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Categories of Violence…

Posted by Henric C. Jensen on June 6, 2006



In order to prevent violence – domestic and other wise – one needs to be aware of what actually constitutes violence. I hope that after reading this Blog Entry, you will see this Entry ties in with a previous Blog Entry “Lies, Damned Lies and Statistics“.We normally associate ‘violence’ with physical agression, and it is something we have learned is men’s way of expressing themselves. Thus deliberately or not assuming that if something is not physical and not done by men it can possibly not be violence.

Well, that is wrong.

There are at least seven independent catergories of ‘violence’, each of them as painful and as damaging to the Human Organism.

  1. Physical
  2. Emotional
  3. Verbal
  4. Social
  5. Spiritual
  6. Sexual
  7. Intellectual

Let’s look at them individually:

Physical – generally thought of as ‘violence’ due to physical aggression. While it is true that physical agression is part of physical violence, it is far from the only expression of it. Physical abuse makes up the main bulk of physical violence, and that contains more and not necessarily ‘violent’ expressions. Neglect in terms of food, clothing and shelter or overindulging in the same catergories. Neglect of medical needs or inducing medical needs – often detected as Munchausen’s Syndrome by Proxy (a manner of physical violence that is virtually unknown to be perpetrated by men). Drug (including nicotine) or alcohol use during pregnancy, is another form of physical violence/abuse that is unique to women, but VERY common. Withholding of physical intimacy such as cuddling, hugging, kissing and touching, forced physical intimacy such as cuddling, hugging, kissing and touching. Forced physical activity or demands that sports be practiced or not practiced – failure to take into account a person’s actual physical capacity in regards to work, sports, physical recreation etc. Any kind of derogatory/degrading/diminishing acts or words in regards to another’s physical appearance or capacity.

Emotional – emotional violence/abuse is very often coupled with Physical violence/abuse. Withholding of support, encouragement, failing to teachg life-skills such as how to set boundaries etc., inproper display of emotions, subjecting to embarrasment, ridicule, belittling, or ignoring someone. Yelling, screaming, name-calling, threats, refusal to communicate, lies, inaccurate information. Inducing Fear and Anger as a means to control. Any kind of derogatory/degrading/dimishing of another’s emotions, emotional status or emotional capacity and skills. Inappropriate education in regards to emotions, such as “Big boys don’t cry”, “Suck it up!” etc. Demanding affection or dictating how affectionis to be expressed. Nagging. Guilt-tripping, manipulation through black-mail, threats of divorce, deprivation of affection, visitation rights etc.

Verbal – Verbal violence is probably the one kind of violence that we practice the most, yet fail to see as violence. It ties in with Emotional violence/abuse. Yelling, screaming, name-calling, refusal to communicate, swearing at, ridiculing, belittling. Then there are the more ‘subtle variations’, often referred to as “conversational bullying” – words are twisted, made out to mean something different than originally intended etc., sarcasms, irony, white lies, logical fallacies. It is also Vebal violence/abuse to neglect to teach children how to express themselves healthily and properly and how to defend themselves against Verbal Violence. Nagging, not respecting a non-communication wish, demanding verbal communication, dictating expressions of affection.

Social – Social violence/abuse apart from being simple things, such as demanding control over another’s social interaction, where he/she can go or not go, who he/she can see, talk to, interact with in other ways, including demanding certain behaviour in social situations is also a combination of Emotional and Verbal violence executed in Public – such shaming or embarrasing someone in public, laughing at them or making fun of them, practical jokes, April’s Fool’s jokes, hazing. It is also Social Violence/abuse to neglect to teach children basic proper social codes for interacting healthily with others, setting boundaries and defend themselves against Social Violence/abuse. Any kind of derogatory/degrading/diminishing acts or words in regards to another’s social appearance, standing or conduct. Denying personal privacy, such as reading diaries, letters, journals, going through belongings, not knocking and waiting for permission to enter.

Spiritual – Any kind of forced spirituality or denial of spirituality is Spiritual Violence/Abuse. Using religion to control another. Any kind of use of Spirituality in order to manipulate or force another to act or believe in accordance with your belief, in cluding missionizing to people is Spirtual Violence/Abuse. Failing to give children proper GENERAL spiritual information so they can form their own opinion and spirituality is spiritual violence/abuse. Threats, manipulations, forced prayer, reading, practicing of religious rituals is Spirtual violence/abuse. Any kind of derogatory/degrading/diminishing acts or words in regards to another’s spiritual path, expressions and/or practice.

Sexual – any kind of unwanted, improper or coercive act or words that has sexual content, including not respecting personal privacy in regards to nudity is sexual violence/abuse. Neglecting to educate accurately and correctly about sexual matters, including procreation, falling in love, relationships, including GLBT issues, or failing to do so is Sexual violence/abuse. Shaming for sexual conduct, forcing abortion or denying abortion, discussing sexual matters improperly or displaying sexual acts/action out-side a proper educational context is sexual abuse. Any kind of derogatory/degrading/diminishing actions or words in regards to another’s sexuality including sexual capacity or orientation.

Intellectual – Any kind of depravation of accurate, correct information, imparting faulty information, manipulation of facts, witholding of information, manipulation through logical fallcies, any kind of derogatory/degrading/diminishing of another’s ideas, logical skills, intelligence, cognitive skills. Failure to provide proper intellectual stimulation corresponding to a child’s or adult’s needs or wants. Failure to encourage intellectual exploration and aquisition of knowledge in accordance with personal wishes.

I am sure there are more ways – but this in my mind covers the subject well.

To connect this to my Blog Entry “Lies, Damned Lies and Statistics” I am sure it becomes clear that if we remove physical violence due to physical aggression from the Female side of the equation (that wouldn’t be entirely true, but for the purpose of discussion we can do that) it still leaves women 6 3/4 major ways of being violent. Now you do the statistical math.

Shalom!

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