- PLEASE NOTE: THIS CAMPAIGN HAS NOW BEEN HANDED OVER TO THE U.S ALLIANCE TO END THE HITTING OF CHILDRENPRESS RELEASE:
AMAZON CHILDREN'S RIGHT'S PETITION CALLS FOR BOYCOTT
- Over ELEVEN THOUSAND signatures
- Amazon refuse to respond
- Organisers Call for Full Boycott
- Leading Experts, Thinkers and Campaigners Have Signed
I am a mother, therapist and blogger based in the UK. At the end of August 2011 I began a petition campaign to ask Amazon not to stock books which advocate the physical abuse of children. Currently there are several 'parenting manuals' available to buy on Amazon (.com and .co.uk) that advise parents to train and condition their children into obedience using rods, paddles, or other similar implements. The books advise using these methods on small children and even babies under the age of one. Amazon has a policy not to carry 'offensive' material and the petition urges Amazon to acknowledge that this treatment of children is 'offensive'.
The petition now has over ELEVEN THOUSAND SIGNATURES but Amazon still refuse to make any response.
You can view the petition here:
Call for Boycott
Until today, this petition has not suggested that the signatories boycott Amazon. However, we now feel that Amazon should no longer continue to ignore this issue and, until they make a response to the petition, the campaign will be urging signatories to completely boycott the company until further notice.
Quotes from To Train up a Child
Here are some quotations from one of the books concerned, To Train up a Child. They make disturbing reading, but it's important to be clear about the extremity of the book's content:
"If he continues to show defiance by jerking around and defending himself, or by expressing anger, wait a moment, lecture again, and again spank him until it’s obvious he’s totally broken."
"Switch him 8-10 times on his bare legs or bottom. While waiting for the pain to subside, speak calm words of rebuke. If his crying turns to a true, wounded, submissive whimper, you have conquered; he has submitted his will. If his crying is still defiant, protesting, and other than a response to pain, spank him again. If this is the first time he’s come up against someone tougher than he is, it may take awhile…if you stop before he is voluntarily submissive, you have confirmed to him the value and effectiveness of a screaming protest!"
"If you have to sit on him to spank him, then do not hesitate. And hold him there until he has surrendered. Prove that you are bigger, tougher, more patiently enduring, and are unmoved by his wailing. Defeat him totally…A general rule is to continue the disciplinary action until the child has surrendered."
High Profile Support
There are many notable signatories; leading experts, campaigners and commentators on the issues of child development, corporal punishment, religious child maltreatment and violence against children. They include:
- Prof George.W.Holden, Professor of Psychology, SMU, Chair of the Global Summit on Ending Corporal Punishment and Promoting Positive Discipline, 2011, Dallas, TX. Prof Holden's research at the Holden Lab focuses on understanding the determinants and significance of the parent-child relationship in development.
- Robert Fathman Ph.D, Clinical Psychologist, Co-Founder of the Center for Effective Discipline and the National Coalition to Abolish Corporal Punishment in Schools. Co-Chair EPOCH-USA (End Physical Punishment of Children, part of an international federation of organizations seeking to end corporal punishment of children)
- Sue Gerhardt, Psycholanalytic Psychotherapist, author of bestselling book Why Love Matters: How Affection Shapes A Baby's Brain, and The Selfish Society.
- Nadine Block, co-founder of the Center for Effective Discipline, co-chair of EPOCH-USA, author of This Hurts Me More Than It Hurts You
- Peter Newell, Coordinator of the Global Initiative to End All Corporal Punishment of Children, and long term advocate for children's rights in the UK and internationally. In England he chaired the NGO Children’s Rights Alliance from 1992 to 2002 and is Coordinator of the Children are Unbeatable! Alliance, campaigning for abolition of all corporal punishment. Together with his partner, Rachel Hodgkin, he prepared UNICEF’s Implementation Handbook for the Convention on the Rights of the Child. He has worked frequently as a consultant for UNICEF, in particular advising on general measures for implementation of the Convention and on establishment of independent human rights institutions for children. He is also Adviser to the European Network of Ombudspeople for Children.
- Margaret Sims, Professor of Early Childhood, University of New England, NSW, Australia, author of numerous books, book chapters, journal articles, and reports, all with focus on the importance of early childhood. Of particular note to this campaign is Policy Brief no.20 on Physical Punishment.
- Andrew Grogan-Kaylor, Associate Professor, University of Michigan School of Social Work, author of extensive research on corporal punishment, in which he has "consistently found that parental use of corporal punishment is associated with undesirable increases in outcomes like antisocial behavior, and anxiety/depression among children."
- Jordan Riak, Founder and Executive Director of Parents and Teachers Against Violence in Education
- Margarita Cala, M.D., Attending Psychiatrist, NYU School of Medicine
- Frank Schaeffer, author, film director, screenwriter, activist
- Stefan Molyneux of Freedomain Radio
- Janet Heimlich, author of Breaking Their Will: Shedding Light on Religious Child Maltreatment
- Samuel Martin, biblical scholar and author of Thy Rod and Staff They Comfort Me: Christians and the Spanking Controversy
- Wendy Priesnitz, Owner and Editor, Natural Life Magazine, leading environmental and educational advocate, founder of the Canadian Alliance of Home Schoolers, author of numerous books. Wendy commented: Neither I nor my book publishing business does business with amazon.com. That's my way of protesting this and many other issues.
- Kjelene Bertrand, Producer of NTR Radio Network
- Norm Lee, Parenting Without Punishing
- James C. Talbot, author of The Road to Positive Discipline, A Parent's Guide
- Al Crowell, Board member of Parents and Teachers Against Violence in Education for ten years, Co-author of pamphlet The Nonviolent Christian Parent: Raising Children with Love, Limits, and Wisdom
- Michael Goldfield, Child Advocate and Board member of Parents and Teachers Against Violence in Education
- Hermana Linda, Campaigner, whynottrainachild.com
- Reginald Leamon Robinson, Professor of Law, Howard University School of Law, Washington DC, expert in children in the law and child maltreatment, author of three critical essays about child maltreatment,advocate for conscious parenting.
- Deb Sendek, Director, Center for Effective Discipline, Child Abuse Prevention Specialist.
- Dr. Madeleine Y. Gómez, PTAVE Board member, President and founder of PsycHealth, Ltd, co-author This Hurts Me More Than It Hurts You.
- Revd Giles Fraser, former Canon Chancellor of St Paul's Catherdral, writer for The Guardian, regular contributor to BBC Radio 4 Thought for the Day, founder and President, Inclusive Church.
I am a full time mother and based in Somerset, UK. I would therefore appreciate it, if you wish to discuss this further, if you would be so kind as to email me and we can then arrange a mutually convenient time to speak on the phone.
Milli Hill, Organiser of Petition to Amazon