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Should smacking children be made illegal? Our contributors debate

An abuse of power and strength—or a part of family life that the law has no right to intervene in?

By Prospect Team   Winter Special

Children hold a 'stop smacking us' banner during a march to Downing Street in 2000. Photo: PA/Prospect composite

 Yes: Susanna Rustin

The answer is yes. It might seem slippery to start with semantics, but one of the problems with this subject is the terminology, and specifically the idea that smacking is somehow distinct from hitting, thumping or punching.

In previous centuries, when corporal punishment was far more common, smacking or spanking were understood…

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