Jail For Insults

When your wife asks you if she looks fat, be sure to say no if you’re in France. This story came out last year, but I just found it and thought it was fascinating. There’s a new French law that makes “psychological violence” a crime, punishable for up to three years in prison. Could have used a similar law here for my last relationship…

The bill, which has been unanimously approved by French MPs, 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.”

With the new legislation, couples can call witnesses to testify including using doctor’s records that show depression as a result of the rude comments.

“The judge could (also) take into consideration letters, SMSs or repetitive messages, because one knows that psychological violence is made up of insults,” she added.

However, French judges don’t seem to want to get in on the party and were “deeply sceptical” about the new law. Even though the law was modeled on worker’s sexual harassment judges fear that witnesses in domestic case won’t be objective.

True, one man’s fat ignorant slut is another man’s skinny smart dream girl. There’s really no accounting for taste, so who is going to judge whether someone is being insulted or just told the truth?

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