Letter of support from Adrienne ("Alex") Ahlgren Haeuser, January 24, 1999 Letter of support from Adrienne ("Alex") Ahlgren Haeuser, January 24, 1999
Nathan Miley, Chair Public Safety Committee
Oakland, CA

Chairman Miley:

You and your committee have a unique opportunity to make a major contribution to welfare of children and families not only in Oakland but also as a pacesetter for the welfare of children and families in other communities. Research indicates that even moderate frequency and intensity of spanking is clearly related to juvenile and adult crime and to physical child abuse.

I did extensive research on the outcomes of Sweden's law prohibiting all corporal punishment in 1981, 1987, and briefly in 1995. You may know that in 1979 Sweden was the first country to pass a no-spanking law. Over 85% of parents and 100% of child welfare professionals now think the law is good and that it has broken the transmission from one generation to the next of spanking as a disciplinary method. Teachers told me children were easier to discipline because after the law was passed parents were more aware of alternative methods of discipline rather than hitting.

As you know eight other European countries now have such a law. If these countries can pass such a law, it is reasonable to believe that the city fathers in Oakland can adopt a resolution. Both the laws and resolutions set standards for behavior without punishments for those who fail to comply. Oakland has traditionally been a leader in positive social change. Here is an opportunity to maintain that asset.

Adrienne A. Haeuser

Adrienne ("Alex") Ahlgren Haeuser
Professor Emerita
School of Social Welfare
University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee

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