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Root causes of violence


Tue, Nov 6, 2012

by Leave out Violence in SVG Association

People may become violent due to different instances that have occurred in their lives or the life of someone close to them. Three such instances are Economic Distress, Family Dysfunction, and Drug and Alcohol Abuse. Let’s take a closer look at these three different categories.{{more}}

Economic Distress

In most societies, when “times are hard” there is an increase in violence. No one wants to be poor, but not everyone knows how to deal with poverty without turning to violence. It’s hard when jobs are few and bills are many. Many people in these situations do not know how to handle the stress caused by the situation and become violent towards their loved ones and complete strangers. They are upset that they cannot seem to make ends meet and that there are very few opportunities out there for them. Most people that are affected by or threatened by poverty are those with little education and/or no skill, therefore making it very difficult for them to compete in the working world.

Family Dysfunction

Dysfunctional families are usually families where abuse, conflict and misbehaviour are present and regular. Many different factors such as unemployment, natural disasters, physical and/or mental illness, etc can create dysfunctional families. In our society, and most societies around the world, unemployment creates a lot of tension in households. This tension can lead to verbal and/or physical abuse and substance abuse as a way for individuals to deal with the tension. Some parents use their children as “scapegoats” and abuse them physically and verbally. Children of these families tend to become violent adults, as a way of coping with their childhood and what may have continued into their adulthood.

Mental illness in our society is still not fully understood and often times ridiculed. Instead of accepting the fact that a child may have a mental illness or some sort of learning disability, many parents prefer to be ignorant to this and treat their child as any other ‘normal’ child. We don’t want to send our child to the Special Needs School, because then everyone will see the uniform and know something is wrong with our child. Lack of understanding of mental illness causes parents to get angry with their child for not being able to understand simple instructions and in turn the parents become very violent with their child.

Drug and Alcohol Abuse

Drug and Alcohol Abuse, also known as substance abuse, is where drugs or alcohol are used in ways that are destructive to oneself and others. Drugs and alcohol alter our state of mind and our ability to think logically. While affected by a substance, the smallest incident can trigger violent thoughts that then lead to violent acts. Many people turn to substance abuse as a way of dealing with the stresses of life. It is a temporary escape from the real world and because it is often short-lived, persons tend to become addicted to the substance and constantly feel as though they need more. When they can’t get more they can become violent in their quest for their temporary relief. While alcohol in moderation does not cause severe damage, large consumptions of alcohol in one sitting can cause a person to become violent, depressed, physically incapacitated, and much more. Alcoholism in our society is not looked at as a disease, but it should be. Many people would spend their last dollar on a “piti” of rum instead of putting it towards a bill or food for their family. Many men and women have lost their jobs because of the affect alcohol has had on their lives. They then become a burden to their families because they can do no better for themselves. They need that fix and that is what their money goes towards. We need to have programs put in place to help people break their addictions, instead of watching them spiral out of control.

Leave out Violence in SVG Association
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