Physical Violence – Concept, examples and other types of violence

We explain what physical violence is and how it is distinguished from psychological, verbal and sexual violence. Also, definition and examples.

physical violence
Physical violence directly affects the body of another person.

What is physical violence?

Violence is understood to be a form of interaction that causes or threatens to cause harm of some kind to another, whether through submission, humiliation, physical or psychological harm.

In fact, according to the World Health Organization, violence is defined as “the intentional use of physical force and / or threats against oneself, another person, a group of people or a community, which has as a very probable consequence risks to health, psychological damage or death ”.

Violence can be exercised in many ways, actively, through silences, or it can be part of legitimate defense, the only case in which it is tolerated or justified by morality and jurisprudence. Traditionally, the State is attributed a monopoly on violence, exercised through its agencies, with the exception of wars and other exceptions.

In that sense, physical violence It is the form of violence that affects the body and physical strength: corporal punishment, capable of causing pain or even death, as well as traumatic feelings and humiliation.

Physical violence occurs when one person transgresses the body space of the other without their consent, either by subjecting her to blows, pulling or shoving, or by confining her, causing physical injury with some type of object (lethal or not), or forcing her to have some type of sexual intercourse.

Examples of physical violence

Some examples of physical violence can be:

  • Beatings, assaults with melee weapons, run over by vehicles or physical assaults of any kind.
  • Shooting with a firearm.
  • Rapes (non-consensual sexual acts), regardless of the sex or sexual orientation of both victim and perpetrator.
  • Physical punishments that inflict pain, bodily suffering or that cause health problems.

Psychological violence

By psychological violence is understood a set of conducts or behaviors intended to cause some kind of emotional suffering in others or psychic, constituting acts of true psychological aggression.

These acts, intentional or not, reduce the victim, violate his self-esteem or subject him to derision, humiliation or other forms of non-physical suffering, that is, without actually harming the victim’s body. If it becomes recurrent, psychological violence can become psychological abuse.

This type of violence can be:

  • Active. For example, a person insults, diminishes or attacks another emotionally and psychologically.
  • Passive For example, one person withdraws attention from the other, especially when it requires it, or subjects it to emotional abandonment.

In both cases, psychological violence can be an advertisement for physical violence, especially in relationships or family relationships, whether it occurs as part of an untimely reaction or driven by alcohol or other substances.

Verbal violence

physical verbal psychological violence
Verbal violence can be part of psychological violence.

Verbal violence is the name it receives aggression towards another person through language, that is, uttering profanity, obscene or insulting words, or referring to the other person in degrading terms, aimed at lowering their self-esteem, humiliating them or exposing them to third parties.

It is often difficult to determine and discern from a simple conflict between two people, but if it becomes recurrent it can turn into verbal abuse, especially in couples, family or work settings.

Verbal violence often accompanies psychological violence and physical violence, but it may well happen without there ever being physical contact or emotional implications between people. For example, it is exercised when two strangers who insult each other from their respective cars after almost colliding with each other.

Sexual violence

When we speak of sexual violence, we refer to sexual abuse, that is, to non-consensual, forced or imposed sexual relations. It also applies to sexual practices that are humiliating, humiliating or that cause physical ailments or risk to life, even if carried out between consenting adults.

This type of violent actions can be carried out with the body itself or with objects. They can occur within or outside of an emotional or family relationship, and are often accompanied by other forms of abuse, such as psychological, verbal and emotional.

The mistreatment of women, or of homosexuals or transgenders is also a form of sexual violence, which is usually accompanied by “corrective” violations (especially in the case of homosexuals) or humiliation, derision and other forms of emotional trauma , Physical and psychological.