France bans "psychological violence within the couple"

Discussion in 'Politics, Religion, Social Issues' started by mkrishnan, Nov 25, 2009.

  1. mkrishnan Moderator emeritus

    mkrishnan

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    #1
    http://www.google.com/hostednews/afp/article/ALeqM5hkSilcVOF0O76KGFDUfBb7M248vA

    I haven't seen this picked up elsewhere, and the details are scant, but...

    I would be interested to see exactly how they plan on operationalizing psychological violence. Also if they're really honest about it -- this article speaks exclusively about violence directed at women by men, but a lot of the research indicates that psychological violence (as I would guess, as a psychologist, that it might be defined) is a tactic widely used by women as well as men.
     
  2. Eraserhead macrumors G4

    Eraserhead

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    #2
    The tagging thing sounds like a good idea, the other is going to be damn hard to prove.
     
  3. mkrishnan thread starter Moderator emeritus

    mkrishnan

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    #3
    Yeah, it's a chronic problem with respect to physical (or sexual) domestic violence that the court system doesn't do a good job in protecting the individual after the first instance is documented. Here in the US as well, restraining orders are largely a joke.

    As you say, creating objective, reliable criteria for "psychological" domestic violence is a daunting task, and it also runs into the jurisprudence issue that psychological or emotional abuse at a level which causes "clinically significant" symptoms in the victim (to make a clinical analogy, the level of psychological trauma that to me as a treating psychologist would be an analogue to physical violence that is significant enough that the injury is of concern to a physician and in both cases warrants treatment).

    It's easy to reliably diagnose that level of trauma in a clinical setting -- this is done routinely. However, in a clinical setting, it matters that one's arm or one's psychological functioning is broken -- not how it came to be that way. It's the latter that's the thorny part.
     
  4. Dont Hurt Me macrumors 603

    Dont Hurt Me

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  5. CorvusCamenarum macrumors 65816

    CorvusCamenarum

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    #5
    Therein lies part of the problem. There's two basic ways of talking about domestic violence. One is the PC-centric model of "woman=good, man=bad"; the other is more realistic in that both perpetrators from both genders fall pretty much in equal rates. One of these is not in favor.

    The other difficulty here is how to properly define "psychological violence". It seems overly broad in my opinion and can be construed to mean just about anything. Then again I live in a country where family law is so skewed against men in general that it would be laughable were it not so tragic. Did you know that telling your wife that she's spending too much of the family money can be considered DV?

    I highly recommend a visit to Glenn Sacks' website/blog (you can google it and not to be confused with Glenn Beck). He discusses this topic, among others, on a regular basis with excellent articles.
     
  6. mkrishnan thread starter Moderator emeritus

    mkrishnan

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    #6
    I don't know that I'm quite ready to join the male-centric movement with you, but I do agree conceptually that law and legal enforcement for domestic violence issues, psychological or otherwise, should be sex-blind. The fact that the majority of crimes (according to our definitions -- as I said, I wonder what France's definition will be) are committed by men against women is no excuse to fail to protect men (or women) who are victims of domestic abuse at the hands of women. It's reasonable, as a man who does not commit acts of violence, to infer that I am at greater risk for being the victim of violence than the perpetrator, even if statistically these violent acts are committed by men, and it's also reasonable for me to therefore expect to be protected by the law.
     
  7. awmazz macrumors 65816

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    #7
    I'm not sure what you're discussing. This is a law to enforce breaching of restraining orders, isn't it? By elevating it to the crime of psycho-violence and sending them to prison for that rather than waiting and charging them for the crime of actual physical harm once it's too late.

    And they do breach their restraining orders. They can't help themselves. 222 charges against 58 men since June is averaging 4 breaches for each man in approx 5 months. Almost once a month doing the old "I just want to talk to you" routine, and that's *after* a restraining order *and* even with an electronic tag so they know they're bring watched. Still doesn't stop them. Maybe this law will.
     
  8. CorvusCamenarum macrumors 65816

    CorvusCamenarum

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    #8
    I don't have ready access to all crime stats, but if we're limiting ourselves to the discussion of DV, then the majority of perpetrators are *not* male as you might think. It's close enough to a 50/50 split that the difference is negligible. As I referenced above, I'm sure Sacks has multiple articles on his website that discuss the numbers.

    What you also don't realize is that as a man, the law most most probably not protect you. Primary aggressor laws (regardless of who is actually at fault), must-arrest laws in many states, and the ridiculously easy task of getting a restraining order stack the deck against men in general. The laws may be written in gender neutral language, but dollars to donuts, they are not enforced as such. I don't know how easy it is to get a restraining order in France; I do know how easy it is here - no evidence required. I live in a fairly conservative state and I've seen firsthand what it's like. It ain't pretty.

    I'm no expert on French law, but it would stand to reason that there are already laws on the books there about breaching restraining orders. Why not just enforce the laws already in place, instead of having to create new ones? Doesn't make sense.
     
  9. awmazz macrumors 65816

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    #9
    I'm not familiar with how court orders work myself, or how well they're enforced. I just assume a criminal law is different in that a court order is just an injunction to keep one or both parties from interfering with each other until matters are settled (like Apple getting an injunction against Psystar to stop selling clones). It's why they are 'temporary' restraining orders.

    So the way I'm seeing it is that the victim has to ask the police to enforce the order if they see it being breached and the cops come and tell the guy to leave or the judge will be annoyed. If it's a crime, they arrest him on the spot and he goes to prison for (psychological) assault just as if he physically beat her up.
     

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