This is from Vårt Land today (automatic translation):
In the United States it is often associated with a faith conviction and the old idea that there is a duty of care to chastise children, says Per Isdal, psychologist Foundation Alternative to Violence.
The Swedish department of Save the Children has made the list of countries that have bans on corporal punishment of children. The majority of countries that have bans are European (including Eastern Europe) and Latin American.
Wednesday Vårt Land wrote about a child care in Norway that has received international attention. A Norwegian-Romanian couple is deprived of five children and has been charged with domestic violence.
The case has engaged especially in Christian circles since the couple are Pentecostals. Several pastors who support the couple believes that discipline is part of a Christian upbringing. Therefore they look at the case as a violation of religious freedom, since Norwegian authorities have taken from the couplet heir kids because they are brought up in accordance with the Christian faith.
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DISCIPLINE IS VERY COMMON IN THE US
– It’s really an exaggeration to call this for religious persecution. It shows that there are constraints within certain groups that have a biblical interpretation and a rationale that obliges them to punish children physically. It is problematic when we know what it does to kids, says Isdal.
Many of the supporters are Romanians living in the USA. Isdal says that educator violence is very common here. According to a study done by Professor Murray Straus of the University of New Hampshire, 94 per cent of all parents use corporal punishment in the upbringing of their children. Already when children are 24 months old, 85 percent of them experience violence from their parents.
CHILD PROTECTION MUST MEAN MORE THAN THE BIBLE
In Norway, the numbers are far lower. Here it is estimated that 25 per cent of Norwegian parents at some time has punished the children physically. Only 3.5 percent have a pattern of violence over time.
– The figures do not point to specific communities and groups, but when we know that in certain environments people have a religious belief in corporal punishment, we must assume that there is more here, he says.
Isdal does not know how it is in Islamic environments.
– But I have noted that there are few Islamic countries that have bans on corporal punishment of children, he said.
Isdal firmly believe that the only thing that can help preventing this kind of disciplination is knowledge.
– Unfortunately allowing corporal punishment damages children. It is incontrovertible. We must get people to understand that protecting children from harm must be higher than the word of God, he says.
– The research is unambiguous: nurturer violence is harmful
Pia Camilla Aursand, psychologist specialist at Enerhaugen Family Office in Oslo also responds to the fact that religious persecution card is pulled in this case.
– Religious texts recommend nurturer violence were recorded in a time before we knew how harmful it is. It can not be used as a good knowledge of the effects of violence against children.
In family counseling she has therapy with parents that strikes children.
– We could spend a lot of time on religious interpretations in therapy, but it is not so relevant. Violence is prohibited and there is a reason for that: Children who are exposed to violence get a wide range of problems later in life that we do not find the same extent in those who are not turned. This shows research conducted on children from different nations, cultures and religions, she said.
CAN LEARN THAT BEATING IS PROHIBITED
It is important to provide the opportunity for people to learn. Aursand recalls that it is not so long ago it was common to discipline with violence in Norway
– There are still ethnic Norwegian parents that strikes and many others stopped beating when they received information about why it was wrong to use violence, she says.
Aursand think minority parents also will know that corporal punishment is wrong if they receive information and guidance to change parenting behavior.
– I think they will think one more time. Perhaps they even know that this does not feel right, but have grown up in a society where it is common to hit children.