Delaware Child Abuse Bill Worries Parents - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Delaware Child Abuse Bill Worries Parents


DOVER, Del.- The Delaware Attorney General's Office says nearly one-third of child abuse cases are unable to be prosecuted because of current laws. Senate Bill 234 is meant to change that and help kids who are being hurt.

The bill redefines physical injury to a child, to mean any impairment of physical condition or pain. Senate Bill 234 has parents worried whether or not they can spank their children.

Mark Salerno is a stay-at-home father of three and he is against spanking.

"I don't believe in spanking your children," he said. "There's other ways to discipline them. I don't think physical pain should be endured on a child."

Salerno claims young children cannot understand the act of spanking, so to them it is not a learning lesson but just pain.

But for Lupe Torsky, a little bit of pain helps her granddaughter behave when they are in the car together.

"I told her, 'You either stop or else I'll whip your butt,' and that's what I call it," she said. "A spanking is, 'I'll whip your butt.' So she didn't stop, she continued and I warned her. I pulled over to the side, I unbuckled her and spanked her."

Some parents want spanking written into Senate Bill 234 as exemption.

But Patricia Dailey-Lewis with the Attorney General's Office said the bill was never meant to target parents who responsibly discipline their children.

"If we said it's OK to spank your child, and then we have a child who ends up dead from spanking, well, gee, we didn't meant that, we didn't mean kill. We didn't mean break their arm. It's such a vague area.

"I can't say that no one's ever going to be prosecuted," Dailey-Lewis continued, "Because like I told you, we have children who have been spanked and have died from it."



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