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Celebrities call for Section 59 repeal.

Posted by watchingcyfswatchnewzealand on March 28, 2007

As posted on CYFSWATCH NZ

Celebrities call for Section 59 repeal.
Wednesday, 28.03.2007, 08:21pm (GMT12)

Celebrities call for Section 59 repeal

28 March 2007

Celebrities put up their hands for the protection of children

At a special event in Auckland today, celebrities and community groups put up their hands for change and called for the passage of the Crimes (Substituted Section 59) Amendment Bill. They called for all New Zealanders to better protect and treasure children, in the law and in every encounter with children. Celebrities placed their signatures and hand prints on a banner to be presented to MPs.

Organised by Every Child Counts Project Manager, Deborah Morris-Travers, the initiative was designed to highlight community support for repeal of section 59 and address the fear and misinformation surrounding the issue.

“Very simply, the Bill will remove a statutory defence available to parents who are charged with assaulting their children. That defence has been used in some high profile cases of child abuse, suggesting that violence against children in the form of physical punishment is an expected and acceptable part of parenting.

“All of the evidence points to the fact that a reliance on physical punishment, and attitudes that condone the use of it, increase the risk of child abuse. In other countries, experience has shown that law change is an important part of changing people’s attitudes so that violence against children is less acceptable.

“Combined with clear public education about the law change, and continued investment in positive parenting, the Crimes (Substituted Section 59) Amendment Bill will create safer homes and communities for children and for all of us.

“Any suggestion that police will be prosecuting every case of physical punishment brought to their attention is plain nonsense.

“The time for change has come. We must be bold and recognise that moving away from physical punishment, through law change and wider community education efforts, is a positive step towards a more peaceful society. It is not a change that we should fear. On the contrary, we should fear the consequences of continuing to treat our children so badly that we remain the worst in the world on child-wellbeing measures. For children to be protected and treasured is in the interests of all of us,” concluded Ms Morris-Travers.

ENDS

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