'Cinderella Law' to combat emotional cruelty against children to be considered by ministers
Under the new law, neglect could be punishable in a similar way to physical or sexual abuse
Monday 31 March 2014
Parents who fail to show love and affection towards their children could be sent to prison for up to 10 years under a “Cinderella Law” to be announced in the Queen’s Speech in June, according to a report.
The move will make “emotional cruelty” a criminal offence for the first time.
The decision was hailed as a “monumental step” forwards by a children’s charity, which said children could grow up with “ lifelong mental health problems” or end up taking their own lives.
Robert Buckland, a Conservative MP and part-time judge, who has campaigned on the issue, wrote in The Daily Telegraph that change had been “long overdue”.
“Not too many years after the Brothers Grimm popularised the story of Cinderella, the offence of child neglect was introduced,” he said, but added: “Our criminal law has never reflected the full range of emotional suffering experienced by children who are abused by their parents or carers.
“The sad truth is that, until now, the Wicked Stepmother would have got away scot-free.
“We need a clear, concise and workable definition of child maltreatment — an alternative code that reflects the range of harm of done to children and which provides appropriate legal mechanisms to tackle some of the worst cases.
“Emotional neglect must be outlawed, the term 'wilful’ should be replaced and the criminal law should be brought into line with its civil counterpart.”
A Ministry of Justice spokesman came close to confirming the report.
“The Government believes protecting children from harm is fundamental and that child cruelty is an abhorrent crime which should be punished,” he said.
“Every child should be able to grow up in a safe environment. We are considering ways the law can support this.”
Sir Tony Hawkhead, chief executive of Action for Children, said he had met children who had been “scapegoated in their families, constantly humiliated and made to feel unloved”.
“The impact is devastating and can lead to lifelong mental health problems and, in some cases, suicide,” he said.
“We are one of the last countries in the West to recognise all forms of child abuse as a crime.
“Years of campaigning have been rewarded. The Government has listened.”
Newcastle manager taunted again as his side loses to Stoke
- 1 Five-year-old Iris Grace is raising awareness of autism through her extraordinary paintings
- 3 The Simpsons death: Creator Al Jean would 'kill himself' before a character like Homer or Lisa
- 4 British man raped while urinating in bushes at Oktoberfest beer festival in Germany
- 5 Pope Francis assures atheists: You don’t have to believe in God to go to heaven
Five-year-old Iris Grace is raising awareness of autism through her extraordinary paintings
Isis an hour away from Baghdad - with no sign of Iraq army being able to make a successful counter-attack
Car tax disc changes: Two days to go - and they affect you much more than just not displaying a piece of paper
British man raped while urinating in bushes at Oktoberfest beer festival in Germany
George Clooney and Amal Alamuddin wedding: The famous congratulate actor and human rights lawyer after Venice nuptials
Isis, we are told, is a 'clear and dangerous threat to our way of life'. I’m sorry, but I just don’t buy it
Exclusive: 'Putin's Russia has been my biggest regret,' says Nato's outgoing Secretary General
'Women, walk wherever you want' posters taken down in Stamford Hill following 'unacceptable' signs separating men and women
There’s no excuse for Dave Lee Travis’s behaviour, but we need to keep a sense of proportion
Mark Reckless becomes second Tory MP to defect to Ukip in a month
Should gay sex be illegal? 16% of Britons think so
- < Previous
- Next >
£40 per day + Travel Scheme : Randstad Education Cardiff: The Job: Our client ...
NEGOTIABLE: Austen Lloyd: TRUST ACCOUNTANT - KENTIf you are a Chartered Accou...
£85 - £120 per day: Randstad Education Cheshire: randstad education are curre...
Negotiable: Randstad Education Group: You must:- Speak English as a first lang...