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October 19, 2004
"Spanking hurts more than you think" campaign launched
Toronto Public Health has launched a "Spanking hurts more than you think"
public awareness campaign to mark October as Ontario Child Abuse and Neglect
Prevention Month. The campaign features a series of messages using everyday
images to illustrate the negative impacts of hitting children.

"Spanking is hitting and a form of physical punishment. And hitting is never a
positive tool for discipline," said Dr. David McKeown, Toronto's Medical
Officer of Health. "Spanking can hurt children physically and emotionally and
can cause long-term harm to parent-child relationships."

A 2004 report, the Joint Statement on Physical Punishment of Children and
Youth, cites studies in Canada showing significant numbers of parents using
physical punishment. An Ontario study, the 1998 Incidence Study of Reported
Child Abuse and Neglect, reported that more than two thirds of child physical
abuse cases involved punishment that escalated in severity.

A recent United States research review on the effects of physical punishment
indicates that children who have been physically punished are at increased risk
for injuries, anxiety, depression, impaired relationships with their parents,
adult adjustment difficulties and tolerance of violence in adulthood.

The "Spanking hurts more than you think" campaign is a collaboration of Toronto
Public Health and community partners: Catholic Children's Aid Society of
Toronto, Children's Aid Society of Toronto, Children's Mental Health Ontario,
Jewish Family and Child Service of Greater Toronto, Toronto Child Abuse Centre,
and YMCA of the Greater Toronto Area. The campaign is funded by the Early Child
Development Family Abuse Prevention project of the Ontario Ministry of Children
and Youth Services.

Media contacts:
Frank Giorno, Media Relations, Toronto Public Health, 416-338-7974
Fernando Saldanha, Manager, Public Relations, Catholic Children's Aid Society
of Toronto, 416-395-1506



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