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Physical punishment – ‘A thin line between reasonable chastisement and assault’

The 21 March 2022 was a historic day in Wales. As of this date, physically punishing children became illegal.

From this date onwards, it will be illegal to:

  • Smack
  • Hit
  • Slap
  • Shake your child
  • Physically punish them in other ways

The aim of the new law is to protect children and advance their rights. It is also hoped that the law will be clearer and easier to understand for children, parents, professionals and the general public.

The new law only applies in Wales, but it will also apply to all those who visit Wales.

Parents or those responsible for children in the absence of their parents must comply or face the consequences namely, an arrest, a possible assault charge and a criminal record.

Find out about the new laws on ending physical punishment of children in Wales.

Contact the Public Defender Service to instruct our criminal defence lawyers specialising in complex cases including child cruelty and serious violence.