The phrase "spare the rod and spoil the child," commonly claimed to have come from the King James version of the Bible, implies that if one does not discipline a child, he or she will never learn obedience or good manners. This proverb is still today often used as a justification to violate children, a rationale for being violent without consequence.
The global fatherhood campaign MenCare has just launched a brilliant, world-first global analysis of fatherhood, the State of the World's Fathers report -- a data-driven snapshot of the state of men's contributions to parenting and caregiving globally, with a section dedicated to men's caregiving and violence against children and women.
It examines how the gendered nature of parenting and experiences of violence as children can lead some men to use violence against women and against children in adulthood. The result is that only a minority of children make it to adulthood without experiencing or witnessing some kind of violence in their homes, schools, or communities -- often at the hands of the very adults who are supposed to care for them. And the statistics are stark: The report reveals that between 500 million and 1.5 billion children experience violence every year, and 60 percent of children between the ages of 2 and 4 around the world -- that's nearly 1 billion children -- are subjected to physical punishment by their caregivers.