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Verbal Abuse: Is It A Crime?

SS Member Image By drodriguez 01.19.10
Verbal Abuse:  Is It A Crime?
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Abusive relationships are not uncommon in any culture.  Whether it be physical, emotional, or both, women are many times the victims of domestic abuse.  Bruises and scars may be more obvious when a woman is being physically mistreated at home, but the inner scars women suffer in verbally abusive relationships can be just as detrimental to their health.  Not only are these psychologically abused women suffering in silence, but there is little in the way of legal action that they can do about it.  One country plans to change this.

 

France is set to become the first country to outlaw psychological abuse in relationships.  A recent article from Time magazine reports that France is expected to introduce a bill that will ban "conjugal abuse of a psychological nature."  Supporters of the bill, including President Nicolas Sarkozy, feel that if they can target verbal and mental abusers they can put a stop to any physical abuse before it ever begins. 

Domestic abuse is a definite problem within France.  Government statistics show that 157 women and 7 men died as a result of domestic violence just last year.  Prime Minister Francois Fillon talks about why passing this bill will be essential to minimize domestic abuse when he says, "It’s an important move forward, because the creation of this offense will let us tackle the most insidious situations - the ones that leave no physical scars but which still injure the victims inside." 

Though most agree that repetitive verbal abuse is damaging and cruel to the victim, many wonder how this kind of abuse can be proven in a court of law.  Supporters of the bill argue that just passing the law will give victims of psychological abuse the confidence to put an end to it.  And, though difficult, there are ways to collect evidence in such cases if one were to put their mind to it. 

What do you think of the new bill being introduced in France to outlaw psychological abuse in relationships?

Do you think the U.S. should consider adopting such a bill?

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  • Dnysgrl04 By Dnysgrl04
    04.13.12  

    This is great! I was in an abusive relationship for 4 1/2 yrs. He would get physical but it was mainly verbal. There were many times when I wished that he had hit me. Reason one is because then people would believe me, if they can't see it then they don't believe it. Reason two is because the bruises go away, words last for years. I left in 2003 and I still "hear" him at times. I have a wonderful boyfriend now that is the complete opposite of my ex. I hope this bill is introduced here too. We need it.

  • my4babies By my4babies
    10.20.10  

    But I do believe that when it comes to children, whom do not have the option to leave the person who is abusing them, that all abuse should be punishable by law including verbal.

  • my4babies By my4babies
    10.20.10  

    I was in an abusive relationship for 8 years of my life. From 17-25 I suffered through mostly verbal and mental abuse but he also broke my shoulder on one occasion. It affected my life greatly. I think this is an OK idea but there really is no way to prove it unless they get a tape-recorder and the victim would still have to want to leave and get help. Also in a way this does impose on free speech. How can someone face criminal charges for something they say. I think that this should be left for the civil courts to handle with lawsuits instead if criminal charges. If they start doing this where will it end what will become illegal next. Are right to an opinion. Think about it.

  • gretchenfarricker By gretchenfarricker
    10.14.10  

    Just as SheSpeaks4U said, I too am in an abusive relationship where I am physically, emotionally, mentally, verbally and financially abused on a daily basis. The only time that things are, if you want to call it, OK, are when he gets exactly what he wants and I am not around. Usually alcohol is involved, but that still doesn't excuse his actions. I really wish that there was a law that was passed to not allow for the mental and verbal abuse to be ignored. I believe that if we were to stop this abuse dead in it's tracks, that it would prevent alot of problems from occurring, such as physical abuse and/or even suicide. I know that the scars from being beaten go away alot faster than the emotional scars that are still remaining to this day from 4 years ago. I don't know if they will ever go away.

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  • lizomatic By lizomatic
    02.03.10  

    this bill should definately be adopted by the us.. it is incredible what people can get away with these days.. i also was a victim of domestic violence and the damage that was done to me was more mentally than any other... i honestly belived i was worthless with out him it took a lot of me to finally go to the authorities... now its been five years and i couldnt be happier... i wish this would of been around when my incident happened though. =/

  • ppeck214 By ppeck214
    01.30.10  

    I too have been a victim of both and lucky to be alive and was able to get out of the abuse and I think it would be great to have a law here in the USA.

  • pickles1974 By pickles1974
    01.28.10  

    I also have mixed emotions about this bill, but on the other hand...physical abuse often starts with verbal abuse. If we knock the verbal abuse out then it can only help reduce actual physical abuse! It's all just wrong to hurt someone that you love in any way!

  • laughoutlouder By laughoutlouder
    01.28.10  

    I agree with most of the people on hear, verbal abuse is just as effective as mental and phsyical, it may not hurt on the outside but it hurts very much on the inside. Now for a bill to be passed, thats a little much, words are spoken to let people show emothion or feeling and to curse them thats wrong, but i dont agree in anyway to use verbal ABUSE in anyway shape or form...

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