1.3 Main indicators of violence

Since ‘violence’ covers material and immaterial forms of aggressive action such as physical and/or sexual attacks, verbal, emotional and psychological abuse, it is necessary to specify indicators which define an act as violent. The indicators we propose cover the perspective of both the perpetrator and the victim. While perpetrators often deny or are not aware of their motivation, the victim’s fear is an important indicator. But neither motivation nor fear are ‘objective’ indicators, since they reflect a subjective, individual attitude or experience. Nevertheless we regard the proposed indicators as useful and ‘measurable’: There are psychological means of measuring the extent of fear a victim experiences as well as means of finding out about the motivation of the perpetrator (see risk assessment).

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European Commission and the German Federal Ministry of Family, Seniors, Women and Youth.

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