Survey reveals high incidence of corporal punishment at home

Corporal punishment is illegal in Latvia. Nevertheless, 32% of parents say they use physical punishment at home, according to a survey published by the Centrs Dardedze NGO in October. 

A total 49% say that corporal punishment is an unacceptable form of disciplining children, 47% think it's admissible should the circumstances warrant it.

39% say corporal punishment should not be made illegal. Presumably these respondents are among the 54% who do not know it already is.

A total 89% say it should not be legal to punish kids at kindergartens. 

The survey also reveals an alarmingly high incidence of corporal punishment, with 39% of respondents saying they see children subjected to corporal punishment at least several times a year. Most of them (76%) don't try to interject, either because they do not know how (42%) or they think it's a private problem (34%).

While 32% use corporal punishment, 70% use restrictions or verbal punishment - screaming at their kids or criticizing them (67%). Most often the parents said they use corporal punishment because they lose their temper, are tired or feel helpless.

The survey was carried out in August by Kantar Millward Brown. It spanned 500 Latvian residents in what the Centrs Dardedze called a representative sample of the Latvian population. 

A different statistic, reported by LTV's 4. Studija, that may testify that pervasive violence stretches well into adult life, says that the number of restraining orders issued by the police on suspicion of domestic violence has increased from 91 in 2013, when such legislation was introduced, to 509 in the first nine months of 2017. 

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