Different Types of Violence
As we saw in the “is this violence?” activity, there are many different kinds of violence. On the basis of its definition of violence, the WHO developed an elaborate “typology of violence” that characterises different types of violence and the links between them. It divides violence into three broad types, according to perpetrators and victims of violent acts, namely:
Self-directed violence refers to violent acts a person inflicts upon himself or herself. This type of violence can be subdivided into:
- Self-abuse. This includes acts such as self-mutilation; and
- Suicidal behaviour. This includes suicidal thoughts, attempted suicides and complete suicides.
Interpersonal violence refers to violence between individuals. This type of violence can be subdivided into:
- Family and intimate partner violence. This type of violence takes place between people who are related or know each other well and can include child abuse, violence between romantic partners and abuse of elderly
- Community violence. This type of violence takes place between people who might not know each other or people who are unrelated and can include sexual assault, assault, abuse or even murder, in locations like a school, workplace, prison or public space.
Collective violence can be defined as the instrumental use of violence by people who identify themselves as members of a group – whether this group is temporary or has a more permanent identity – against another group or set of individuals, to achieve political, economic or social objectives.