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Eureka: What exactly is violence?
by Jay Gutman
2016-12-14 11:05:47
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violence01_400The definition of violence depends on who you ask. If you ask me, there are eight main types of violence: armed assault, armed battery, physical assault, physical battery, verbal assault, verbal battery, emotional assault and emotional battery.

 If you use a tool and miss someone that’s armed assault, if you use a tool and hit someone that armed battery. If you use your body and almost harm someone that’s physical assault, if you use your body and harm someone that’s physical battery. If you use words and threaten to cause pain be it physical or emotional that’s verbal assault, if you cause direct pain through words that’s verbal battery. If you threaten to harm someone’s emotions that’s emotional assault, if you directly harm someone’s emotions that’s emotional battery.

Now let’s get to the specifics of the different kinds of violence there can be.

Armed assault: It could be a knife, a fork, a glass, a bottle or deadlier assault weapons like guns. If you hold that weapon in the air and threaten to hurt someone I would categorize that as emotional assault. If you actually try to hit the person with the weapon but miss your target, that’s armed assault. It could be shooting, throwing the object, or motioning the object toward the person.

Armed battery: you actually cause physical harm to the person with the weapon, which could be a fork or an explosive device. That could be harm that needs treatment, but in many cases the physical harm incurred doesn’t need serious treatment, if it needs treatment at all and the psychological sequels are what causes the most damage.

Physical assault: If you threaten to harm someone with your fists, either with words or with body language, that’s emotional abuse. But if you put that punch or kick in the air and miss the person you were aiming at, that’s physical assault. You might have missed because the person ducked or avoided the assault such as by running away, or simply have missed your target.

Physical battery: You cause actual physical harm with your body to another person, harm that might need medical treatment, but in some cases does not need medical treatment.

Verbal assault: You start yelling at someone or calling the person names, but before the harm is done someone comes into the room and you realize you would look bad if you called the person names, or the person covers their ears and you stop the verbal assault, or simply leaves the room. That could be slurs, demeaning comments or simply using a tone that might cause physical or emotional harm.

Verbal battery: You go on and on yelling, screaming, uttering slurs or demeaning comments and no one can stop you from doing that. Using such slurs may not cause visible physical scars, but it causes side-effects such as insomnia, headaches, lightheadedness, nausea and in some cases vomiting, blood pressure, irregular heartbeats, numbness which are all physical sequels to the verbal battery. Verbal battery can be considered battery in some places and categorized as violence, while in other places there needs to be physical violence for the battery to be considered violence.

Emotional assault: You overtly use double standards, you are conspicuously silent on an important matter, do not take action when necessary, act like a lame duck when you are supposed to be getting work done, refuse to talk to a person or violate cultural norms such as chewing loudly or talking loudly on the phone when people are around. Before the harm is done someone reminds you that you are violating cultural norms and need to go back to behaving like most people behave. Such misbehavior causes emotional confusion among people.

Emotional battery: You are physically present with another person present in the same space as you are, but act in ways that harm the person’s emotions, by constantly violating cultural norms and refusing to stop violating cultural norms, causing emotional distress. Emotional distress can lead to physical ailments such as insomnia and other ailments caused by verbal assault.

Why most cases are left unreported? The main problem is that violence tends to occur between people who are either codependents, such as spouses or children, or who work together, or who have other forms of dependent relationships. In other cases, the violence goes back and forth between two people or a group of people, leading to both being guilty, leaving such cases unreported.

In societies where people are encouraged not to depend on other people, the occurrence of violence tends to be rare. But inevitably dependency situations emerge, such as a couple having children, a spouse depending on another spouses wages, an employee who depends on his job for his pension or for the perks the job offers, employees, colleagues or a group of people who have to complete the project so they can get paid by their contractors. Fortunately, in most cases, families, workplaces and associations don’t always have elements of violence in them.  

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Emanuel Paparella2016-12-14 12:52:29
And now that we have empirically and positivistically familiarized ourselves with all the particular trees of the forest named "violence" we may wish to read Euripides' Medea to search and find its essence and become familiar with the forest as a whole.

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