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Old 03.11.2012, 18:24
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What is Considered Child Abuse in Ticino ?

We were in Lugano today enjoying a family shopping trip when we witnessed a mother repeatedly striking her young daughter about 4 years old in front of her husband with a baby. First she spanked her 4 times, hard enough to leave a mark outside of a tailor's store. I immediately followed them on the street, the daughter was crying uncontrollably and then she slapped her across the face. I shouted at her to stop and they looked at me like I was crazy. All of this was done in front of other pedestrians and shoppers who went about their way as if this was routine.

We were absolutely horrified by this behavior especially out in public. I could only imagine what happens behind closed doors. My Italian was not good enough to actually have a conversation with this beastly woman. If this was in America I know I could call the police immediately. I feel heavy in my heart feeling like I should have called the polizia right then and there.

Is this considered child abuse and what are the laws here ?
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Old 03.11.2012, 18:28
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Re: What is Considered Child Abuse in Ticino ?

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. If this was in America I know I could call the police immediately.
Umm....Half the states in the US still authorize the use of a wooden paddle by school staff as a form of punishment...

There is nothing wrong with calling the polizia cantonale at 0848 25 55 55 if you think there is abuse going on.
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Old 03.11.2012, 18:29
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Re: What is Considered Child Abuse in Ticino ?

I'm sorry you experienced this and I can imagine it was upsetting to watch.

I too don't know the laws here so I am sorry I can't help on that front. I do think you can be proud of yourself for saying something though. Words get lost in translation sometimes, but that mom and that little girl could probably both understand from your body language that the mom's actions were not okay. Maybe it will give her pause to reflect...

You could get in touch with the local police to find out what the limits are here, and how to respond next time. I sincerely hope there isn't a next time.
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Old 03.11.2012, 18:32
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Re: What is Considered Child Abuse in Ticino ?

Never mind what the laws are. A bully hitting a defenceless person is horrific.

Your question reminds me of the ancient past in the last century when a wife being brutalised by her husband was considered a "domestic" affair, and the police would do nothing. Wives could be beaten, without anyone helping them.

Perhaps, when abuse is witnessed, just calling the Police, if the action is not against the "law", might wake up those who make the laws, to change those laws?
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Old 03.11.2012, 18:38
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Re: What is Considered Child Abuse in Ticino ?

Or risk life and limb by slapping the bully across the face. No, not really the answer but one I succumbed to in a shop in Lancashire. I think my eyes glittered such disgust the woman forgot to hit me back.
Who knows what she did to the child later though.
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Old 03.11.2012, 18:39
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Re: What is Considered Child Abuse in Ticino ?

Thank-you Kristanez for your compassionate reply. My hope is the mother will realize it is not acceptable to strike a small defenseless child.

I regret not calling the polizia now regardless of my inability to communicate well. I can only say prayers for the parents and children now, to stop and reflect on their actions as you so wisely said.
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Old 03.11.2012, 18:44
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Re: What is Considered Child Abuse in Ticino ?

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Is this considered child abuse and what are the laws here ?
Don't know the laws, but I would seriously doubt that what you've described would be considered as child abuse, and certainly not something the police would get worked up about.

Tom
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Old 03.11.2012, 18:52
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Re: What is Considered Child Abuse in Ticino ?

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If this was in America I know I could call the police immediately.
Really? Well, I guess you could _call_ them anywhere, but would you really expect them to do anything? I'm not sure that even in the US what you're describing would be illegal per se.

Anyway, the whole subject was done to death here recently, in case you missed it, so I do hope we don't have to go through the whole ad nauseum arguments all over again.
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Old 03.11.2012, 18:59
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Re: What is Considered Child Abuse in Ticino ?

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Umm....Half the states in the US still authorize the use of a wooden paddle by school staff as a form of punishment...

There is nothing wrong with calling the polizia cantonale at 0848 25 55 55 if you think there is abuse going on.
Corporal punishment usually involves only the spanking. Striking a 4yo in the face, however, is a totally different ballgame and, at least in many EU countries, would be classified as assault.
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Old 03.11.2012, 19:03
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Re: What is Considered Child Abuse in Ticino ?

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Really? Well, I guess you could _call_ them anywhere, but would you really expect them to do anything? I'm not sure that even in the US what you're describing would be illegal per se.

Anyway, the whole subject was done to death here recently, in case you missed it, so I do hope we don't have to go through the whole ad nauseum arguments all over again.
Oh, hell, are you kidding me? Slapping a 4yo in the face?! Depends on the state, but here in MA you'd likely be in jail by now and having your family investigated by the child welfare authorities.

Besides, who cares about legality...who the hell slaps a 4yo across the face? I have a real sassy 5yo so I know that there are times you can be tempted but...who slaps a 4yo? It's almost as bizarre as watching a woman in Switzerland bottlefeed her baby with a lit cigarette in the same hand holding the bottle.
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Old 03.11.2012, 19:07
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Re: What is Considered Child Abuse in Ticino ?

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It's almost as bizarre as watching a woman in Switzerland bottlefeed her baby with a lit cigarette in the same hand holding the bottle.
Bizarre?

