Different types of violence and ways to prevent them – by the Portuguese students

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When talking about violence most people’s first thoughts go to physical violence. Despite its name, physical violence doesn’t only leave physical scars, but also psychological ones. The aggressors reasoning for abusing their victims can vary from pure amusement, to blackmailing purposes; however the means by which one can forcefully get what they want is the least bit amusing. People who have been bullied either inside or outside of schools often have problems standing up to their aggressors, or with coping with the trauma, particularly if they’re of a young age. Not only can physical violence be morally wrong, but it is also a detriment to one’s character, bringing to the surface not only the ugliest sides of a person, but also a sense of anxiety and insecurity which these people can only cope with by making others feel smaller than they themselves are.

Sexual violence happens when someone forces or manipulates someone else into unwanted sexual activity without their consent. It affects people of both genders, ages, races, religions, professions, and sexual orientations and it can include rape or sexual assault, unwanted sexual contact and Sexual harassment. However, help is available. Together, we can change the conditions that contribute to sexual violence. By working with your community, schools and workplaces, we can build programs to support victims of rape and sexual harassment.

Psychological abuse is a form of abuse characterized by a person subjecting or exposing another person to behavior that may result in a trauma, anxiety, chronic depression or post-traumatic stress disorder. It is often related with situations of power imbalance in abusive relationships and can include bullying and gaslighting that is a form of psychological manipulation that seeks to sow seeds of doubt in a targeted individual or in members of a targeted group, making them question their own memory, perception and sanity.

Financial abuse is the situation where someone is using money as a weapon, manipulating and controlling how and when someone spends their money, maintaining a monopoly over their economic resources. The abuser may be a friend, a relative, or, as in most of the times, a partner, that can control how much money his victim can spend each day, week, month, or even take away the victim’s capacity to support him/herself and forces him/her to depend on the offender, and because of it, this happens a lot in relationships, as the abuser can uphold the victim from leaving. Financial abuse can also happen when someone close to an elder person steals from him/her. There’s also the economic abuse, that differs from financial abuse, because it also includes the control of someone’s present or future earning potential by preventing them from obtaining a job or education.

Violence is treated as such a problem that it is even refered among the various articles of the “Universal Declaration of Human Rights”. Both in Article 2 and Article 5 it is stated that violence should always be looked down upon, no matter it’s form. In the words of Article 2: “Everyone is entitled to all the rights and freedoms set forth in this Declaration, without distinction of any kind, such as race, colour, sex, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth or other status. Furthermore, no distinction shall be made on the basis of the political, jurisdictional or international status of the country or territory to which a person belongs, whether it be independent, trust, non-self-governing or under any other limitation of sovereignty.” On Article 5 it is stated that : “No one shall be subjected to torture or to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.” Knowing that violence is seen as something so vile even among countries that there are international agreements to stop it from happening it seems that (no matter how much sometimes we may want to use it), violence is never the answer.