More than half of the children in Hong Kong have received corporal punishment from their parents, a children's rights group has revealed.
The four-month survey, conducted by Against Child Abuse, interviewed 1,562 children aged six to 13. It found that 847 of them, or 54 per cent, had experienced corporal punishment from their parents.
Conducted between November and February, the study found 75 per cent of the children received blows from their parents' hands, while objects such as hangers or rulers were also used.
Almost 70 per cent of the children said they were punished occasionally, while 5 per cent were punished daily.
They were punished for unsatisfactory grades, habits such as playing computer games, and being disobedient.
The study also polled 608 parents. More than half of them said they realised corporal punishment made parent-child relationships worse, but the parents were not aware of a more suitable way to guide their children.
Ms Li, a mother of two who came to Hong Kong from the mainland in 2012, used to smack her child at least once a month. She said her eldest daughter did not listen to her and did her homework too slowly.
"I always scolded her and beat her with hangers ... she never held my hands when going out. It was always either she or I at the back," Ms Li said.
Ms Li became less angry with her daughter after visiting a child protection home as part of a scheme in which volunteers shared positive teaching methods.
"I now encourage and praise her more when she has homework problems … she is more willing to hold my hand," Ms Li said.
Hong Kong introduced a law in 1991 banning corporal punishment in schools, but the law does not include homes. Dr Jessica Ho Oi-chu, director of Against Child Abuse, urged the government to introduce a total ban on corporal punishment.