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Violence is the deliberate use of physical force or power, threatened or actual, against oneself, another person, or against a group or community, which either results in or has a high likelihood of resulting in injury, death, psychological harm, mal-development or deprivation. (World Health Organisation 1996). Each year, nearly 1.4 million people worldwide lose their lives to violence. For every person who dies as a result of violence, many more are injured and suffer from a range of physical, sexual, reproductive and mental health problems.

Types of Violence

·         Targeted Violence – This is planned violence carried out on a specific person or group of people. Terrorism, assassinations, shootings, etc.

·         Collective Violence – This type of violence is committed by a group of people

·         Interpersonal/Relationship Violence (Dating and Domestic Violence) – This type of violence is largely between family members and intimate partners. This usually takes place in the home

·         Self-directed Violence – This is a type of violence that is self inflicted.

·         Non-physical Violence – It includes actions that result from a power relationship, which include threats and intimidation, neglect or acts of omission.

Why does Violence happen in a Society

·         Breakdown of law and order

·         Absence of enforcement of law

·         Societal ills (social issue subsidy)

·         Permissive, culture

Causes of Violence

·         Natural Traits:This can be hereditary or picked up.

·         Trigger to a violent act: social factor like alcohol

·         Home influence:Violent home

·         Physical harm (ranging from bruises to death)

·         Stress

·         Emotional trauma (anxiety, fear, sleeping problems, post-traumatic stress disorders)

·         Feelings of powerlessness (sometimes even leading to suicide)

·         Discouragement

Impact on community

·         Violence Increases anxiety, depression and post-traumatic stress disorder (a mental health condition that is prompted by a terrifying event). This can cause reduced life expectancy.

·         Violence at work affects not only the direct victims, but also other individuals who share the same working environment as well as family members and friends of the victim.

·         Loss of work, potential and quality of life

·         Physical injury not requiring medical care

·         Culturally “acceptable” violent acts

How to help

·         Identify and raise consciousness of violence in all its forms

·         Challenge the societal norm that violence is a normal part of life

·         Help people own both the problem and the solutions, shifting the focus of action from the streets to the home and community

·         Influence people to choose specific actions and behaviours that work and are positive, healthy and peaceful

·         Encourage individuals to reduce violence

·         Create a culture of peace, hope and trust by living this way to teach by example