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Violence against children is - and also creates - a sad legacy of abuse

By Arthur Chesterfield-Evans - posted Monday, 7 July 2003

My friend has a child, John, aged 4. He goes to a day-care centre, which has had a problem with a child that hits other children. Quite hard, and reasonably consistently. The day-care centre was wondering how it could control or change this behaviour, or whether it would have to ask him to leave. I was naturally worried for my friend's child. My first step was to consult him.

Does X hit you? I asked.

"No", said John.


"Does he hit other children?"


"Why doesn't he hit you?"

"'Cos I'm stronger than him," was the practical reply.

"Phew, at least it wasn't a personal problem", I thought, somewhat callously.

"Who does he hit then?" I asked.


"Mainly William."

"Why William?"

"I don't know- he just does."

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About the Author

Hon. Dr Arthur Chesterfield-Eans is an Australian Democrats member of the NSW Legislative Council. He was NSW President of the Doctors Reform Society from 1996 - 1998.

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