Corporal Punishment, defined at the deliberate infliction of pain as retribution for an offence, is legal in Barbados when inflicted upon children, by a parent or teacher. However, when this same action is inflicted upon an adult, our legal system defines it as assault. We promote Barbados to the rest of the world as a truly developed and caring nation, but within the walls of our homes, and classrooms, we allow parents and teachers to beat our children. I say beat because they are not being spanked. They are being whipped with belts, struck with bamboo sticks, punched, kicked, slapped, and bruised. These acts of violence are actually defined under international standards as torture, but yet they are socially acceptable forms of discipline to be used on our innocent, defenceless children. Caring Barbadians need to stand up and stop this violence. Demand that the laws be changed, so that a father who has had a bad day at work can't come home and take his anger out on his helpless son. Or the teacher who humiliates a child by beating him with a bamboo stick in front of his school mates because he wet his pants!
I also know many will say "Well I was beaten and I turned out OK". Sorry folks, but that just reiterates the reason why we should not allow this to continue. If you are beating your child because you were beaten, try and remember what you felt like when it was happening to you. Remember the feelings of absolute hatred you had toward your "beater" whether it was your mother, your father, or your teacher. Remember the feelings of humiliation, fear, and disgust. I challenge anyone to tell me they felt loved when they were being whipped! Our laws say a man can't beat his wife, so why is it OK for a man to beat his child? I have created this petition to highlight this issue, and to hear people's views on this issue. If you agree with me, sign it, and send it to everyone you know. It is time to STOP THIS MADNESS!