France gives unanimous approval to outlaw psychological violence.
“…the main abuse helpline for women in France received 90,000 calls a year. Of these, 84% concern psychological violence.”
“We have introduced an important measure here, which recognizes psychological violence, because it isn’t just blows [that hurt] but also words,” Nadine Morano, the minister for family affairs, told the lower house of parliament.
In November, Prime Minister François Fillon called the draft law “a national cause” and said it would allow the authorities to deal with “the most insidious situations, which don’t leave a mark to the naked eye but can mutilate the victim’s inner self.”
Those found guilty face up to three years in jail and a fine of 75,000 euros, or about $90,000. The law is meant to apply to both sexes, but the drafters were particularly concerned about the abuse of women. The two legislators say a woman dies every 2.2 days in France because of domestic violence, which understood broadly affects 10 percent of women ages 18 to 60. Ms. Bousquet said that in couples, 90 percent of the victims were women.
The law defines mental violence as “repeated acts that could be constituted by words,” including insults or repeated text messages that “degrade one’s quality of life and cause a change to one’s mental or physical state.”
The law also authorizes a three-year experiment with electronic ankle bracelets to keep an abuser away from a victim.
Read More in this New York Times article