“Exceptional circumstances often result in exceptional responses. When a child is seriously assaulted, as in this case, that child’s parent is naturally highly protective and it is completely understandable as to how this mother reacted,” says Bob McCoskrie, National Director of Family First NZ. “When the offender also shows no remorse and almost contempt, this would have exacerbated the problem.”
“If anything, and based on the media reports of what the mother did, the mother deserves credit for showing restraint. Her daughter ended up black and blue and emotionally scarred, but the offender only got a well-deserved slap.”
“The offender will probably end up with a family group conference, but the mother now has the potential of a criminal conviction for the rest of her life. Restorative justice would be appropriate in these exceptional circumstances.”
“This is not a license for parents to go around attacking children – but it is recognition of the natural and instinctive protective role of parents when their children are threatened or harmed.”
“If my child came home, having beaten another child black and blue, and then being smart towards the mother of that child, and ended up with a slapped face, I would be saying ‘you got what you deserved’. I would then be marching them down to apologise to the victim and the mother. I would not be expecting or requiring the police to prosecute the mother,” says Mr McCoskrie.