Helping you get through tough times

Being violent

The term ‘violence’ covers any sort of behaviour where physical force or power is used to hurt, threaten or frighten someone.

This can take different forms including:

  • physical – being  punched, tripped, kicked or physically injured in any way, having your stuff stolen or damaged. It might also include sexual abuse
  • emotional – this type of violence is harder to recognise but can be really hard to deal with. It can include being threatened, put down or emotionally blackmailed
  • economic – if someone is controlling your money, keeping you financially dependent, or making you ask for money unreasonably, it can be a form of violence
  • social – if someone is insulting you or slagging you in front of other people, keeping you isolated from family and friends, controlling what you do and where you go, then they are being violent and you may need to take some action
  • spiritual – this violence is about not letting you to have your own opinions about religion, cultural beliefs, and values.

Read more about domestic violence and abusive relationships

Violence is not OK. Nobody should have to put up with it. It’s OK to be angry or frustrated, but it’s never an excuse.

There are better ways of dealing it.

If you ever find you’re having trouble managing your anger, there’s loads of ways to cope with this. See anger for more.

What triggers violence?

People are violent for different reasons including:

  • being angry, frustrated or sad
  • enforcing control over somebody
  • having a family history of violence which can lead to it being an accepted way of handling situations
  • having a hard time managing your anger and being quick to lose your temper.

Drugs, alcohol and violence

Using drugs and alcohol increases your likelihood of being violent and aggressive.

If you’re finding you’re getting violent when you drink or take drugs, look at cutting down or managing your drinking or drug use better.

A drug and alcohol worker, a counsellor or youth worker can help you out with this. See face-to-face help for more.

Ways to stop being violent

Deciding to do something about violence is a big step. It takes a lot of courage to admit you have to change your behaviour.

Here’s some suggestions that might help:

  • List the triggers – make a list of things that trigger your violent behaviour. It might be a specific person, a situation, a mood, or drugs and alcohol. By knowing what triggers it, start to avoid these things or try to work out ways to deal with the situation.
  • Ask yourself – who’s being affected by how you act? Is it hurting  anyone physically or emotionally? Do you want people to be scared of you? These questions help you see how your behaviour is affecting people you care about and yourself.
  • Talk to someone – stopping violent behaviour can be tough but you don’t have to do it alone. A counsellor or youth worker can help sort out what’s going on. Check out face-to-face helpfor more.

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This article was last reviewed on 24 March 2017

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