Barnardos have been interviewing New Zealand children by phone to see what they think about getting smacked. The question they asked:
Do you think that adults who are taken to court for hitting a child should be let off if they say they were disciplining the child?”
……. The kids had to push 1 if they should be let off 2 if they think they should not be let off, 3 if they don’t know and 4 to hear the question again. Just over half said they should not be let off. Many probably didn’t understand what ” let off” meant- ……..Nor is it clear whether “adults” included strangers.
They interviewed stressed kids who called the What’s Up hotline, a hotline for kids to talk about anything they wish, including abuse. While the kid was waiting to speak to a real person, they were given an automated message with the above question. That’s a little like asking turkeys on the 15 December whether they are looking forward to Christmas. There was only a 10% valid response rate.
Barnardos’ media release [on their 'research' - used to promote their Yes Vote Campaign in the Citizen's Initiated Referendum] says it asked kids about whether adults should be able to claim a legal defence for assault. They lied. They asked if adults should be let off. But if these adults are not parents or caregivers of the smacked kid they never had a legal defence [to be let off], ever. Let off means a case is dropped or they’re discharged without conviction – not merely being found not guilty. The Barnardos release also says:
Importantly, many of the callers suggested that parents should be let off with a warning or community service if they perpetrated low levels of violence against children.
How many? well, just one actually! The report provides all comments provided by the kids – quoting just 10 children, although it does provide some statements that counsellors said the kids had made. But ONLY ONE said parents should be let off with a warning, and NONE said parents should be charged, let alone prosecuted or have community service.
Barnardos should really stop lying to the media.