Some Parents Still Consider Corporal Punishment of Children Justified

By 30 April 2018

ZAGREB, April 30, 2018 - Parental disciplining children has changed over the past decade, physical punishment of children is decreasing, however, a lot of parents consider that corporal punishment is justified in some situations and aren't aware that it is legally prohibited in Croatia, according to the results of a survey conducted by the Hrabri Telefon (Brave Phone) association.

The findings were released on the occasion of SpankOut Day, observed on 30 April to promote non-violent discipline of children.

The on-line survey was conducted in August 2017 on a sample of 500 respondents from throughout Croatia and the results show that as much as 41% of respondents didn't know that physical punishment is legally banned in Croatia, while 49% consider that corporal punishment of children has decreased over the past decade.

One in three respondents consider that corporal punishment shouldn't be banned and every second respondent believes that it is justified in certain situations. Only one in five (39%) recognise its harmfulness in parental behaviour.

Almost all the respondents (93%) support the legal ban of corporal punishment in kindergarten.

The survey showed that in raising children, parents relied mostly on their own experience and intuition and 72% have imposed a ban on the use of gadgets and appliances or grounded their children by forbidding them to leave the home for social events for a specified period of time as a form of punishment.

With regard to corporal punishment, most parents considered hitting children on the behind to be acceptable while slapping, hitting with a strap or ear and hair pulling were considered to be inappropriate.

It is interesting to see that one in five parents did not know whether their child had even been exposed to corporal punishment in kindergarten.

The survey by Hrabri Telefon was conducted as part of a two-year project – From policy to reality – shifting attitudes and practices from corporal punishment to safeguarding children, co-funded by the Rights, Equality and Citizenship (REC) Programme of the European Union, along with Center Dardedze from Latvia and Empowering Children Foundation from Poland.