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Violence, Definition of

  • By: Kevin D. Williams
  • In: Encyclopedia of Media Violence
  • Edited by: Matthew S. Eastin
  • Subject:Mass Communication, Aggression & Violence, Violence & Society

One of the most comprehensive definitions of violence was offered by the World Health Organization (WHO; Krug, Dahlberg, Mercy, Zwi, & Lozano, 2002). As defined by the World Health Organization, violence is “the intentional use of physical force or power, threatened or actual, against oneself, another person, or against a group or community, that either results in or has a high likelihood of resulting in injury, death, psychological harm, maldevelopment or deprivation” (p. 5). The WHO definition is a broad one that is important to consider when studying the global implications of violence in different settings and cultures. This entry discusses the various ways violence can be defined and how violence is related to but distinct from aggression.

The WHO definition of violence includes not only ...

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