France May Make Mental Violence a Crime

I seeing some really admirable steps taken in France to end mental abuse.  Of course removing GID from their version of the DSM really caused me to sit up and take notice.

In the late 1990s the APA issued a statement that the actions and suppositions of certain rogue psychiatrists were taking in promoting reparative therapy were creating a source of problems for gay and lesbian people.  That telling gay and lesbian folks they had a mental illness caused psychiatric problems.

When I saw this my inner anarchist went, “Wow! I’ve got to do something with this!”  So I did.  I rewrote the release to make it about transsexualism and put it out on the web.  Just to a few mailing lists.  I wanted to see how fast it would get around.  I later titled the electronic performance piece “If”.

I learned some thing.  Lots of folks are in a co-dependent relationship with an abuser.  That’s the only way I can describe the emotional response of those who cling to GID as a necessary thing in their lives.

It was never part of mine because I came out years before it was invented.  Sometime people insist I too must have had it but it is sort of like religion.  If you grow up a non-believer chaces are you won’t become one.  To me GID is like an abusive thug that messes with my friends.  I tell them to leave their abuser but they insist they need him (GID).

This is one of those world changing paradigm shifts in deal with abuse.

From the New York Times



PARIS — France’s National Assembly approved Thursday night a proposal to add “psychological violence” to a law intended to help victims of physical violence and abuse, despite doubts that the law is specific enough to have much impact.

The proposed law says that to “act or repeatedly say things that could damage the victim’s life conditions, affect his/her rights and his/her dignity or damage his/her physical or mental health” is punishable by a jail term of up to three years and a fine of up to 75,000 euros, or about $103,000. Carefully covering both genders, the law applies to behavior toward a wife, husband, partner or concubine.

Danielle Bousquet, a Socialist, and Guy Geoffroy, a member of the ruling center-right Union for a Popular Movement, wrote the draft law, supported by 30 other legislators. It received backing last November from the government and Prime Minister François Fillon, who called it “very significant progress.”

The new law, Mr. Fillon said, “will allow people to take into account the most insidious situations, which don’t leave a mark to the naked eye but can mutilate the victim’s inner self.” He called the issue “a great national cause,” and the government has started a series of commercials on television to sensitize viewers to conjugal violence, especially against women.

Ms. Bousquet, 64, said that psychological violence could be gradual. “In the beginning, there are only slight offenses, a husband who is a little too insistent and domineering with his wife, but then the husband’s ascendancy becomes more prominent and each time the victim strikes back, the tone changes and physical violence can set in,” she said in an interview together with Mr. Geoffroy.

“Fear isn’t something you can easily simulate,” she said. “It’s not hard to see whether a woman is terrified or not.”

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3 Responses to “France May Make Mental Violence a Crime”

  1. Willow Arune Says:

    It will be fascinating to see how this plays out in French courts. I remember a couple of teachers and profs who might be in violation of such a statute. An abusing husband or nagging wife, the mother-in-law stereotype, a critical boss at work – where doe this stop? AN y drill sergent at Paris Island better watch out!!!

  2. Willow Arune Says:

    I did a bit of digging. It is only for situations arising in domestic relationships. “Carefully covering both genders, the law applies to behaviour toward a wife, husband, partner or concubine”. Reading as much about this as I find, it is very hard for me to see how this will be proved – or abused.

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