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Corporal punishment

The recent spate of violence in St. Vincent and the Grenadines again raises questions about the value of corporal punishment, says Prime Minister Ralph Gonsalves.

Speaking on radio on the weekend, Gonsalves addressed the issue of settling differences.

“Do we go about and fight and hit one another and chop up one another? No! And that’s why I often wonder, those who advocate beating in schools as a socialisation or beating in the home, beating, beating, whether we are not engendering in young persons the idea that the only way to solve a problem is by giving licks,” the prime minister said.

He said corporal punishment “it is a complicated matter”, adding that some are of the view that persons should be whipped as a form of discipline.  

“But we can’t solve things through violence and we are too quick, if we have a gun to pick it up and cutlass and knife. We gah to put down the gun and pick up the pen. The cutlass is to work land, not chop man and woman. The knife is to butcher cattle, not people. We have to get this – every time we get angry and want to do something violent, we have to think two times, three times, count, as they say, to 100, count to 10, to 20. I am imploring, I am begging people to have restraint and don’t commit these wanton acts of violence.”

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Gonsalves was speaking in the context of recent spate of violence that has left one woman dead, another nursing injuries to her face as a result of a cutlass attack, and yet another whose life was threatened as she was beaten in a vehicle in unrelated incidents. 

The prime minister said that he knows that the Church, school, and families, are preaching against violence.

“I know there are times when our families are also involved in this education, socialisation – [telling] the children not to hit one another.  I am wondering whether when the children are beaten and beaten so badly, whether that doesn’t leave a mark.”

Gonsalves said it is one thing to put in place the institutions, such as the laws and training for police, to deal with the consequences of all the violence.

“All of these things are important but it is to try and prevent the violence in the first place.  There has to be a trigger in the individual to say, ‘No, ah can’t do this.’

“So I want to lend my voice, yet again,” the prime minister said.  

14 replies on “PM sees link between beating children, violence”

  1. Ronnick Robinson says:

    Ya dam right it leaves a mark about time people look at themselves and how they raise kids in the carribean kids copy what they see and thats the problem people act ignorant in front of kid’s and think that’s ok and then when the kid’s repeat these actions want to beat them again the trauma and stress this cause on kid’s no one looks at i was particularly raised in my homeland of st vincent and got beat in school which is stupid to me cause teachers take out anger on kids which is abuse period physical and mental violence take place in these school it takes tragedy and death for people to wake up and realize the wrong if their ways it’s sad people are now realizing the error in there ways the kid’s are the future of a nation so when you abuse and mistreat them what do you expect this is a cycle that have been repeated over and over and they wonder why they have uneducated ignorant adults who beat women children and fellow man wake up and change if not you are failed to repeat the pass

  2. Ronald Bailey says:

    Where is the evidence to support that claim? If that was so why is the opposite not proven in America where corporal punishment is not allowed?

  3. I have to applaud the Prime Minister on this one. He gets my admiration when he uses his position to “set the moral compass of our society in the proper direction. It is however up to we the people to give him notice when things are going wrong, even when it pertains to his policies such as the terrible bureaucratic, expensive and time-consuming mess that is our Customs Department. At least it is no longer corrupt and cheating like it used to be several years ago. Our financial and economic infrastructure in general needs help.

  4. How about the slaughter, the assassination of your press secretary comrade. That still needs sorting out, why not bring in experts from abroad.

  5. The love of God is not in them so violence is the only thing they know it have many persons who got licks but they didn’t kill anyone this generation just doesn’t want anyone to speak or discipline them God said this generation will grow cold and wicked they won’t have love in their heart so it will make it easier for them to gravitate to voilence.

  6. Cain killed Abel, the first murder ever. Was it because their parents Adam and Eve used to beat them? Furthermore there is a difference between ‘licks’ and abuse and you all know it.
    The root of murders and other violent acts is the heart of man which is deceitful and wicked. If humans don’t give over their hearts to the control of God then violence will continue.
    Sports and pan against crime will never curb violence either. PM needs to take off his blinders and stop trying to shift the blame from his inept leadership on the issue of violence to parents who choose to discipline their child with ‘licks’ sometimes. When he wants to satisfy the needs of devilish organisations who may give aid which only he and his cronies mostly benefit from, he comes and talk with water in his mouth.

  7. Mr pm you are not GOD leave his laws alone you have no respect for Almighty Jehovah God and his words
    Proverbs 13:24
    He that spareth his rod hateth his son but he that loveth him chasteneth him betimes . this is to correct and a child and to help to keep him on the right path of what is right and wrong. because you love that child you will correct him or her discipline them they will thanks many years later. There is no link the word of God is perfect and true and is the right way when it is followed
    Mr pm you are not GOD and there is no link

    Physical violence abuse especially of women here are learn behavior in the family structure and the community at large but these are Adult choices being made here no excuse. But as for children and bringing them up in the right way the word of God Jehovah say when you love you will discipline it the word of the living God is every Christian final authority not your!!!

