VIOLENCE

This refers to a behaviour involving physical force intended to hurt, damage or kill someone or something. It refers to the intentional or unintentional use of force whether physical or psychological, threatened or actual, against an individual, oneself, or against a group of people, a community or government. It often begins with threats but with time, it escalates.

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Types of violence

Verbal violence (speech)
Physical violence
Psychological violence
Sexual violence.

Verbal violence: This can include issues that are specific to a person, such as put downs( in private or public), ridiculing, the use of swear- words that are uncomfortable for the other, saying bad things about their loved ones, threatening with other forms of violence. It is a type of emotional abuse.. Sometimes verbal violence can also lead to physical violence.

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Physical violence: This refers to the involvement of attacks on any part of the body. This may or may not involve the use of weapons. Examples of physical violence include: Scratching, biting, beating, kicking.

Sexual violence: This refers to the attacks on sexual organs with force. Manipulating/forcing someone else into unwanted sexual activity without their consent. This can also be referred to as rape. Having sexual activity with someone without their consent. This involves verbal, physical violence also e.g the assailant shouts on you to have sex with him but she refused, he pushes/shoves you unto a bed, he slaps you,grab you, bites you, pulls your hair, chokes you, open your thighs and forcing her to have sex with him.

Violence can have severe and long-lasting effects on individuals, communities, and society as a whole. Some of the effects of violence include:

1. Physical harm or injury
2. Emotional trauma and psychological distress
3. Anxiety, depression, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
4. Social isolation and difficulties in relationships
5. Decreased self-esteem and confidence
6. Difficulty in concentrating and learning
7. Increased risk of substance abuse and addiction
8. Financial and economic problems
9. Community breakdown and social fragmentation
10. Normalization of violence and desensitization
11. Intergenerational trauma and cyclical violence
12. Negative impact on mental and physical health
13. Decreased sense of safety and security
14. Increased fear and anxiety
15. Negative impact on academic and professional performance

It’s important to address how to prevent violence, and to provide support and resources to those affected by it. This can include:

1. Counseling and mental health services
2. Support groups and peer support
3. Community-based programs and initiatives
4. Education and awareness-raising efforts
5. Policy and legal reforms
6. Economic and social support
7. Restorative justice and reconciliation
8. Community-led initiatives and grassroots movements

Remember, violence is a complex issue that requires a comprehensive and multifaceted approach to address and prevent.

Forms of violence

Bullying: This is a form of violence where a person/group picks on another individual. It is a form of intimidation. Both genders can be a bully. Bullying occurs in schools especially because of:

Academics: For example, a student was admitted into a particular school. He was a brilliant young boy, and because of that, teachers loved him. The other students were jealous of him, there was a particular group of tyrants in the class. They controlled the other students, even teachers feared them. When they noticed the guy and his output in the class, they started picking on him. They used verbal violence till it escalated to physical violence. What happened to the brilliant boy later on? He committed suicide. Why did he do that when he could have reported? He actually did but there was no improvement, so he had to end his life. Bullying breeds trauma.
Sizes and stature
Especially in females: Among the members of the bullies, one of them likes a particular guy but the guy likes another girl. In such situations, bullying occurs.

Bullying occurs not only in school but other places such as workplaces, recreation centers, prisons.
Bullying can be caused by a lot of factors such as:

Individual factors
– Insecurity and low self esteem.
– Mental health issues
– Lack of empathy

Family factors
Family violence
Lack of parental supervision

Social and cultural factors
Peer pressure
Discrimination

Power dynamics
Abuse of power

Economic factors
Poverty

Cyber bullying: This is the use of technology to harass, intimate or threaten someone. It can be through social media, messaging apps or other online platforms. It can take many forms including:
Sending mean or threatening messages
Posting hurtful or embarrassing photos and videos
Spreading rumors or lies online
Impersonation to destroy one’s reputation.
Sharing personal information without consent.
Engaging in online harassment

Effects Of Bullying

Anxiety and depression
Low- self esteem and confidence
Social isolation and loneliness
Difficulty sleeping and concentration
Suicidal thoughts and behaviors

Tips for parents

Signs to look out when your child is bullied

Physical marks such as unexplained bruises, scratches
Fear of going to school
Being anxious or nervous
Having few friends in school or none
Low academic performance
Often asking for money
Loss of properties
Complaining of body aches
Not sleeping well
Being secretive or aggressive

What to do if your child is bullied

Listen to your child calmly
Reassure your child
Talk to the teacher or school
Be a supportive system

What can I do if my child bullies others?

Communication
Work through healthy ways of coping
Examine yourself
Give consequences and opportunities to amend

To be continued….

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