Monday, January 11, 2010

In France, Shouting at Your Wife Could Make You a Criminal

Married couples in France could end up with criminal records for insulting each other during arguments.

People who love each other shouldn't shout, hurl epithets or threaten each other with violence. But some people--in fact, most people--do one or more of these things at some point in their relationships. In France, that could be called "psychological violence."

It would cover men who shout at their wives and women who hurl abuse at their husbands - although it was not clear last night if nagging would be viewed as breaking the law.

The law is expected to cover every kind of insult including repeated rude remarks about a partner's appearance, false allegations of infidelity and threats of physical violence.

To me, this creates a whole new can of worms for police officers to deal with in domestic violence situations. What if nagging is considered psychological violence? How many times asking your spouse to take out the garbage does it take to become psychological violence? If your spouse notes that your trousers are too tight, your belly too big, your breasts droopy, does that amount to psychological violence? Could saying truthful things like, "You've gotten a lot more gray hair in the last year or so" be considered psychological violence if the "victim" is sensitive about graying hair?

Moreover, this sort of idiotic law makes a mockery of real domestic violence, which is nothing to laugh at. It's hard to classify punching someone in the face with calling the same person a bitch. It's insulting to those who actually suffer domestic violence.