Doctors in England and Northern Ireland are urging ministers to ban parents from smacking their children. Real Research, an online survey app, revealed that 65.07% of the respondents were aware of this ban on smacking children.


  • 68.1% express the belief that parents should discipline their children within legal boundaries.
  • 67.33% believe the ban on smacking children by parents in England and Northern Ireland will positively impact child welfare.
  • Smacking children increases the likelihood of poor mental health, academic struggles, and physical abuse, according to 66.23%.

Ban on Smacking Children by Parents In England and Northern Ireland

66.23% of the respondents agree that smacking children makes them much more likely to suffer poor mental health, do badly at school, and be physically abused.

Figure 1: Whether respondents believe smacking children aids to certain social issues

Additionally, Professor Andrew Rowland, a consultant pediatrician, stated he observed children being hit by parents “sometimes once a week” at his Manchester clinics. 49.32% of the respondents are extremely concerned about this, while 46.03% are somewhat concerned.

Laws to Prevent Parents From Smacking Children

An education spokesperson said: “Any form of violence towards a child is completely unacceptable and we have laws to prevent it. It is the responsibility of a parent to discipline their children appropriately within the boundaries of the law”. 68.1% of the respondents agree with this statement.

Figure 2: Whether respondents agree with the spokesperson regarding child protection laws

Furthermore, Rachel de Souza, the children’s commissioner for England, avoided taking a firm stance during her confirmation hearing. However, in April 2022, she advocated for ministers to consider a ban on smacking children.  A survey on parents in England and Northern Ireland being banned from smacking children revealed that 65.1% of respondents agreed with her.

Respondents Thoughts About the Ban on Smacking Children

67.33% of the respondents believe the ban on smacking children by parents in England and Northern Ireland will positively impact child welfare.

Figure 3: Whether the ban on smacking children will positively impact child welfare

Bess Hebert, an advocacy specialist at End Corporal Punishment, hopes England and Northern Ireland will follow suit with other countries in safeguarding children’s rights by banning smacking. 51.55% of respondents think this is somewhat important for both countries, and 37.52% think it is extremely important.


Survey TitleSurvey on Parents in England and Northern Ireland Being Banned from Smacking
DurationApril 20 – April 27, 2023
Number of Participants6,000
DemographicsMales and females, aged 21 to 99
Participating Countries Afghanistan, Algeria, Angola, Argentina, Armenia, Australia, Azerbaijan, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Belarus, Benin, Bolivia, Brazil, Brunei, Bulgaria, Burkina Faso, Cambodia, Cameroon, Canada, Chile, China, China (Hong Kong) China (Macao), China (Taiwan), Colombia, Costa Rica, Croatia, Czech Republic, Ecuador, Egypt, El Salvador, Ethiopia, Finland, France, Gambia, Georgia, Germany, Ghana, Greece, Greanada, Guatemala, Honduras, Hungary, India, Indonesia, Iraq, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Ivory Coast, Japan, Jordan, Kenya, Kuwait, Kyrgyzstan, Latvia, Lebanon, Libya, Lithuania, Malaysia, Maldives, Maluritania, Mexico, Moldova, Mongolia, Morocco, Mozambique, Myanmar [Burma], Namibia, Nepal, Nicaragua, Nigeria, Oman, Pakistan, Palestine, Panama, Peru, Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Qatar, Romania, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Serbia, Sierra Leone, Singapore, Slovakia, South Africa, South Korea, Spain, Sri Lanka, Tanzania, Thailand, Togo, Tunisia, Turkey, Turkmenistan, Uganda, Ukraine, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, United States, Uruguay, Uzbekistan, Venezuela, Vietnam, Yemen, Zimbabwe.