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The Dividing Line Between Discipline And Abuse:

This is a huge issue with the public. When
asked about the dividing line between discipline and abuse, participants had a
great deal to say on the subject. They continually returned to the topic of
parents’ fears about disciplining their children.

Participants emphatically expressed their
belief that reasonable discipline is NOT abuse. There was general agreement
that it is very tough to determine where the line is, though, because different
families and different cultures approach discipline in a variety of ways. Even
so, they virtually all agreed that there is a line past which reasonable
parents do not go and no parents should be permitted to go:

involving severe bleeding, bruising, or broken bones

sexual abuse

If you
leave marks when you spank a child

If a
person isn’t able to control themselves and they’re just going off on the kids;
also, the degree, like if they’re mad at them and they throw the kid down the

instrument used to administer discipline matters; using the hand, never any
kind of object

With respect to reporting abuse and neglect,
participants expressed concern that when they make a report they have no way of
knowing what action has occurred.

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