Guest Blog – Group Calls For An End To Corporal Punishment

Group calls for an end to corporal punishment
By Sam Pazzano, QMI Agency, December 27, 2010

TORONTO — Corinne Robertshaw never met pitiful Randal Dooley or Emmily Lucas in their short, tortured lives.Both slain Toronto children shared the pain of extreme violence disguised as corporal punishment.

But it’s the extreme suffering of such helpless children — and thousands of others in Canada who endure less severe treatment — that drove Robertshaw, a retired Vancouver lawyer, to create the Repeal Section 43 Committee.

This group aims to outlaw corporal punishment in Canada and has been lobbying Ottawa since 1994. The practice has been banned in 29 countries in the last few years, starting with Sweden in 1979.

“By justifying hitting our children, our Criminal Code puts the seal of approval on pain and fear as a measure of correction,” Robertshaw said.

She noted the abuse of Randal and Emmily was never reported.

Emmily was unconscious and barely breathing when she was rushed from her mother’s home to hospital Nov. 13, 2003, her little body covered with a shroud of black and blue bruises. She died 10 days later.

Her mom, Erika Mendieta, is awaiting judgement on Jan. 17 on a charge of second-degree murder.

Randal, 7, was found dead on Sept. 25, 1998. His stepmom, Marcia, and father, Edward Dooley, were convicted in 2002 of second-degree murder and are serving life sentences.

“Children are wonderful little people that need love and patience, not hitting as a means of corrections. That sends them the wrong signals in life,” Robertshaw said.