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The Line Between Discipline and Domestic Violence

August 10, 2015 – David W. Foley – Domestic Violence

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It can be hard for some parents to know just how they should discipline their child. What a parent may think is fine could actually, according to some, be domestic violence. This was clearly on display in the case involving NFL running back Adrian Peterson, who said he’d just been disciplining his child like his parents did with him, though a court determined he had gone too far.

Some people feel that spanking a child–just using a hand–is fine, but that using something else takes it into the realm of domestic violence. Peterson had used a tree branch, which he turned into a switch by stripping off the leaves.

Others feel that any physical discipline is too much. It’s hard to draw a line, so they simply say that striking a child in any manner has to be illegal.

What makes the debate so interesting is that people argue it from both sides. Even within the NFL–though this issue does not just focus on NFL players–other running backs have said they spank their children. Still others have said that they were spanked, and that it was wrong, even if their parents were just trying to do the best that they could.

This is clearly a complex subject, and everyone is not united with one idea of what discipline really is or when it should be looked at as abuse. Have you been accused of domestic violence even though you don’t think it was warranted? Be sure you know all of the legal options that you have as your case moves forward in El Paso County, Colorado.

Source: CBS Sports, “Adrian Peterson starts national dialogue on discipline and child abuse,” Gregg Doyel, accessed Aug. 10, 2015

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