The science of violence

2019 edition

Ana Martina Greco, Marina Bartolomé

We see violence everyday: in the news, in the radio and sometimes even in the real world. However, when we hear the word ‚Äúviolence‚ÄĚ we usually tend to picture images of violence that are not really confirmed by empirical research. In fact, most statements that we hear about this issue in the media or in social events are mostly based on popular beliefs.

In fact, we tend to forget about a particularly vulnerable group that is largely and importantly affected by violence: children and youth. Because of their unique stage of development, most people tend to justify violence against children arguing that they need to be physically punished in order to adapt to the rules of our grown-up society, or that they can easily forget an insult or a scream‚Ķ However, to what extend is this true? Can we consider ‚Äúviolence‚ÄĚ among children the same thing we consider ‚Äúviolence‚ÄĚ among adults? Are we really aware of the effects that different types of violence may have over young victims? How many kids are affected by some kind of violence in our country or continent, anyway? What does empirical research has to say about it?

Our PhD thesis and the ones of other members of our research group try to answer these and many other questions. Our work aims to analyze the extent and effects of child victimization, as well as to find ways to prevent, cope and overcome these potentially traumatic experiences. We combine very different perspectives, including psychology, criminology and education, to address a very complex topic that claims for interdisciplinarity.

So if you are interested in learning how do we study violence against children and youth and some shocking facts about its prevalence, its effects and ways in which you can help, don’t hesitate to vote for our flash talk at JIPI 2019. We hope that after listening to our presentation you will have a clearer and more informed perspective about violence, you will be able to distinguish real facts from popular misbeliefs, and, hopefully, we will put some science into the social view of violence.