France to Ban 'Shouting at Your Spouse'

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Shouting at your spouse may soon land you in jail in France.

The London Daily Mail reports the country will be the first in the world to ban "psychological violence" within marriage.

The new law applies to all cohabitating couples and covers everything from making rude comments about a partner's appearance to women who hurl abuse at their husbands. It's not clear if nagging would be viewed as breaking the law.

Critics say accusations would be hard to prove and even harder to prosecute with such incidents often being cases of 'he said, she said.'

"Squabbling couples will allege all kinds of things about each other, but they won't necessarily be true," Anne Giraud, a psychologist, told the London Telegraph.

"The police are likely to be called out more and more when this law comes into force this year, but often it will be a case of one person's word against the other," she predicted.

"Psychological violence is a very serious matter," Giraud said. "But punishing it through the courts is a very different matter altogether."

*Originally published January 7, 2010.

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