Isn't that pretty much the norm?

Tom
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Old 03.11.2012, 19:43
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Re: What is Considered Child Abuse in Ticino ?

Here is the official Swiss stance on physical violence against children.
http://kinderschutz.ch/cmsn/de/categ...gewalt-kindern

However, think very carefully before decide to take action in a situation that you know very little about.

Teachers are legally obliged to report physical violence that they witness, against children.

As an outsider, a gentle, understanding word, in the parents ear usually has a greater positive result in the life of the child, than you also getting verbally violent toward the parent.
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Old 03.11.2012, 21:16
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Re: What is Considered Child Abuse in Ticino ?

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Striking a 4yo in the face, however, is a totally different ballgame and, at least in many EU countries, would be classified as assault.
Same here in Canada, anything but an open hand swat on the bum is a criminal offence.
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Old 03.11.2012, 21:26
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Re: What is Considered Child Abuse in Ticino ?

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Here is the official Swiss stance on physical violence against children.
http://kinderschutz.ch/cmsn/de/categ...gewalt-kindern

However, think very carefully before decide to take action in a situation that you know very little about.

Teachers are legally obliged to report physical violence that they witness, against children.

As an outsider, a gentle, understanding word, in the parents ear usually has a greater positive result in the life of the child, than you also getting verbally violent toward the parent.
Thanks for looking up Switzerland's official view.

I agree that getting verbally violent with someone is not helpful, but I don't believe that an understanding word is the right response to abuse in the moment. Can you imagine how that action would be perceived through a child's eyes? What that child is learning about their value and personal boundaries? I think there are more than two options, though it is exceedingly difficult to recognize all of them in an escalating moment like our OP has described.
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Old 03.11.2012, 21:37
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Re: What is Considered Child Abuse in Ticino ?

I also wanted to add that what is or isn't considered abuse can get pretty murky sometimes. Unfortunately, having worked quite closely with child protection services for my work (and with parents), I've had to make numerous phonecalls to report abuse. Typically these services are completely inundated and need to assess for highest risk first.

They will factor into consideration things like
-when the child was struck, where, and how often
-the severity of the abuse
-the child's age and who they live with
-if any marks were left
-if the child has ever needed to go the hospital
-if the child feels afraid of their guardian

It can also be good to know that every phonecall (at least in Canada) becomes a part of a record, and sometimes it's a matter of enough people phoning over "maybe" situations, that leads to a family being investigated and hopefully being given the supports and / or restraints needed. In Canada, all adults have the responsibility to report, and reports can be made anonymously. I'm not sure how it is here though.
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Old 03.11.2012, 22:47
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Re: What is Considered Child Abuse in Ticino ?

My heart bleeds when I see a toddler crying and the parents ignoring their desperate little screwed up faces, walking ahead of the child ignoring it.

I get the feeling that the little person has a problem, and is heartbroken about being ignored. Getting slapped in the face, in public, must be an horendous experience!

Yes, there are far more serious "abuse" cases, but those are carried on behind closed doors, and we read about them in the news. But my feeling is that those sorts of parents are those who will openly slap their child in public - so maybe some interference could possibly save that little kid from further abuse - never mind what the "law" says about it?

A small child, a defenceless being, being attacked by an adult? Unable to fight back, to reason, to articulate themseves. I would go to the defence of an animal being treated like this.

That old saying "Bad things happen when good people do nothing" or something like that.
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Old 04.11.2012, 04:22
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Re: What is Considered Child Abuse in Ticino ?

Call the equivalent of Child Protective Services. They are much more likely to intervene than the police.
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Old 04.11.2012, 11:23
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Re: What is Considered Child Abuse in Ticino ?

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My heart bleeds when I see a toddler crying and the parents ignoring their desperate little screwed up faces, walking ahead of the child ignoring it.

I get the feeling that the little person has a problem, and is heartbroken about being ignored.
Unfortunately, sometimes when your toddler has a meltdown the best thing to do is ignore it. It breaks my heart too but I have had to do the same with my three year old when she goes into meltdown over the fact that the sky isn't pink or some other random thing I can't change. Reasoning with them when they get like that is nigh on impossible and if distraction techniques don't work, you just have to let them get it out of their system.
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Old 04.11.2012, 11:35
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Re: What is Considered Child Abuse in Ticino ?

Its always safe to have a little sweet conversation with the attacking parent before calling the Police. If still the Parent in not in a stage to listen. then just pick the phone and ring the number.


Patience level is not common in humans, some burst early and some maintain. all it needs a little counselling. Just calling the police may not change the parent behavior.

But I am glad you at-least attempted to show her place.

Here we are referring a slap as Abuse. what about those poor kids who are being sold by their own parents to the human traffickers.

God Save us all. Let be Peace
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Old 04.11.2012, 11:48
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Re: What is Considered Child Abuse in Ticino ?

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What is Considered Child Abuse in Ticino ?
Let me look up my Ticino slap rule book. Oh! yes 8 non stop backhand slaps are ok but anything more would be considered abuse.
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