Methodist Church urges Lords to give children equal protection

The Methodist Church supports the amendment to the ChildrenBill, due to be voted on today in the House of Lords. The amendmentwill make it impossible for a parent to defend themselves against acharge of assault by claiming it was 'reasonable chastisement'.

The Methodist Church backs the 'Children are unbeatable!'alliance, which is campaigning to scrap the 1860 legal defence of'reasonable chastisement' in order to give children the sameprotection from assault in the home as adults.

Steve Pearce, Mission Education Secretary (Children), and theMethodist signatory on a recent 'Children are unbeatable!' openletter to Education Secretary Charles Clarke, said: "Overturningthe archaic defence of 'reasonable chastisement' will send out aclear message that violence has no place in caring and lovingparenting. Christians have a particular concern to speak out forweaker groups, and for people who are subjected toviolence. The Methodist Church is committed to playing itspart in promoting and mobilising resources and support which helpsparents develop non-violent ways of discipline."

The Methodist Church's support for the Children are unbeatable!campaign has included developing and promoting publications forparents, lobbying government, and workingwith all the churches involved in the national campaign,including the Roman Catholic, Church of England and United ReformedChurch.