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Is physical punishment of children domestic violence?

On Behalf of | Jan 3, 2023 | Domestic Violence

The idea of using physical punishments for children is controversial for some parents. While there are those who do this consistently and never think twice about it, others would never use any form of physical punishment with their children. In fact, the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends against it in all cases, citing an increased likelihood of a child who was spanked then committing domestic violence in the future.

Is spanking itself domestic violence? For instance, maybe you were spanked as a child and you think that it is a good way to correct your children’s behavior. But when you do this, your significant other accuses you of domestic violence for striking the children. You don’t feel that you’ve done anything wrong, but they may feel so strongly that they think they need to call the police. With such a big divide between how you view these situations, what should you do?

A difficult line

This is a tricky line to walk. On one hand, there are cases in which extreme types of physical discipline can be considered domestic violence. When things go too far, parents can face legal charges even when they claim they were simply disciplining their own children.

At the same time, spanking children itself is not illegal in the United States. It is still fairly commonly practiced, even if that is changing over time. This creates something of a gray area where both you and your spouse or co-parent may honestly believe that you are correct. If you do find facing criminal charges, you need to know about your legal rights.

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