Violence is defined by the
Globally, violence resulted in the deaths of an estimated 1.28 million people in 2013 up from 1.13 million in 1990. Of the deaths in 2013, roughly 842,000 were attributed to self-harm (
In 2013, assault by
Violence in many forms is preventable. There is a strong relationship between levels of violence and modifiable factors such as
Violence can be divided into three broad categories:
Violent acts can be:
This initial categorization differentiates between violence a person inflicts upon himself or herself, violence inflicted by another individual or by a small group of individuals, and violence inflicted by larger groups such as states, organized political groups, militia groups and terrorist organizations. These three broad categories are each divided further to reflect more specific types of violence.
Violence is primarily classified as either instrumental or reactive / hostile.
Self-directed violence is subdivided into suicidal behaviour and
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Collective violence is subdivided into
This typology, while imperfect and far from being universally accepted, does provide a useful framework for understanding the complex patterns of violence taking place around the world, as well as violence in the everyday lives of individuals, families and communities. It also overcomes many of the limitations of other typologies by capturing the nature of violent acts, the relevance of the setting, the relationship between the perpetrator and the victim, and – in the case of collective violence – possible motivations for the violence. However, in both research and practice, the dividing lines between the different types of violence are not always so clear.[
War is a state of prolonged violent large-scale conflict involving two or more groups of people, usually under the auspices of government. It is the most extreme form of collective violence.
War is fought as a means of resolving territorial and other conflicts, as
Violence includes those acts that result from a power relationship, including threats and
Interpersonal violence is divided into two subcategories: Family and
Child maltreatment is the abuse and neglect that occurs to children under 18 years of age. It includes all types of physical and/or emotional ill-treatment,
Child maltreatment is a global problem with serious lifelong consequences, which is, however, complex and difficult to study.
There are no reliable global estimates for the prevalence of child maltreatment. Data for many countries, especially low- and middle-income countries, are lacking. Current estimates vary widely depending on the country and the method of research used. Approximately 20% of women and 5–10% of men report being sexually abused as children, while 25–50% of all children report being physically abused.
Consequences of child maltreatment include impaired lifelong physical and mental health, and social and occupational functioning (e.g. school, job, and relationship difficulties). These can ultimately slow a country's economic and social development. Preventing child maltreatment before it starts is possible and requires a multisectoral approach. Effective prevention programmes support parents and teach positive parenting skills. Ongoing care of children and families can reduce the risk of maltreatment reoccurring and can minimize its consequences.
Following the World Health Organization, youth are defined as people between the ages of 10 and 29 years. Youth violence refers to violence occurring between youths, and includes acts that range from
Worldwide some 250,000 homicides occur among youth 10–29 years of age each year, which is 41% of the total number of homicides globally each year ("Global Burden of Disease", World Health Organization, 2008). For each young person killed, 20-40 more sustain injuries requiring hospital treatment. Youth violence has a serious, often lifelong, impact on a person's psychological and social functioning. Youth violence greatly increases the costs of health, welfare and criminal justice services; reduces productivity; decreases the value of property; and generally undermines the fabric of society.
Prevention programmes shown to be effective or to have promise in reducing youth violence include life skills and social development programmes designed to help children and adolescents manage anger, resolve conflict, and develop the necessary social skills to solve problems; schools-based anti-bullying prevention programmes; and programmes to reduce access to alcohol, illegal drugs and guns. Also, given significant neighbourhood effects on youth violence, interventions involving relocating families to less poor environments have shown promising results. Similarly, urban renewal projects such as
Intimate partner violence refers to behaviour in an intimate relationship that causes physical, sexual or psychological harm, including physical aggression, sexual coercion, psychological abuse and controlling behaviours.
Population-level surveys based on reports from victims provide the most accurate estimates of the prevalence of intimate partner violence and sexual violence in non-conflict settings. A study conducted by WHO in 10 mainly developing countries found that, among women aged 15 to 49 years, between 15% (Japan) and 70% (Ethiopia and Peru) of women reported physical and/or sexual violence by an intimate partner.
Intimate partner and sexual violence have serious short- and long-term physical, mental, sexual and reproductive health problems for victims and for their children, and lead to high social and economic costs. These include both fatal and non-fatal injuries, depression and post-traumatic stress disorder,
Factors associated with the perpetration and experiencing of intimate partner violence are low levels of education, history of violence as a perpetrator, a victim or a witness of parental violence, harmful use of alcohol, attitudes that are accepting of violence as well as marital discord and dissatisfaction. Factors associated only with perpetration of intimate partner violence are having multiple partners, and
A recent theory named "The Criminal Spin" suggests a mutual flywheel effect between partners that is manifested by an escalation in the violence. A violent spin may occur in any other forms of violence, but in Intimate partner violence the added value is the mutual spin, based on the unique situation and characteristics of intimate relationship.
The primary prevention strategy with the best evidence for effectiveness for intimate partner violence is school-based programming for adolescents to prevent violence within dating relationships. Evidence is emerging for the effectiveness of several other primary prevention strategies – those that: combine microfinance with gender equality training; promote communication and relationship skills within communities; reduce access to, and the harmful use of alcohol; and change cultural gender norms.
Sexual violence is any sexual act, attempt to obtain a sexual act, unwanted sexual comments or advances, or acts to traffic, or otherwise directed against a person’s sexuality using coercion, by any person regardless of their relationship to the victim, in any setting. It includes rape, defined as the physically forced or otherwise coerced penetration of the vulva or anus with a penis, other body part or object.
Population-level surveys based on reports from victims estimate that between 0.3–11.5% of women reported experiencing sexual violence. Sexual violence has serious short- and long-term consequences on physical, mental, sexual and reproductive health for victims and for their children as described in the section on intimate partner violence. If perpetrated during childhood, sexual violence can lead to increased smoking, drug and alcohol misuse, and risky sexual behaviors in later life. It is also associated with perpetration of violence and being a victim of violence.
Many of the risk factors for sexual violence are the same as for
Few interventions to prevent sexual violence have been demonstrated to be effective. School-based programmes to prevent child sexual abuse by teaching children to recognize and avoid potentially sexually abusive situations are run in many parts of the world and appear promising, but require further research. To achieve lasting change, it is important to enact legislation and develop policies that protect women; address discrimination against women and promote gender equality; and help to move the culture away from violence.
Elder maltreatment is a single or repeated act, or lack of appropriate action, occurring within any relationship where there is an expectation of trust which causes harm or distress to an older person. This type of violence constitutes a violation of human rights and includes
While there is little information regarding the extent of maltreatment in elderly populations, especially in developing countries, it is estimated that 4–6% of elderly people in high-income countries have experienced some form of maltreatment at home However, older people are often afraid to report cases of maltreatment to family, friends, or to the authorities. Data on the extent of the problem in institutions such as hospitals, nursing homes and other long-term care facilities are scarce. Elder maltreatment can lead to serious physical injuries and long-term psychological consequences. Elder maltreatment is predicted to increase as many countries are experiencing rapidly ageing populations.
Many strategies have been implemented to prevent elder maltreatment and to take action against it and mitigate its consequences including public and professional awareness campaigns, screening (of potential victims and abusers), caregiver support interventions (e.g. stress management, respite care), adult protective services and self-help groups. Their effectiveness has, however, not so far been well-established.
Several rare but painful episodes of