April 30, 2012 is the l4th anniversary of SpankOut Day USA. It was initiated in l998 by End Physical Punishment of Children (EPOCH-USA) to bring widespread attention to need to end corporal punishment of children and to promote effective, non-violent discipline alternatives. EPOCH-USA is changing the way corporal punishment is viewed in the US. Thousands of parents and caregivers have participated in SpankOut Day education events where they learn alternatives to hitting children. In the last l0 years, six hundred agencies, schools and churches have received mini-grants to support SpankOut events. The observance has spread to at least a dozen other countries where it is sometimes called "No Hitting Day".
Why do we need to end corporal punishment?
To reduce child abuse. Physical abuse almost always starts out as "discipline", adults striking children with hands, sticks, whips, electric cords and other objects. A recent Center for Disease Control (CDC) study showed that almost 4,000 babies of just a week of age were reported as physically abused ("Nonfatal Maltreatment of Infants -- United States, October 2005-September 2006"). In another CDC report, almost one-third of adults reported suffering physical abuse in childhood with such experiences linked to negative health outcomes like alcoholism and depression ("The Effects of Childhood Stress on Health Across the Lifespan").
To recognize that children have the same right as all other humans to be free from physical harm. After all, our legal code makes it illegal to hit spouses, employees, neighbors or even our neighbor's dogs. Twenty three nations have banned all corporal punishment of children, even in homes, leading to a significant decline in physical abuse and affording children protection from physical harm. The observance is modeled after the "Great American Smokeout". EPOCH-USA wants to see a reduction in corporal punishment of children like we have seen in smoking over the last 20 years. "Not all smokers die of lung cancer and not all children who are hit for discipline are physically abused: however, both practices are harmful and need to be eliminated," says Nadine Block, SpankOut Day USA Chair. On this l0th anniversary of SpankOut Day, EPOCH-USA is happy to announce that hitting of children is declining in the US. It is banned by almost all states in child care, foster care and in institutions for children. Parental use of corporal punishment is declining and 29 states have banned it in schools. SpankOut Day April 30th is a start to ending corporal punishment of children. EPOCH-USA says "Every day should be ‘SpankOut Day'!"
SpankOut Day Events: http://www.stophitting.com/index.php?page=2011SpankOutDayEvents