The Scottish Government confirmed a change in legislation that will prohibit parents from spanking their little ones, today.
The reform will see the removal of the defence of ‘justifiable assault’ of children, which essentially enables parents to smack their kids.
The idea of reforming the current laws originated with Scottish MP John Finnie, who put forward his proposal in May.
“Giving children equal protection against assault will send a clear message to all of us about how we treat each other, and underpin Scotland’s efforts to reduce violence,” he said, at the time.
When he put forward a bill on the matter, Finnie received overwhelming support, with almost three-quarters of respondents in favour of a smacking ban.
Earlier today, a Government spokesperson confirmed that law-makers will be charging ahead with the reform.
“Mr Finnie’s proposals are not a Scottish Government Bill, however we will ensure the proposals become law,” the rep said.
“We believe physical punishment can have negative effects on children which can last long after the physical pain has died away.
“We support positive parenting through, for example, funding for family support services.”
Scotland joins a total of 52 other countries in which smacking children as a form of punishment is illegal.
While the broader UK has not introduced legal reform, the Republic of Ireland removed the legal defence for ‘reasonable chastisement’ of children two years ago.
Assault is illegal. And smacking a child is assault in my view. Glad it's to be banned. Children are not possessions. #smackingban— Gillian Martin (@GillianMSP) October 19, 2017
The smacking ban says: the weakest must be protected/violence solves nothing. Raising a generation free from violence is a great social step— NeilMackay (@NeilMackay) October 19, 2017
Empowering children at the expense of adult authority - a bad day for family life which will be policed by the law https://t.co/1IY0DHQ1ku— Jon Holbrook (@JonHolb) October 19, 2017
Scotland’s news has been met with mixed reviews, and people have been especially vocal over on Twitter.
“I do not believe in a nanny state where governments take away all rights of parents, child minders, ban smacking, naughty step – does not work,” wrote one detractor.
Others were far more supportive.
“Applause to John Finnie and the Scottish Government for the ban on smacking children, set to become law in Scotland. A progressive step,” wrote another.
Fellow MSP Gillian Martin added: “Assault is illegal. And smacking a child is assault, in my view. Glad it’s to be banned. Children are not possessions.”
What are your thoughts, mums? Let us know.