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Understanding Violence Definition

Thanks to local and international news media, most people in the U.S. now understand the term violence and are familiar with its many forms. This article explains the violence definition and will help you become better equipped to deal with violence in your community and bring an end to it.

 Violence Definition

To begin with, it is necessary to have a clear-cut definition of what violence is. Webster’s Dictionary defines violence as “intentional behavior involving physical force directed to hurt, damage or kill someone or something.” Violent behavior is described as brutal, savage, and cruel.

The term violence is used by law enforcement to describe the unlawful exercise of physical force or using intimidation to get someone to do something. An extreme example of violent crime was coined in the 1980’s as “going postal.” This expression described shootings that occurred at different post offices when a postal worker who was slighted or reprimanded intentionally returned to the site and shot several workers. Each crime was committed with the direct intention to hurt and kill. Going postal describes the strategy of violence, so the pattern can be observed in other violent crimes in your city or town. Violence also includes the intention to hurt or kill in physical confrontations such as fighting.

Intimate Partner Violence Definition

Intimate partner violence occurs between adults who are living in the same house, and it is often referred to as the legal definition of domestic violence. Women are the main victims of these crimes with more than four million rapes and physical assaults reported every year, but domestic violence also involves over three million men. Because of the close relationship of the abuser and victim, it is difficult to assume the intentions.

The Department of Justice defines intimate partner violence as “a pattern of abusive behavior by one partner to gain control or maintain power over the other intimate partner.” Domestic violence uses physical, emotional, sexual, economic, and psychological actions to influence the other person. Here are significant facts in intimate partner violence:

– Women are more likely to be killed by an intimate partner than men.

– Women aged between 20 and 24 are at a greater risk of becoming victims of domestic violence.

– Every year, 1 in 3 women is murdered by her current or former partner.

– Children who witness this violence have more health and psychological problems.

– Every year, more than 3 million children witness domestic violence in their homes.

– Domestic violence is most likely to occur between 6 pm and 6 am of the following day.

The most important information related to domestic violence is that most incidents are never reported, and if this type of violence occurs, only the ones involved and their relatives and friends will know. Domestic violence does not know boundaries such as race, religion, or socio-economic status. Be aware in your neighborhoods and at the workplace of people who may be facing domestic violence, and if needed, be the soft shoulder they need and report serious situations. You may save someone’s life.

Sexual Violence Definition

Sexual violence is the oldest form of violence and occurs frequently throughout the world. Most countries do not investigate the problem on a regular basis. Sexual violence is similar to domestic violence; they both happen in private. That’s why it’s difficult to determine for sure that any of them is taking place unless the victim decides to come forward.

Sexual violence is defined in Webster’s Dictionary “as any sexual act or attempt to obtain a sexual act through violence or coercion. This includes unwanted sexual comments or advances, acts to traffic a person or acts directed against someone regardless of the relationship to the victim.” Sexual violence and sexual assaults occur frequently and leave a victim quite traumatized.

Sexual violence creates an increased risk of reproductive health problems, suicides, HIV infections, and murder. Sexual assault also results in honor killing, female genital mutilation, female infanticide, femicide, forced abortion, forced pregnancy, foot binding, forced prostitution, human trafficking, rape, or the murder of pregnant women.

Date rape, as well as gender based violence, is also considered a type of sexual violence. This type of violence can be found on college campuses and media sites. Sexual assaults and violence against prostitutes occur in every city worldwide; sexual violence is not restricted to any race, ethnicity, or economic background. The common denominator is that the large majority of victims, more than 95 percent, are female.

Abusers use controlling behaviors such as coercion, intimidation, and physical and emotional strategies to manipulate the victim. At the beginning of a relationship, these behaviors can be very subtle. If even the slightest hint of these behaviors can be seen, it is best to end the relationship immediately.

Gang Violence Definition

Today, over 33,000 violent street gangs, including motorcycle gangs, fill the streets of America with every type of violence imaginable. The Department of Justice estimates that there are approximately 1.4 million gang members in the U.S. and the number is growing.

Webster’s Dictionary defines a gang as “an organization of two or more individuals who form an alliance for a common purpose. The gang claims a territory in the community and participates either individually or collectively in drug trafficking, violence and other criminal activity.”

Many gangs are sophisticated and well organized, and they openly use violence to control neighborhoods and support their combined activities. Besides violence, gangs participate in other crimes including robbery, fraud, extortion, drug and gun trafficking, and prostitution. The 2011 National Gang Threat Assessment reported that gangs are responsible for 48-90 percent of violent crime. The NGTA reports that there are increasing efforts to dismantle gangs.

The High Cost and Consequences of Violence

– In New York City, domestic violence contributes to 25 percent of the homeless population.

– Victims of domestic violence suffer from emotional distress such as depression, anxiety, flashbacks, and sleep disturbances.

– Intimate partner violence contributes to poor health in survivors such as heart disease and gastrointestinal disorders.

– Domestic violence is the third leading cause of homelessness among families according to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.

– Both girls and boys are negatively affected when they view domestic violence; it promotes the cycle of abuse.

– Domestic violence causes the loss of more than $37 billion a year including law enforcement, legal work, medical and mental health treatment, and lost productivity at work.

Violence, by definition, needs to be addressed continually in the United States, and if it is identified and brought to the attention of the authorities, it can be managed.


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