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Violence is “the use of physical force so as to injure, abuse, damage, or destroy. Less conventional definitions are also used, such as the World Health Organization’s definition of violence as “the intentional use of physical force or power, threatened or actual, against oneself, another person, or against a group or community, which either results in or has a high likelihood of resulting in injury, death, psychological harm, maldevelopment, or deprivation.

Violence can be categorized in a number of ways. Violent crimes are typically divided into four main categories, based on the nature of the behaviour: homicide (the killing of one human being by another, sometimes for legally justifiable reasons), assault (physically attacking another person with the intent to cause harm), robbery (forcibly taking something from another person).

Other forms of violence overlap with these categories, such as child sexual abuse (engaging in sexual acts with a child) and domestic violence (violent behaviour between relatives, usually spouses).