A Windhoek-based psychologist says it is time for Namibia to ban the physical punishment of children, like many other countries around the world.
Shaun Whittaker says the ban on spanking in schools should be extended to households.
“At the moment, spanking is banned at schools, but it should be extended to the rest of the country in the sense of making it illegal at home and public spaces as well,” he says.
Whittaker’s advice to parents comes after a video of a Windhoek mother assaulting her six-year-old daughter was widely circulated.
The woman was arrested on Sunday and has been charged with assault with the intent to do grievous bodily harm.
The woman, who cannot be named to protect the identity of her daughter, appeared in the Windhoek Magistrate’s Court on Monday.
Her case was postponed to 10 October.
Whittaker says children have rights and no one is in a position to perpetuate violence against them.
He says gender-based violence usually focuses on women, with children often forgotten.
Spanking a child is not the way to discipline children or raise a mature child, he says.
“There’s a huge difference between spanking a child and disciplining a child. Disciplining is always non-violent. You cannot abuse a child in the name of discipline,” he says.
Whittaker says legally, laying hands on another person is considered assault, and this should apply to children too.