The French Parliament gave ultimate and undisputed approval on Tuesday to a law that makes "psychological violence" a criminal and an illegal offense as part of a law intended to assist victims of physical violence and abuse, particularly at home.

Nadine Morano, the secretary of state for the family, informed the National Assembly that they have introduced a significant measure here, which recognizes psychological violence, as it isn’t just blows, but also words. She said that witnesses could be summoned on to give evidence in such cases and doctors' certificates charting a patient's decline into nervous depression as a consequence of such insults could be used as proof.She added that the judge could also take into consideration letters, SMSs or recurring messages, as one knows that psychological violence is made up of insults.
Nadine Morano

Ms. Morano said the chief abuse help line for French women got 90,000 calls a year, with 84 percent relating to psychological violence.

On the other hand,the law is thought to be too indistinct by some judges and the police, and whether they decide to investigate and take legal action against such offenses will define the success of the new legislation.

The legislation, introduced by Danielle Bousquet, a Socialist, and Guy Geoffroy, a member of the ruling center-right Union for a Popular Movement, rapidly found bipartisan support and support from the government. In November, Prime Minister Fran├žois Fillon called the draft law "a national cause" and stated it would enable the authorities to deal with "the most dangerous situations, which don’t leave a mark to the naked eye but can damage the victim’s inner self."

Those found guilty face up 3 years in jail and a fine of 75,000 euros, or about $90,000. The law is intended to apply to both sexes, but the drafters were mainly concerned about the abuse of women.The two legislators said that a woman dies every 2.2 days in France due domestic violence, which clearly depicts that around 10 percent of women aged 18 to 60 were affected.Ms. Bousquet said that in couples, 90 percent of the sufferers were women.

The law 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.”