Spanking and Domestic Violence

A recent California court case declared that spanking a child with a wooden spoon as a corrective method is not domestic violence or abuse and cannot be prosecuted as such. The ruling came based on a case involving a mother who has an unruly 12-yerar-old daughter. The mother claims that no other method of correction was working with the daughter, so she decided to attempt spanking her with a wooden kitchen utensil.

Mother Accused of Abuse Due to Bruises from Spanking

The case began when the mother was accused of abuse because the spankings caused bruising on her daughter's back end. The 6th District Court of Appeal in San Jose reversed a child abuse determination that was made by the Santa Clara County Department of Social Services.

Social workers wanted to report Veronica Gonzalez to the Department of Justice's child abuse database, but the appeals court said that the lower courts had failed to note the entire circumstances of the situation. The appeals court did agree that spanking came close to abuse, but said that the woman should not be published for his or her crime.

The mother involved in the case and her husband testified that they had tried to ground the child and take her phone away, but neither of these tactics had resulted in motivating the child to do her schoolwork or avoid getting caught up in a local gang. The parents say that other family members can confirm that fact that spankings were rare in the household. The appeals court says that mother's intention was to correct her daughter, not to inflict harm on her. The court also ruled that the spanking does not exceed the bounds of reasonable discipline as long as the spankings are not malicious in nature.

Want more information about domestic violence and parental discipline? Contact a Los Angeles divorce lawyer to learn more.