However I am not a legal professional my thoughts on this are based solely on my DV work and what I see happening.

My sons suituation is slightly different as he's had on going issues with his dads behaviour since dad hooked up with a violent drunk he has behaved very badly stealing things from him and letting him down as well as refusing to cater towards or even recognise his dx'd disability

The last time he popped into his dads to invite him for a coffee in a public cafe away from his gf the gf was there and tried to attack him and dad ( despite ds already trying to run out of the house) physically restrained him then physically threw him out of the house actually threw him, ds ran straight to the car and asked his sister ( his dads eldest child who also has nothing to do with dad) to take him to the police station.

Cheeryble Sun 17-Feb-13 10:49:37

I find it quite worrying that he is already talking in terms of hitting an 8 month old. It might be worth talking to social services about this.

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