Minister of Justice has missed the boat
in dealing with family violence
Canada’s Minister of Justice has totally missed the point with her attempt to forestall domestic violence in Canadian families, according to a leading advocate for children’s safety.
“Where does the Justice Minister think young men suddenly get the idea to beat the hell out of their wives and girlfriends?” asks Kathy Lynn, chair of Corrine’s Quest, a campaign devoted to repealing Section 43, Canada’s spanking law.
“The idea of using violence to solve conflicts is first learned across a parent’s knee, when parents resort to spanking kids to change their behaviour”, she said.
She says Justice Minister Jody Wilson-Raybould’s approach is to use further punishment through police, the courts, even the bail system, to change behaviours. That’s much too late. In his role as Minister of Youth, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau must understand that young Canadians do not suddenly start believing that assault is the answer to frustration, disobedience or differences of opinion. They learn it when they are still kids.
“Using a bigger stick to solve violence problems has never worked,” said Lynn. “It’s a comforting idea, it gives the impressing you are seriously doing something about the problem, but in fact you are making it worse by invoking the force of governments and the courts.
“We need to be working on the root causes, and the Minister’s reforms don’t do that. Little Johnny gets hit regularly and legally at home by his parents, so he learns that violence is an appropriate response to anger. He continues this behaviour into adulthood with his girlfriend. But suddenly it’s illegal. Makes no sense whatsoever.
Section 43 of the Criminal Code permits parents to strike children aged 2 to twelve “for correction”, and also offers parents a defence in law if they are charged with assault.
Lynn said Senate bill s.206, presented by Senator Murray Sinclair who chaired the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, offers a ready-to-go solution to the problem of repealing s.43. The TRC’s sixth Call to Action also called for repeal.
For more information you can go to the article:Domestic Violence Starts Over the Knees of Parents