Wales introduces new ban on physical punishment

Date: 7th April 2022
Category: Equal protection from violence

two children stood with a pair of hands wrapped around them

The legislation that has come into force removes the defence of “reasonable punishment” and makes all forms of physical punishment against children, such as smacking, hitting, slapping and shaking illegal. The law will apply to everybody in Wales, including visitors.

Children now have the same protection from assault as adults. If anyone witnesses any physical punishment against children, they are asked to contact social services or the police. The person found to be physically punishing a child, risks being arrested or charged with assault and may get a criminal record. The move follows similar legislation in Scotland, which entered into force on the 7th November 2020.