Nice post, Hos. This is one area that I've had lots of experience, as I investigated reports of abuse and neglect for more than twenty years. I know that the thing I wanted to assess first with a report was the intent of the parent along with the circumstnces of the incident being reported. I've encountered reports where a parent has taken action to deal with a child's safety and has given them a swat to correct that behaviour. Those families generally rarely use any form of corporal punishment. I've dealt with other, more disconcerting situations. I had one report where a 9 year old boy was found by his phys-ed teacher to have welt-shaped bruises starting around his shoulder blades and going down to the backs of his knees. His mother was interviewed and she indicated that he had not completed his chores to her satisfaction. She made the decision to hit him with an electrical cord until she lost her breath. She made no apologies for her actions, citing her religious beliefs as justification. Neither my colleagues nor I viewed that as justification for her behaviour and removed the child. It was no fun for anybody, but I would have to characterize that as abuse. I've dealt with a variety of incidents over the years and had to allay a lot of anxious parent's fears. I don't believe that children are the property of their parents and that they can do as they [please, but I do believe that the family is the primary bedrock of our society and I have worked to preserve it wherever possible, keeping in mind the safety, security, and development of the children involved. Do I think corporal punishment is effective? Not generally. I think there are more effective means of changing children's behaviour. Would I elect prosecute someone for using it? It would depend on the severity of the means used and any ongoing pattern of behaviour. Taking a child away from his/her family could be just as or more traumatic than the incident itself. It's rarely a clear cut, black or white decision, and I'd rather work with a parent than over them.