    Violent physical abuse of a female is a learn behavior wit

  8. The American Standard Version Bible states at Proverbs 23:13, 14:
    “Withhold not correction from the child; For if thou beat him with the rod, he will not die.
    Thou shalt beat him with the rod, And shalt deliver his soul from Sheol” (the Grave).
    According to the Most High, our Creator, (Psalm 83:18; Revelation 4:11) there is nothing wrong with a child being disciplined in the proper way by corporal punishment. Does any human know better than the one who created us? The one who created us knows and understands human nature far better than anyone of us. I am not saying that corporal punishment is the only way to discipline but it is a form of discipline supported by the Almighty God, when administered in the proper manner, without abusing the one being disciplined.

  9. This quote was taken from and was said to be intimated by the Prime Minister/

    “I know there are times when our families are also involved in this education, socialization – [telling] the children not to hit one another. I am wondering whether when the children are beaten and beaten so badly, whether that doesn’t leave a mark.”

    He has the ultimate power to do something about this before its gets even worse. We need to have laws initiated to protect the rights of children from being victimized, violated, and abused an that teachers and other professionals who interact with children to be trained and required to report knowingly cases of abuse and to lose certification if they failed to so do so to be summarily charged in a court of law for failing to do so. We need to see leadership in these areas rather than maintaining the status quo.

    He needs to follow the dictates of the Individual Rights Act and fully implement the Human Rights Code as indicated and supervised by the United Nation globally where it is set out to defend and protect the rights and equality of all citizens and to ensure that there is security and safety and protection of these rights.

    Personally, I feel that the Prime Minister if he feels that violence breed violence then he should implement and do something proactively to curb the violence against women and girls, corporal punishment in schools, initiate some remedial and proactive programs to curb violence and initiate conflict management courses to be supervised by Family Courts in the event that there are reports of threats against persons be it individual or domestic. These courses should be compulsory as parts of the resolution for reported incidences and a significant part of an initiated and compulsory course for one of the requirements for graduating students with earned credits in high schools and technical colleges.

    Further to be added in that these courses are taught to professionals such as police, nurses and civil servants and anyone who provides customer service to others. We have to hold these people who provide services to the public accountable for their attitudes and behaviors towards and their provision of customer services to the public. We also need to pass a law or initiate laws requiring people who hold professional jobs to be required to report suspected cases of abuse, victimization, and violence against children and charges to be brought against anyone who have proved to cause acts of violence, victimization, and abuse against children.

  10. Kenton, I know that you are biased against the opposition. Everything big belly Gonsalves says makes your front page while you hardly publish comments or articles about the leader of the opposition. While of late I see an increase of new names underwriting BBG. Like I told you before I stand behind every comment I write, And, I have no love for that […]. When big belly declares himself Emperor then you, my boy will finally see his true colors in the daylight. You structurally dismiss typos but you are keen to redact otherwise (under the excuse of getting sued) when that effectively changes the meaning of the narrative. But alright, it’s your blog. I have enough to do rather than wasting my time writing comments. ULP wants people to believe they can fix that’s everything wrong with SVG in a single day, what they failed to do in 19 years and just because your belly full you assume all is well, that doesn’t make it right. Oh, you must be a Humanist too? No matter what big bely Gonsalves says I know it is a lie.

  11. This is a very healthy discussion. I applaud the Hon Prime Minister for his stance and the many contributors. I have always wondered how a country with such nice loving and welcoming people have such high levels of violent crimes and violent acts against women. My analogy if this is that the violent behaviours in SVG are learnt and inherited from our elders. We see violence as a means of settling disputes because that’s the way we have traditionally done business. We beat, we fight, we chop up and we shoot but we never find time to talk. We resort to corporal punishment to discipline our children, and guns, knives and cutlass pens to settle disputes. We beat our wives and girlfriends in the presence our children not knowing that they would never love us again or sex with our mate will never be the same or enjoyable anymore to her. It is actually the end of a once loving relationship.

    There are many alternatives to corporal punishment. You can give the child a stern warning or you can withhold certain privileges or you can have frank discussion and set certain parameters. Beating a child usually manifest into a neglect for authority and acceptance that ‘licks’ is the way that one should be disciplined. When that child is grown and have children of his own he applies that same form if discipline. Not only that, he sees that aggression and violence as a way to settle scores. Therefore, the cycle continues.

    We have to break this cycle. However, it cannot be done primarily by enforcement but rather by enragement. Every problem can be solve through dialogue. It is important to understand however that dialogue sometimes require a mediator. For us to break this cycle we must remove corporal punishment from our schools, find alternative forms of discipline and encourage more dialogue across our society. Finally, we must get our church and community leaders involved as a resource to mediate disputes and rebuke bad behaviours.

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