What is violence?

Violence is the use of force against another person without permission. It includes limiting the personal autonomy of others by using threats or intimidation, and it can manifest as direct physical force or verbal abuse such as belittlement or subjugation.

All of us are distinct personalities, shaped by the way we were raised and the feedback we have received from our surroundings. As a result, we have formed our own way of reacting to and experiencing the situations we face in life. Two people can face similar problems and react in completely different ways. One shakes the experience off with little trouble, while the other may be traumatized by it.

Different forms of violence affect people in different ways. Some of us would not necessarily even define some items on the list below as violence. Nonetheless, all acts of physical force on another person can be classified as violence. The lines are more blurred when it comes to psychological violence and emotional abuse.

Psychological violence can manifest as

  • Threatening with suicide, violence, divorce, or separation
  • Threats of violence against children, family members, or pets
  • Belittlement, ridicule, intimidation, subjugation
  • Controlling behavior or excessive jealousy
  • False accusations
  • Destruction of property
  • Forcibly preventing social relationships with friends and family
  • Disrupting sleep
  • Giving the silent treatment
  • Inappropriate and distressing sexual advances and comments

Physical violence can manifest as

  • Hitting or striking using hand, fist or hard object
  • Kicking
  • Biting
  • Hair pulling
  • Throwing an object
  • Choking
  • Grabbing or preventing movement
  • Poisoning (overdosing/underdosing medicine etc.)
  • Using hot object or flammable liquid to burn or scald another person
  • Touching the genitals without permission