Vietnam considers punishing psychological abuse with fines

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Vietnam's Ministry of Public Security has proposed imposing various fines of up to VND2 million (US$94) for domestic psychological abuse.

The top penalty range, VND1.5-2 million, has been suggested for those who force family members to go without food or adequate clothing; or who abandon elderly, sick or disabled family members, as well as those who abandon pregnant women or mothers of young children. 

Intentionally scaring family members with images, items or creatures for the purpose of injuring their mental health will be subject to the same penalties, as will those who force family members to watch or listen to pornography or horror films; and those who publicize family members' personal secrets without their consent.

The draft resolution suggested those who verbally abuse family members be fined VND1-1.5 million.

Penalties of between VND500,000-1 million are recommended for those who force their spouses to leave their home at night during inclement weather; and those force their spouses to have sex, use sexual stimulants or perform sexually arousing acts against their will.

Acts of forced isolation, including forbidding family members from leaving the house, going to work or using the public media would receive fines from VND100,000-300,000 per offence.

The draft does not mention punishments for physical abuses.

Current laws require those engaged in ongoing physical attacks on a family member to end the action, provide necessary treatment to the victims and compensation if requested. But many victims do not report such attacks.

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