When a belt is used as whip-like instrument for corporal punishment, it is known as belting. Belting used to be very common in both homes and educational institutions around the world, and also in certain other institutions where corporal punishments were meeted out. Today, many countries have enacted bans against corporal punishment, including belting. Such bans are especially common in Europe.
Some (geographically limited) studies indicate that in homes where belting is used to punish children, men are more likely than women to do the belting. Women using corporal punishment to discipline their children are more likely to opt for another method, such as hitting the child with a slipper or wooden spoon.
Traditionally, the dominating form of belting has been the one where the punishers strike the buttocks, thighs and/or back of the punishee. During belting of the buttocks, the punishee is often instructed to bend over the punisher’s lap or over furniture.
Examples of different kinds of belting:
- Belting where the belt is doubled and the punisher is holding both ends of the belt in one hand. This makes the belt behave more like a strap, since it, in essence, becomes shorter and thicker. When a punishee is bent over the punisher’s lap, using a full-length belt would be complicated, and the doubled belt is therefore very common for this type of corporal punishment.
- Belting using a belt that isn´t doubled and the punisher holds on to the buckle-end of the belt. The punisher simply holds on to the buckle or, alternatively, wraps the belt around their fist. This type of belting tends to cause an uneven impact, where a body part struck by the tip of the belt receives the largest impact.
- Belting using a belt that isn´t doubled and where the punisher holds on to the tip of the belt. This makes it possible for the buckle (typically made from metal) to hit the punishee. This type of belting is known to be especially painful and physically damaging.
Belting vs. strapping
In some contexts, the terms belting and strapping are used interchangeably. In others, a distinction is made between belting (with a belt) and strapping (with a strap). While a belt tends to be created primarily to be worn as a garment, straps are often made specifically for use as a striking weapon and therefore often created from thicker and heavier leather, and fitted with a handle.