What is violence?

Violence is the use of physical force or power to threaten or harm others. It can include fighting, bullying, threats with weapons, and gang-related violence. A young person can be involved with youth violence as a victim, offender, or witness.

Types of violence

Bullying: Bullying takes many forms, including verbal, social, online and physical bullying. 

Partner violence: this can include physical violence, sexual violence, stalking, or psychological harm

Sexual violence and abuse: any behaviour thought to be of a sexual nature which is unwanted and takes place without consent. Sexual violence and abuse can be physical, psychological, verbal or online.

Online abuse and violence: This can include any type of abuse that happens on the internet and across a range of different devices (e.g. PC, mobile and gaming devices). Online abuse and violence can include cyberbullying, intimate image abuse, sexual abuse and exploitation. 

Gang violence: The violence can include knife and gun related offences, assault and exploitive crimes. 

Knife and gun crime: this can include offences where an individual is in possession of a weapon in a public place, have used a weapon against another person, or threatened an individual with a weapon.

What to look out for? 

Anyone can be a victim of violence, regardless of gender, age, ethnicity, religion, socio-economic status, sexuality or background.

If you believe that you are a victim of violence, there are signs that you can look out for including:

  • being withdrawn, or being isolated from your family and friends
  • having bruises, burns or bite marks on you
  • having your finances controlled, or not being given enough to buy food, medication or pay bills
  • not being allowed to leave your house, or stopped from going to college or work
  • having your internet or social media use monitored, or someone else reading your texts, emails or letters
  • being repeatedly belittled, put down or told you are worthless
  • being pressured into sex or sexual contact
  • being told that abuse is your fault, or that you’re overreacting

What puts you at risk of violence

  • Don’t carry weapons,
  • Ensure a parent/guardian knows your whereabouts/where you are going. 
  • Reduce alcohol and substance misuse, seek support for this 
  • Don’t accept gifts or money from people- can used to tie to gangs to work off the debt. 
  • Stay in education, even if your struggling speaks to a teacher, if the threat is at school speak to someone you can’t trust to help
  • Have a hobby/interest i.e., sports. Performing arts. 
  • Surround yourself if with positive people/good friendships
  • Don’t do anything you don’t want to.  
  • Talak to someone you can trust who isn’t involved in criminality or violence