Children or animals. What’s more important?

Another baby has been abused by their parents in New Zealand. It is beyond belief how disturbing this is. Another young child in a serious condition in hospital because their parents don’t understand that it’s not right to be abusive toward your nine month old baby. There’s an article here from on this.

When I first saw about this, I was actually told the baby had died. Looks like the media has decided that hasn’t happened. But it got me thinking. When I saw that, I said “oh dear, another baby has died.” My emphasis wasn’t on the word “died”. It was on the word “another”. It’s almost as if we’re so used to this happening that it isn’t a surprise.

But what really shocked me was what I realised after that. If a baby was kicked by their parent in the middle of the street, we would be shocked. We would maybe try and stop them, and they would probably be arrested. But if we replace that child with a dog or other animal, there would be protests as to why this guy isn’t getting the death penalty. Okay, so maybe that’s a bit of an exaggeration, but really, we need to think. What do we value more? Our children, or our animals? Unfortunately, right now our actions seem to value animals much more than our children.

On a side note, so the Anti-smacking Bill really worked, didn’t it… The bill’s proponents said give it about five years, and it will start working. We are four or five years in now… Yeah, it doesn’t… I’m not surprised though. It was illegal to abuse your child under the old law. Why would this new law stop people who would beat their children to death before?


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Posted on June 26, 2011, in New Zealand Politics and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink. 6 Comments.

  1. It may have been illegal to abuse children under the old law, but having now repealed the ‘reasonable force’ defence (which was given far too wide of a definition in the courts) those who do get taken to court, whom have actually abused their children, will no longer have a legal defence. Indeed, before the law change we could very well have seen the abusers of the child you mention getting off without conviction because of the old legal defence.

    The reason we are not seeing people taken to court for simply smacking their children is because the police are using their discretion correctly.

    Please stop pretending there is a problem with the repeal of the ‘reasonable force’ defence where there has been shown to be none. I do, however, agree with your highlighting of the disparity between child and animal abuse. A potential reason for this disparity is that currently animals have no legal protection AT ALL, apart from as the ‘property’ of their owners.

    • If putting your child in a clothes dryer was “reasonable force” then we need to have a look at the Interpretations Act rather than the Crimes Act. Clearly, the courts are failing at interpreting legislation as it should be. Let’s fix the problem, rather than make it illegal to parent your children.

      To me, the important issue is that Children are seen as inferior to animals. And that is abhorrent, and should be changed. That is why organisations like SAFE make me sick. They are trying to make it a further gap between the rights of the child and the rights of animals. The gap is too far as it is. Let’s fix it rather than make it worse.

  2. “Let’s fix the problem, rather than make it illegal to parent your children.” That is exactly what was done. The law as it stood WAS an infringement of children’s rights. What was done was exactly what you are proposing; despite the fact that you are unwilling to accept it. Isn’t it great when things get fixed rather than just enacting more bad law (as the proposed definition of ‘reasonable force’ was)?

    Also, as I have mentioned, animals, other than humans, currently have NO rights before the law, children do have some, and since the repeal of 59 their (children’s) rights have been extended. So what was the problem again?

    • Terry, I have no doubt that the law was intended to stop these abuses. But it doesn’t change the fact that section 59 of the Crimes Act was there to protect parents who were legitimately disciplining their children. It hasn’t stopped children being abused. It hasn’t increased the convictions. It has done absolutely nothing that is was supposed to do.

      As I said, and you did not dispute, if putting your child in a clothes dryer is reasonable force, then we need to look at the Interpretations Act, because there’s clearly something wrong with that legislation rather than the legislation that protects upstanding citizens from making sure their children are safe.-

  3. How many parents have been unfairly convicted since the law change?

    • That depends on your definition of unfairly. Some would say there have been parents unfairly convicted. I am personally not going to comment on that.

      Though something I will say is that how is it right just today there were two sentences given out. One was for a male who attacked a dog. He got two years, six months jail time. The second was for a male who sexually assaulted his step daughter. He received a sentence of two years, four months. Another piece of evidence that we care more about our animals than we do about our children. It’s wrong.

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