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‘It’s actually assault’: The smacking incident that landed a mother in court

3AW Mornings

A Perth mother faced court yesterday for hitting her nine-year-old daughter with a wooden spoon.

The mother was given a suspended fine for delivering a bruising blow to her daughter in October last year.

The woman said she hit the girl on the buttock after she ate mince meat from the fridge which was intended for the dog and contained a worming tablet.

Anne Hollonds, Director of the Australian Institute of Family Studies, said the incident was serious.

“It’s actually assault, that’s the truth of it,” she told 3AW’s Tony Jones.

Ms Hollonds said physical punishment damages the parent-child relationship.

“Hitting a child who is smaller than you and unable to defend themselves creates fear, and you’re also modelling violence as a way of dealing with situations,” she said.

“It damages your relationship with the child and it just gets you into a negative spiral.

“We’ve got to find other ways.”

Ms Hollonds said the support for parents who are struggling to cope is vital.

“I think this family needs help,” she said.

“Parenting is a really hard job and we really all need a support team.”

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3AW Mornings