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News release

Majority of Namibians approve of parents using physical force to discipline their children

10 Mar 2022 Namibia
News release
Key findings
  • More than half of Namibians (57%) believe that it is either “always justified” (23%) or “sometimes justified” (34%) for parents to discipline their children using physical force. Four in 10 (41%) consider it “never justified” (Figure 1).
  • Almost half (47%) of citizens say physical disciplining of children is “very frequent” (19%) or “somewhat frequent” (28%) in their communities (Figure 2).
  • More than four in 10 Namibians (42%) report that child abuse and neglect occur “very frequently” (15%) or “somewhat frequently” (27%) in their communities (Figure 3).
  • Slim majorities say that help and support are available in their communities for children who are abused or neglected (55%), children with physical disabilities (56%), and children and adults with mental or emotional problems (53%) (Figure 5).

More than half of Namibians believe parents are justified in using physical force to discipline their children, at least on some occasions, a recent Afrobarometer survey indicates. Four in 10 say the practice is never justified.

Views are similarly divided on other aspects of child well-being, with four in 10 citizens reporting that child abuse and neglect are widespread in their communities and half saying school-age children are frequently not attending school.

But a majority of Namibians are confident that people in their communities can secure help for abused, mistreated, or neglected children.

And they say that help and support are also available for children with physical disabilities and for adults and children with mental health problems.