Child justice and the little daily drops of physical violence: a case of troubled waters

Maria del Mar Cabezas Hernandez


This article addresses the debate on fuzzy cases concerning the so called ‘mild’ and sporadic instances of physical violence against children by caregivers. The end of violence toward children is a current goal in the international scenario. However, myths on the use of violence and the scope of parental rights still survive. Thus, I examine the main theoretical, ethical and political challenges regarding conceptual clear-cut boundaries and the burden of proof when justifying violence. Finally, I defend the role of a preventive approach on children’s wellbeing and family intervention as a fruitful way to surpass polarized debates on permissibility and criminalization.

Palabras clave

parenting; violence; maltreatment; justice; childhood

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