Children’s Day at the Capitol draws attention to No Hit Zones

As part of Children’s Day at the Capitol tomorrow (Wed.) in Pierre, a program addressing how corporal punishment and spanking can negatively affect children’s physical and emotional well-being will be held at noon in the rotunda.

Two child abuse experts– Angela Lisburg, a family nurse practitioner at Avera St. Mary’s Central South Dakota Child Assessment Center, and Dr. Brooke Jones, a pediatrician at Child’s Voice Sanford Children’s Hospital,– will introduce the concept of No Hit Zones. These are areas which provide safe and healthy environments free of corporal punishment, domestic abuse, sibling violence, interpersonal violence and elder abuse. A No Hit Zone is an environment in which no adult will hit a child, no adult will hit another adult, no child will hit an adult and no child will hit another child.

The noon program in the Capitol rotunda is free and open to the public, and lunch will be served immediately following the talk.

The day-long events culminate with a free 4 p.m. screening at Capital University Center of It’s Not Just Jenna: A True Story of Child Sexual Abuse and Survival, a 30-minute film that tells the true story of a family whose lives changed after their 16-year old girl revealed that she had been sexually abused by a trusted family friend.

The American Academy of Pediatrics strengthened its call to ban corporal punishment in 2018, saying the use of spanking as a disciplinary tool increases aggression in young children in the long run, is ineffective in teaching a child responsibility and self-control and may cause harm by affecting normal brain development. The Academy says other methods that teach children right from wrong are safer and more effective.

As part of the No Hit Zone program, the Center for the Prevention of Child Maltreatment teams with South Dakota organizations interested in becoming No Hit Zone Partners. To earn the designation, organizations must get approval from their leadership, develop a policy based on provided samples, educate their employees through presentations and videos and promote the organization’s participation in the program.

To receive the latest information on the state’s work to end child abuse, visit