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We have all heard the old saying, “spare the rod, spoil the child.” In fact, the saying is so old that it comes from a verse in the Bible’s book of Proverbs. While child discipline has undoubtedly evolved over the years, there is also no doubt that many parents believe that it is their duty to guide their children and teach them proper behavior with the use of physical reprimands.

We read recently of a West Memphis mother who has been charged with second-degree battery after she slapped her one-year-old son. The alleged child abuse was caught on camera and then aired on a local TV station.

The 21-year-old mom and her son can be seen briefly in the short video clip that “sparked outrage online,” Memphis station WREG-TV reported.

A woman who was shown the video – and who lives in the same West Memphis apartment complex where the incident allegedly occurred – said she had heard about the video but had not seen it until a reporter showed it to her. After viewing it, she said she had “a different reaction to it” and that she will pray for the child and mom.

The West Memphis assistant police chief said “battery is the appropriate charge,” rather than charging the woman with domestic violence or child abuse.

We obviously cannot know at this point how a court might one day address the allegations against the mom, but we do know that in many cases domestic assault charges are simply not warranted. Emotions can run high when it comes to appropriate and inappropriate parental guidance and discipline.

If you have been unfairly accused of domestic violence or child abuse, contact a Memphis attorney experienced in criminal defense so that your rights and freedoms are protected.