What is Violence?
Violence can mean many things and so it is important to have a clear understanding of what distinguishes violence from other crimes.
The definition that is often used by institutions working in the area of violence and crime prevention worldwide, is the definition that was developed by the World Health Organisation (WHO) in 2002. The WHO defines violence as:
The intentional use of physical force or power, threatened or actual, against oneself, another person, or against a group or community, that either results in or has a high likelihood of resulting in injury, death, psychological harm, mal-development or deprivation.
Based on this definition, violence must be deliberate, can be physical or based on power, it includes threats and risk of harm, it can be against yourself, and it includes actions that might damage someone’s development or deprive them of something they need. This means that violence is more than just the physical act of hurting someone and is actually quite a complex term.
Read through the list below and indicate whether the statement is describing an act of violence according to the WHO definition.