Letter: Swedish ban on smacking

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The Independent Online
Sir: It is misleading ("Sweden's rules on corporal punishment lead the way", 10 September) to suggest that the 1979 law against physical correction has led to only one prosecution of a parent for smacking his son.

While it is true that the 1979 civil legislation is rarely invoked, the courts no longer separate physical punishment from child abuse or assault and battery. They therefore invariably go directly to the penal code on assault and battery.

We are advised by Swedish lawyers that the legislation has in this way "resulted in hundreds of normal parents being harassed by the social authorities and prosecuted in the courts, sentenced and thus made criminals because they have smacked their unruly children".

ANNE DAVIS

Families for Discipline

Frinton-on-Sea, Essex

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