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Victimizing the helpless: Assaulting children as a corrective measure

Fattah, Ezzat A
June 4, 2015

Source: (2000) In Victim policies and criminal justice on the road to restorative justice: Essays in honour of Tony Peters, ed. E. Fattah and S. Parmentier, 15-33. With an introduction by E. Fattah and S. Parmentier. Leuven, Belgium: Leuven University Press.

In this essay, Ezzat Fattah characterizes corporal punishment of children as an act of violence – an abuse of rights and dignity – against those who are socially and physically unequal in relation to parents and other adults. Indeed, Fattah locates corporal punishment on a continuum extending to unequivocal child abuse. The effects of such punishment, short term and long term, are both physical and psychological. While opposition to corporal punishment has increased in many European countries, various factors have thwarted efforts to ban its use completely. Fattah examines those factors, rationalizations to support the practice of corporal punishment, negative results of corporal punishment, research results on the effects, and psychological dimensions of victims and victimizers.


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