A streaming life never runs dry.

Elisabeth Lukas


Violence Prevention
EU Project – a peace project?


Dr. Phil. Peter Amann

What is the problem?
Scenes of violence are increasingly capturing daily media releases. Starting with small hidden aggressive scenarios in families and familiar residential communities over hidden and open mobbing in companies and public institutions to brutal destructive violence: media coverage of the violence phenomenon is almost an omnipresent and at the same time terrifying phenomenon of our highly developed affluent society. “Violence” in media presentation divides the society into offenders and victims. Violence phenomena conveyed by the media give rise – in whatsoever form - to fears in possible and actual victims. In order to be able to live on, the actual victims have to suppress the fears they have suffered and detach them from the conscious personality. Let us think, for instance, of the abused children who often even after decades of suppression still find it difficult to speak about the suffered abuse. In case they do not address these suppressed and detached from the personality memories  or develop the  future-oriented strategies, these suppressed parts can life-long impede the personality and restrain the own full potential. In certain circumstances a victim can become an offender. To give an illustrative example: a 26-year-old man who himself as a foreign immigrant and a drug addict had become an outsider and killed three-year-old Cain, gave the following explanation of his cruel deed: “when both boys were naughty, I got furious and aggressive. My brain switched off. And then I see only darkness in front of me. I just want to break something – I mean things. My body acts on its own. I can not control anything anymore. I didn't want to hurt him (three-year-old Cain), I wanted to punish him in order to make him understand that what he had done was wrong.” This self-analysis of the offender shows in his self-perception the immense destructive potential that can be hidden in a person. How can this phenomenon be explained, or better – how can this dangerous and scaring development be prevented?
Is it sufficient to analyze the problem using the causal principle of cause (fury and aggression) and the intended effect (to make him understand something) to provide an adequately objective explanation and subjective understanding of the violence phenomenon?
The analysis can examine different individual causes of the problem using scientific methods. It can provide individual scientific studies of the genetic code as well as biological, psychological, sociological, socioeconomic and other causes and combine the results into a cause-mix in order to represent disposition to violence.
However, in view of medially communicated acute violence scenarios, the question arises as to efficiency and practical applicability of the findings obtained this way in actual daily lives of “helpers” (parents, sisters, brothers, pedagogues, police officers) and all those actually confronting the violence phenomenon professionally or privately. Moreover, one has to pursue the question of how the social framework conditions and prerequisites can be modified and improved through specific actions to enable non-violent coexistence, in particular, for teenagers.


Several questions with possible answers on this point: