Violence – It happens too often and needs to stop

Violence! (Photo credit: Rickydavid)

Article By: Scott Hall
            Violence, anger, hate are all part of our daily worlds, but are they really necessary as a final statement of authority or might?  People of many nations have recently taken to their streets in protests; sadly, some of those areas are ridden with violent acts now as well as major civil unrest.  We citizens of the world need to know it is ok to make a stand, but when violent acts get in the way, the core purpose for the action is undermined. All throughout history violence has been a part of our world, wars and disputes have all came to a violent head.  In today’s world, it’s not just the protests; it’s in our sporting events, our neighborhoods, our televisions and yes our news.  Our truth glasses may only help us a bit here, but we will wear them in the event that we can discover something new, here we go, time to bring peace into a violent world.
            By definition, violence is:
1-swift and intense force (much like a storm)
2-rough or injurious physical force, action or treatment
3-an unjust or unwarranted exertion of force or power, as against rights or laws
4-a violent act or proceeding
5-a rough or immoderate vehemence, as of feeling or language
Violences (Photo credit: Erminig Gwenn)
            A very broad range of definitions and since we will not be focusing on the weather, looks as though a violent act has a few parameters.  Looking into the bifocal part of our truth glasses, we will focus on the second definition.  Football is considered a violent sport, because of the type of contact made within the game and there is a good chance of injury.  What about when a spouse shoves another spouse out of anger?  Spousal abuse is an act of violence, no doubt it fits the parameters of the second definition and it fits the third and part of the fifth definition.  Interesting that one crime fits several parameters, no wonder it is such a no tolerance field in our courts.  Child abuse also fits those same definitions and currently in our news, lots of acts of child abuse and violence against children is taking center stage, this must stop, no child deserves harsh treatment, remember, we were all children once.
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            According to the World Health Organization, 1.6 million people lose their lives a year, because of violence.  This is a staggering number, considering we now have over 7 billion people on the planet.  What this costs is billions of dollars in a wide range of areas, education, prevention, law enforcement, crime control and lives themselves along with a host of other things I am sure we can all imagine.  Part of the impressive items that the WHO strives to achieve in the range of child maltreatments is:
WHO's child maltreatment prevention objectives are to:
·         raise awareness of the immediate and long-term health consequences of child maltreatment
·         highlight preventability
·         prioritize child maltreatment prevention in international and national health and development agendas
·         reduce child maltreatment by supporting countries to increase capacity and establish child maltreatment prevention policies and programmes
·         expand the global evidence base to cover more low- and middle-income countries

            To raise awareness needs only to view the local news stations or read the papers and see that things are not always as they seem in a child’s life; nor are they right in many countries around the world.  When our child cries, we respond to its woes and try and solve the problems and anyone who commits violent acts against a child deserves a very harsh punishment, this is of course personal opinion, but this author believes in the rights of all world citizens, even if they are not old enough to vote, they still count.  We will move forward and I will refrain from ranting further about children’s rights.  Looking at our statistics in support of this, we find that roughly 20 percent of women and 5 to 10 percent of men report being sexually abused as a child and a whopping 25-50 percent of all adults report suffering from some type of abuse.  Violence by definition could not possibly cover all that hurt and unjust actions.
            The violence isn’t just a part of the young child or infant child’s life we also know that violence exists in our teenager’s realms as well.  According to an online article, teens are at risk for several items, such as: Gang Violence, Peer Pressured Violence, Drugs, Alcohol related violence and maybe even just being depressed feeling as though “no one understands them”. The reality of this is, they in fact are right in their views, the reason why: They choose not to open up and speak as they are either afraid of the turmoil or results.  The key, get those affected to talk about the issues going on in their lives, a parent can only help when a troubled child allows them to do so.  According to the article, 50 percent of men who abuse their spouses, also abuse their children. A teen growing up with its mother being abused is more likely to become a violent teenager and keep that into early adulthood and beyond, thus aggravating and further complicating the problem of the cycle of violence.
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            The pressures of an adolescent life can sometimes be so overwhelming to them that they may contemplate running away, which would throw them into the arms of a potentially violent and non forgiving society.  Teen agers face lots of pressures today that many generations did not have to worry with prior to them.  We had a cold war crisis they have a global unrest and economic downturn crisis.  What if they see their step parents battling it out and just came from a violent home, would they think the world was always like this or would they reach out.  There are so many facets to growing up, bully pressures, smoking, drugs, sex and gangs all are available, prevention is the key, which means PARENTS NEED TO GET INVOLVED. 
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       Parents need to also understand that Teenagers don’t always open up, but they do give us plenty of signs to let us know things aren’t right.  Fussiness and constant arguing with their parent is a great sign, no one expects kids to understand parents and parents have a tough time understanding teens, so this means we must communicate, effectively disrupting a key to the cycle of violence that may be unfolding before your very eyes.  Parents, as frustrating as our kids may make our lives, we must not forget to do simple things to help diffuse this cycle, such as not yelling, taking the time to allow them to completely get the thoughts off their minds and know when to take breaks.  If things get out of hand, call a “timeout”, take a break, walk away and go make yourself a glass of warm milk, offer one to the child as well, patience will go far in helping to break those chains.  We cannot help but wonder how humans can physically hurt others and teens with no support, are more likely to seek out that comfort with others, who may be part of criminal thoughts, actions or motives, not to mention the availability of mind altering substances.
            Due to some of the staggering truths I have learned throughout this researched article, the more I wanted to take off my truth glasses.  It is little wonder that we as a society in whole and in part need to work together to stop the many cycles that can bring more than just physical woes to our lives.  Wiping away a bit of fog upon our view, we get the chance to look at some statistics chased down by the National Adolescent Health Information Center.  According to the file posted (.pdf format), in 2007 (5 short years ago) they uncovered a few disturbing highlights:

·         Homicide is the second leading cause of death for adolescents and young adults.
·         Male adolescents and young adults have higher homicide rates than females.
·          Homicide is the leading cause of death for adolescent and young adult Black males.
·          The homicide rates for adolescent and young adult males have fallen sharply in the past decade.
·          Male adolescents engage in violent behavior more than their female peers.
            Violent behavior in adolescents suggests that us “men” are a bit more neandertholic than the female counterparts, however some would disagree citing the difference in the level of violence applied. The following pie chart is in relation to ages 10-24 (2004):
            While suicide and homicide combined do not add up to as many as the all other causes category, a very disturbing rate is the number of motor vehicle accidents.  What we don’t see in this statistic is the level of those accidents where a mind altering substance may have been used or even if the problem was texting and driving.  None the less, the total of the causes do include violence as a part of their world.  What is most disturbing, Homicide is third in line in these statistics and suicide is at the bottom where adolescents are involved, not just adults.  The age range is fascinating and speaks volumes of the need for prevention programs that are current and geared toward current issues as well as education of those same people so that they can possibly influence someone much younger who is travelling a hard road.  Ethnicities of the statistics are as follows:
            This so far has covered a lot more than our definitions would have suggested.  Abuses, teen on teen violence, gang related violence and this includes homicide.  Are these things viewed as the final answer in our children and preadolescent citizens or just the proverbial tip of the iceberg?  It should be noted that parts of the research came from the Bureau of Justice Statistics and those same statistics are available to all who seek them out, pending the hacker group, “anonymous” hasn’t forced their servers to overload on fake hits.  We haven’t began to look into cyber violence as of yet, maybe we will focus our truth glasses on that subject another time, for now, we will finish with looking at adult violence, as we have touched on child, teen and pre adult violence.
            As adults, many of us curtail our violent behavior to those causes that we may deem “justified” in nature.  Sports such as boxing, football and now growing in popularity MMA (mixed martial arts) fighting all contain acts of violence, yet most citizens don’t shed a tear when the opponent gets a bloody nose or a broken jaw, in some cases we almost encourage it.  Sometimes we get out of hand, like having one too many at a bar and some guy eyeballing your girl or what about after that going home and slapping her around.  Those things are a reality in our world and not one citizen anywhere can deny it.  Does the availability of media make violence more possible? An online article that was found suggests this as a headline.
            According to the article (March 2002), just one hour of primetime television a day can contain 3 to 5 violent episodes being portrayed and may cause the likelihood of violence to go up in adults almost 5 times.  This was concluded after a 25 year long study and the research suggests that this doesn’t just affect kids, it also affected adults.  700 families were observed from 1975 to 2000 and a link between aggression and young males who had this exposure to television was strongest at adolescence and in females occurred in young adulthood.  The associations held true regardless of social, economic or psychological backgrounds or environments, meaning the almighty television had the focus and content to cause this increase in aggressive behavior.  In the research, it was found that 45 percent of men who watched 3 or more hours of television that contained violence went on to commit aggressive or violent acts themselves. This study was started when many of those volunteers were age 1 to 10 and concluded when they were age 30 and checked against FBI records.  An astounding amount compared to what we all think we know about our world of peace.
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     In conclusion, we see that violence is a part of all ranges of age, gender, knows no parameters of levels, affects lives other than their own, costs billions of dollars and has a large need for prevention.  No one should be the victim of a violent act, whether it’s by their own hand, their spouse, their child or someone else.  Violence is not the final answer by any means and we owe it to ourselves and our children’s futures to stop it whenever we can.  An eye for an eye can make the whole world blind. I am glad I wore my truth glasses, my eyes were indeed opened to a wide range of items that may shake our foundations, but should drive us to achieving peace.
References, Retrievals and such:

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