Law of the Week! What?

Are you verbally abusive to a partner? Well,
don't take it to France. The French National
Assembly just passed a bill that criminalizes
"psychological violence" between partners.

A column in the May/June 2010 Psychotherapy
addresses a recent French bill. It states 
that, if you repeat actions or words that might
"damage the victim's life conditions, affect his
 or her rights and his or her dignity, or damage
 his or her physical or mental health" you're in trouble!

You could get up to three years in jail and a fine
of around $105.000. Also, if you are under court
order to stay away from a partner, you might be
forced to wear an electronic monitoring device. 

This new bill has both conservative and liberal
support and will go to the French Senate this summer.

Some American abuse specialists are calling for a
similar law in the United States. The United Bureau
of Justice Statistics reports that in 2005, three wo-
men were murdered by an intimate partner every

The Centers for Disease Control (CEC) estimated
in 2000, that annually, 4.8 million women were victims
of physical assults and rape by an intimate, compared
to 2.9 million men. We can assume that psychological
abuse played a big role in this kind of violence.

Do you think we need to follow the lead of the
French? Is outlawing couples' psychological aggression
a reasonable course for America? Let me hear from you.