A third of parents OK with smacking children

About one third of German parents think an 'Ohrfeige', or smack across the head, is an appropriate part of child-rearing, according to an RTL survey released on Sunday.

A third of parents OK with smacking children
Photo: Shutterstock

Corporal punishment against children has been outlawed in Germany for 15 years. Nonetheless, there are about 4,000 reports in the country of child abuse each year.

"There are numerous studies in violence research that clearly show that children who are victims of child abuse grow up to abuse their own children, even violently," explained Charité Violence Protection Professor Michael Tsokos to RTL

A previous survey found that 90 percent of Germans overall said that non-violent child-rearing is the ideal, though 48 percent also said that light physical punishment was acceptable, according to the German Child Protection Agency.

In the same child protection survey, two-thirds of German parents said that feelings of stress and helplessness could lead people to occasionally hit children.

The child protection agency last week called for children's rights to be included in the German Grundgresetz, or the country's constitutional law.

"Only then can we guarantee the best interests of children in society, politics and as an administrative priority," said Child Protection Agency spokesman Carsten Spies to Focus online.

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