Date set for ‘no smacking’ law to begin in Wales

Bridgend County Borough Council is reminding parents, guardians and carers that physical punishment for children is set to become illegal in Wales.

The law change will come into effect on 21 March 2022 and will see all types of physical punishment for children – such as smacking, hitting, slapping or shaking – made illegal.

In line with any other criminal offence, someone who physically punishes a child from that date on risks being arrested, charged with assault and gaining a criminal record.

To help raise awareness of the change in law, Welsh Government is launching a new ‘Ending Physical Punishment’ publicity campaign.

Cllr Nicole Burnett, Cabinet Member for Social Services and Early Help, said: “A home needs to be a place of safety and security, and this change in law will help to make it so. It will prove to be a historic moment for children and their rights in Wales, and will play a vital role in protecting them and giving them the best start in life.

“Research shows that not only can physically punishing a child lead to increased aggression, anti-social activity, physical injury and mental health issues, it does not improve a child’s attention, cognitive ability, social competence or overall standards of behaviour.

“It causes far more damage than good, and we want to make it absolutely clear that as well as no longer being acceptable in Wales, positive alternatives are available that have been proven to be far better for our children and their well-being.”

More information about the ban on physical punishment can be found on the Welsh Government website. Bridgend County Borough Council also offers a wide range of support and advice to parents and families which can be found on the local authority’s website.

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