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Relational Violence

One of the categories that has emerged from the broader theorisation of violence is that of ‘relational’ violence, sometimes referred to as ‘relational aggression’. This violence is again just one point of arbitrary definition—a ‘form’ of violence that in its construction (often from the discipline of psychology) precipitates both hierarchies of harm and enables and prevents particular disruptions. In other words, by categorising different violences, there comes to be a natural progression to compare and contrast these—often through a judgement that is the most harmful. Accordingly, individuals, groups, or institutions may respond with policies or process that attend to these and, in so doing, affirm this hierarchy through response. Through these mechanisms, relational violence may be constructed as lower on a ‘hierarchy of seriousness’ than ...

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