There is a huge difference between disciplining a child with a spanking and beating them. Alot of people do not, or just refuse to see the difference in the two.
I admit, I spanked my children when they did things that could cause them physical harm, such as running out in the road, putting fingers close to light sockets, etc. I wanted them to associate these particular behaviors with pain. A small swat on the tail end after all is nothing compared to the pain they would receive if hit by a car or electrocuted.
Many people think that spanking is abuse. I say it saves a child's life in certain circumstances and teaches them boundaries that they will carry forth for the rest of their lives.
There are some people that do not know how to control themselves, hence child abuse does happen, and it's a shame. But the parents that are trying to teach their children to be safe and to set boundaries for them should not be criticized or looked down upon for choosing spanking as a viable and valid form of punishment.
mother of 4 children, ages 18 to 9 that have never been in trouble at school, with the police, all honor students, one now serving our country in the U.S. Army, all with impeccible manners and respect for themselves and society.