Violence takes place when someone uses their strength or their position of power to hurt someone else intentionally, not by accident. There are many ways to hurt someone, such as causing or threatening to cause physical, mental or emotional harm.

Violence can be very open and evident, such as warfare on a battlefield, a conflict between rivaling street gangs or a brawl on a schoolyard. On the other hand, violence also occurs hidden and on a more subliminal level. Violence against women and children, for example, often takes place behind closed doors and includes, besides evident physical violence, sexual abuse, intimidation, controlling and neglect.

Young people around the world are affected by all kinds of violence, open and hidden, evident and subliminal. Young people can be the victims of violence, as well as the perpetrators. Besides the examples mentioned above, bullying has emerged as a major concern for youth. Bullying can be witnessed in schools, but also in after-school hangouts or on social media platforms, far away from the eyes of parents and teachers.

Marginalized groups often turn out to be the first victims of violence, be it due to race, religion, ethnic origin, sexual orientation, disability, age or economic status. Young people worldwide are at the forefront when it comes to protecting vulnerable groups and leading nonviolent protests. That means besides being victims or perpetrators, young people as often are changemakers, advocates and activists for peace. Let’s connect, collaborate and mobilize to create the biggest youth movement for peace and justice the world has ever seen!

Researching issues connected to violence, you might want to check out these resources:

United Nations - Peace and Security

World Health Organization - Youth Violence

UN Women - Ending Violence Against Women

United Nations Children’s Fund -End Violence Against Children

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