What is violence?

From the Latin violentĭa, violence is the quality of the violent or the action and effect of violence or violence. The violent, in turn, is the one who is out of his natural state, situation or way; that it is executed with force, impetus or brusqueness; or that is done against someone’s taste or will.

Violence, therefore, is deliberate behavior that can cause physical or psychological harm to other people. It is important to keep in mind that, in addition to physical aggression, violence can be emotional through insults or threats. That’s why violence can cause physical and psychological consequences. There are many theories about violence and among them stands out the one known as the Triangle of Violence, developed by the Norwegian sociologist Johan Galtung, one of the most important specialists in the area of ​​social conflicts and peace.

With this terminology, what he does is establish the connection and the relationship that exists between the three types of violence that he considers to exist in society. That is, between cultural, structural and direct violence. The first, the so-called cultural, is that which is manifested through works of art, science or religion, among other areas. The second, the so-called structural, in turn is the one that is considered the most dangerous of all, because it is the one that originates, through various systems, as a result of not being able or not to see the needs met. And, finally, there is direct violence, which is practiced physically or verbally against people, against the environment or against the goods of society in general. Theft, homicide, damage to natural resources or attacks on buildings are some of the most common manifestations of this type of violence. Violence aims to impose or obtain something by force. There are many forms of violence that are punishable as crimes by law. In any case, it is important to keep in mind that the concept of violence varies according to culture and time. There are societies in which, for example, women are forced to marry the man who chooses or buys them, which, for the Western world, constitutes a form of violence against the female sex. It is important to underline that, unfortunately, in recent years what is called gender violence has acquired a great presence in society all over the world. It is what happens to a person based on their sex or gender, however, it is fundamentally used to refer to what men exercise over women. On the other hand, there are violent demonstrations that are approved by law and by the state. For example, the death penalty is legal in many democratic countries, such as the United States. However, many civil associations consider that every murder (legal or otherwise) is a violation of human rights.

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Finally, it is necessary to remember that Mahatma Gandhi, one of the greatest exponents of non-violence and pacifism, recognized that there is no person completely free from violence, since this is an innate characteristic of the human being.

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