Types of violence and aggression

Violence and aggression are one of those epidemics that does not respect limits or borders. Unfortunately, there are many types of them and they can be found in all parts of the world. From the way someone asks or demands something, to the most bloody wars that claim hundreds of lives. Even if you do not participate directly in the latter, you are a witness, which affects you on many levels. Sometimes it seems that we are genetically engineered to be aggressive. However, violence (a form of aggressiveness) is cultural. We learn it and reproduce it and, in turn, teach and validate it. But just as you can learn it, you can unlearn it and stop the cycle.

Violence and Aggression

DefinitionAggression and violence are terms that are often used interchangeably; however, the two differ. Violence can be defined as the use of physical force with the intent to harm another person or destroy property, while aggression is generally defined as feelings or behaviors of anger or violence. A person who is aggressive does not necessarily act violently.
  • Sexual or gender violence
  • Cultural violence
  • Religious violence
  • Cyber ​​bullying
  • Economic violence
  • Political and institutional violence
  • Information violence

Types of violence and aggression

To stop the cycle, one of the most important steps is to identify the different ways in which violence manifests itself. Next, we will talk about the most common types of violence and aggression .

1. Sexual or gender-based violence

Despite the fact that we are in the 21st century, violence against women is still a problem. Not only that, but in some cases it has increased. This type of aggression is motivated by gender . That means that men or other women inflict violence on a woman because she does not do what they want or demand of her.

Men are also victims of sexual and emotional violence . Women or other men can perpetuate this violence. Sometimes men experience rejection or prejudice just because they are men. Unfortunately, reports of sexual abuse of children by women have increased.

2. Cultural violence

Most of marketing promotes a way of life that many people end up copying. Experts consider that instituting this type of hegemony is a type of violence . That’s because it fuels intolerance and contempt for lifestyles or worldviews that don’t fit the dominant stereotype.

Likewise, there are many societies in the world that condone and legitimize violence against certain segments of the population. Those segments can be groups or minorities. The persecution of LGBTQIA ethnic groups or communities fits into this category.

3. Religious violence

There are many religious groups and sects in the world today fighting for power and followers. Some of these, surely, are genuine expressions of faith. However, it is also true that the true interest of the leaders of many of these groups is economic. It is they who dictate and administer the commandments of faith, and they do not hesitate to manipulate the hopes of their followers .

This type of sect uses the fear and confusion of its followers to obtain money. They can do it directly or indirectly (through work or the will to recruit more followers). They tend to carry dark messages about the end of the world and the destruction of the human race. With these messages and the fear they cause, they break the will of believers to get what they want.

4. Cyberbullying

With the advent of social media, we added another type of bullying to our list of types of violence. In one way or another, our new technology makes bullying easier by giving cowards anonymity . Similarly, the laws of different countries on cyberbullying are not yet particularly clear, so many of these violent behaviors go unpunished.

In addition, everyone has the ability to save and share images, and many people take advantage of it. That leads to new forms of violence. One of them is that anyone can record a video of you and upload it to social networks. They may use your image as a joke or give the impression that some isolated incident defines you as a person. By the time you find out, thousands of people may have already seen the images and come to their own biased conclusions.

5. Economic violence

This type of violence has two faces. One of them is direct and the other indirect. Direct economic violence overtly affects your property or assets. This includes theft, scams, fraud, and anything that illegally or unfairly affects your finances.

Indirect economic violence is related to the internal mechanisms of the economic system that affect its interests. It occurs when, for example, wages fall in the labor market. That means you face unfair competition because other people could charge less and find work more easily. Another example of indirect economic violence is when the authorities enact supposedly equal measures, but in reality they only benefit certain parties.

6. Political and institutional violence

Political violence includes anything that a political party can do that goes against its interests. When a political party uses you as a tool, it is also a case of political violence. For example, when you are a collaborator and victim of a corrupt political class.

Institutional violence has to do with mistreatment or abuse by an institution. For example, if you receive poor service that causes you some harm. Another example of this type of violence is when medical institutions ignore or minimize your pain.

7. Information violence

The programming of so many media outlets includes a great deal of violent news . It would seem that the creepier the information, the greater the impact it has and the more viewers it attracts. Sometimes when you open a newspaper or watch the daily news on television, you get a lot of information that distorts your idea of ​​reality.

The worst thing is that the media offer this type of news because there is demand. In a way, the media are used to the impact of this type of news. For this reason, the media are always on the lookout for news that has a greater impact than the latest news. Pain, death, torture and all kinds of horrible things have become a spectacle.

These types of violence are just a few of the ways we experience violence. The full list is much longer. However, we have addressed the main types of violence that affect us all due to their scale and significance.

Effects of aggression and violence on mental health

Violence is found in many areas of life: in the workplace, at home, in sports activities, and in public areas in general. It is usually not anticipated by the people it affects, and as a result, victims of violence can experience serious mental health problems , such as post-traumatic stress, depression, and anxiety. A person in an abusive relationship, for example, may fear greater repercussions and feel unable to leave the relationship, potentially exposing themselves to further harm.

Sometimes perpetrators of violence have mental health problems such as a narcissistic, antisocial, or borderline personality. While these mental health conditions are not necessarily indicative of violent behavior, a failure in coping skills can often contribute to aggressive or violent behavior , and the antisocial personality is characterized, in part, by cruelty to animals. which can include violence. Passive aggression, or subtly aggressive behavior, is characterized not by violence, but by obscured criticism of someone else’s actions. A person who exhibits passive aggression may be argumentative or extremely critical of authority, complain of being underestimated or misunderstood, or passively resist assigned tasks by procrastinating or “forgetting.”

Treatment of aggressive or violent behavior in therapy

Many different types of therapy can be helpful in treating aggressive or violent behavior, depending on the reasons for the behavior, as well as the personality and life experiences of the person being treated. In domestic violence situations , however, couples counseling may not always be the best course of action, as the process can further endanger the victim of abuse, and some therapists will not work with an abuser who seems uninterested. wanting or not being able to change.

The cognitive-behavioral therapy focuses on teaching those who demonstrate aggressive behavior and violent better understand and control their aggression, explore various coping mechanisms to better channel the thoughts and feelings associated with violent behavior and learn to properly assess the consequences of aggression or violence.

In psychodynamic therapy approaches , people who use violence to hide deeper emotions are encouraged to become aware of the more vulnerable feelings that may underlie their aggression. When these feelings are expressed, which can include emotions such as shame, humiliation, or fear, the protective aggression can dissipate.

When violence occurs as a result of abuse, such as when physical abuse that occurred in childhood leads an adult to resort to violent expressions, therapy to treat the aftermath of the abuse may be helpful.

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