Last year Childline delivered almost 900 counselling sessions to children with concerns about physical punishment.
We’re calling on the Westminster Government to give children in England equal protection from assault by scrapping the defence of ‘reasonable chastisement’.
Our call to action comes on the one-year anniversary of the introduction of equal protection in Wales, which made any type of corporal punishment, including smacking, hitting, slapping, and shaking, illegal.
Wales and Scotland are among more than 60 other countries around the world that have brought in similar measures to give children the same protection from assault that adults have.
The moves in other countries reflect a growing evidence base on the detrimental effects of, and changing public attitudes to, physical punishment of children.
Researchers at University College of London (UCL) and an international team of experts have analysed 20 years of research on the topic. Their conclusion in 2021 was that physical punishment is ineffective and harmful and has no benefits for children and their families.
Over the last year our Childline service has also delivered hundreds of counselling sessions to children and young people who reached out for help with their concerns about physical punishment.