In brief

7th June 1996 at 01:00
Italy. The padre padrone - the head of family who metes out discipline in the home - has taken a beating from the Supreme Court.

Although corporal punishment has been outlawed in schools for many years, the law has traditionally turned a blind eye to parental beatings of children. Now, thanks to the initiative of a 10-year-old who contacted carabinieri after his father had beaten him with a belt, the court has ruled that parents cannot use violence on children, even for "supposed educational reasons".

A number of incidents of domestic violence involving children, in a country generally known for its love of children and close family ties, has recently been reported in the media. Telefono azzuro, the helpline for children in difficulty, received a record 300,000 calls in 1995; 45 per cent of callers complained about violent fathers.

Log-in as an existing print or digital subscriber

Forgotten your subscriber ID?


To access this content and the full TES archive, subscribe now.

View subscriber offers


Get TES online and delivered to your door – for less than the price of a coffee

Save 33% off the cover price with this great subscription offer. Every copy delivered to your door by first-class post, plus full access to TES online and the TES app for just £1.90 per week.
Subscribers also enjoy a range of fantastic offers and benefits worth over £270:

  • Discounts off TES Institute courses
  • Access over 200,000 articles in the TES online archive
  • Free Tastecard membership worth £79.99
  • Discounts with Zipcar,, Virgin Wines and other partners
Order your low-cost subscription today