> >Well you better get that level of stress just right: the recent Society for
> >Neuroscience meeting suggests that childhood abuse (emotional not physical)
> >may lead to permenant brain damage:
> I have long suspected this to be true. It led me to wonder . . . If we can
> confirm this and it becomes accepted as fact, will verbal and emotional
> abuse be punishable by the same laws which deal with physical abuse?
I certainly hope so. This would be a great service to both the victims and society as a whole, as childhood abuse often leads to anti-social and criminal behaviour later in life. Camera monitoring of suspected child abusers (either secretly to gather evidence, or openly as a preventive measure) combined with parenting tests (having children should be no right but a privilege) seem like the best solutions to nip the problem in the butt. Though option two is unlikely to be used (hear the bleeding heart libs squeal!), option one (the cams) should be quite feasible. Hidden cameras have also helped to expose abusive babysitters, for example. Cameras and sound recordings are in fact the closest thing we have to a "truth machine".
> I used to work in a domestic violence shelter and it seemed odd to me
> that someone could be arrested and jailed for beating someone but
> there was no penalty whatsoever for verbal/emotional abuse. Would
> you have to have a way to verify that neural damage had been inflicted?
I think we already have all the evidence we need to determine that childhood emotional abuse is something that should be punished by the law. Besides, suffering is suffering, be it emotional or physical. Allowing one and punishing the other would make no sense.