Children need equal protection from assault

If the Scottish Parliament were to pass a new law that allowed us to hit children, there would be an outcry – but such a law already exists.

Parents charged with assaulting a child can argue in their defence that they were using physical punishment. In law this is known as “justifiable assault”.

Today parents, children, professionals and policy makers know that physical punishment doesn’t work. We also have comprehensive international evidence that physical punishment can harm children’s long-term health and wellbeing.

Yet, our current law gives children less protection from assault than anybody else in society, including animals.

Help change the law

Join Children 1st, other children's charities, police representatives, the Church of Scotland, the Humanist society, children and young people, the medical professions, human rights organisations and others from across Scotland in supporting John Finnie MSP’s Children (Equal Protection from Assault) (Scotland) Bill which will change this outdated law.

Sign our petition

Do you have any comments?

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Contact your MSP

Help change the law by contacting your MSP to tell them you support the Bill. Find out who your MSP is on the Scottish Parliament website.

If the Bill becomes law, Scotland will join more than 50 countries who have prohibited physical punishment and become the first country in the UK to ensure children have the same protection from assault as adults.

Read more about why children need equal protection from assault (PDF).  

If Scotland wants to be the best country in the world for children, we cannot be one of the last to end "justifiable assault".

Find out more

Children need #SPEqualProtection. I support @JohnFinnieHI campaign to reform the law. @Children1st
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