For a long time, different families have had different tolerance for physical “discipline” of children. Some say, spare the rod and spoil the child.
Others argue that it should be no more acceptable to hit a child than it would be to hit another adult. Indeed, even less so.
Yesterday, Julia Kajer, 28, admitted she had been upset at her 12-year-old sister for not walking her baby sister to Avarua Primary School. So she caught up with the girl on her motorcycle, took her to school, then got off the bike and started pulling the her hair. As her rage mounted, she punched her little sister in the head, then slapped her several times around the face.
The community will no longer hear excuses for hurting children: This assault was witnessed by a teacher and a housemaid, who described it to police.
And the court will no longer hear excuses. Kajer was sentenced to 12 months’ probation, and anger counselling.
Kajer has herself been a victim of a vicious assault, her lawyer says. But the court and the community have ruled: that’s no excuse for continuing the cycle of violence. - Jonathan Milne