Trying to keep children well-behaved and acting in a civil manner is often a difficult process for anyone. However, parents need to be careful that the actions they take cannot be considered domestic violence against their children.
A mother living near Atlanta is now facing charges for felony battery and cruelty to children for allegedly trying to punish her child with a belt. The 42-year-old mother allegedly used a belt buckle to repeatedly strike her 16-year-old child. When he allegedly tried to resist punishment, his escape was blocked by the stepdad. After the alleged incident, it is reported that both mother and stepfather hugged the boy, said they loved him and tried to further comfort him. Other family members, however, saw the injuries and reported the incident to police.
Punishing children has come under much more scrutiny than 40 years ago. However, that still never justifies family violence. After being charged with family violence or domestic violence, it is important to immediately seek out help in order to sort out and defend against the allegations. There are many defenses that can be raised in domestic assault cases, but it is always important for the parent to understand that there can be serious consequences if the charges are not dealt with immediately. A domestic violence conviction can follow the parent around for the rest of his or her life. For this reason, a strong defense is often needed to either explain what really happened, point out an inconsistencies or explain why the child may have made such an accusation.
Doing what is best for a child many times involves punishment. The child will rarely see that being punished will help them in the future, so it is important for a parent to not only make it clear to the child why he or she is being punished, but to do so in a way that is not overly harmful to the child.
Source: My Fox Atlanta, "Athens mother jailed after allegedly beating son with belt," Kaitlyn Pratt, Feb. 7, 2013