There is no legislation concerning corporal punishment by parents in Victoria, however, there is a common law defence for parental use of corporal punishment.
Victorian common law allows parents to administer corporal punishment to children in their charge provided the punishment is neither unreasonable nor excessive.
In ACT, QLD, WA, SA and TAS, “reasonable” corporal punishment is legally permitted. In NSW, physical punishment by a parent is permitted provided it does not harm a child more than briefly and specifies the parts of a child’s body that can be subject to force. There are strict guidelines on what is acceptable physical punishment. In the Northern Territory, it is lawful for parents and teachers (unless parents expressly withhold their consent) to apply force to a child for the purposes of discipline and correction.
Corporal punishment and physical abuse are both affiliated with similar, negative child outcomes. The Families Support Program and the National Framework for Protection of Australia’s Children 2009–2020 is designed to support families to develop positive parenting and improving the safety and well being of Australia’s children. The question is, how effective the program and framework have been in protecting our children.
If you find yourself in this situation, we recommend that you obtain legal advice from our family lawyer Caroline Granger, who is available for appointments from our Bendigo (03 5434 6666) or Castlemaine (03 5472 1588) office.
Please follow the link below to read the full article from the ABC.