• Luke O'Connor

Managing Violence & Aggression




This blog will outline the differences between Violence and Aggression and some information on how to manage it.


To manage violence and aggression, we firstly need to understand why people may become angry, aggressive and potentially violent.


Firstly, it is important to acknowledge that not all angry and or aggressive people become violent. Anger is an emotional state that sometimes leads to aggression or violence.


The emotional state is often accompanied by biological changes, such as; strong heartbeat, tense muscles, fast heavy breathing and increased blood pressure. It can also be accompanied by behavioural changes, which could include; erratic movements, pacing, raised voices.


We are more likely to notice the behavioural changed in a person that would give us the signs that somebody is angry. However, if the earlier we can identify that someone is angry, the easier it is for us to intervene.


People can become angry or aggressive for a number of perceived reasons, which could be; a threat, they’ve suffered humiliation or an injustice, they may be frustrated. This in turn can lead to a lowered self esteem or a feeling of being unsafe. This can make a potentially angry or aggressive person anxious. Possible ways in which people can respond to this anxiety could be for the anger they are feeling to increase, or they could become aggressive or potentially violent.


So, what is the difference between aggression and violence?


Aggression is an action or behaviour which is often associates with anger and frustration and is usually intended to hurt people. Aggression can take many forms, such as; verbally aggressive (insults or abuse), gestures (raised fists), gestures (making people flinch).


There are two types of aggression and they are;


Hostile aggression which is emotionally driven and can result in violence should an individual lose control.


Instrumental aggression which can be turned on and off when needed to achieve an aim, for example people in the police and armed forces may be required to use instrumental aggression when trying to dominate other aggressors.


When managing aggression, you should consider


· apologising for the situation

· validate the persons feelings, let them know its OK to be angry

· appeal to a person’s inhibitors which could motivate them to change their behaviour


Violence is a term often used to describe serious physical assaults. Violence can be directed at objects as well as people.


When managing violence, you should consider


· Your own personal safety as it is paramount

· Give yourself distance, maybe leave the room

· Seek help


LUPE Training can offer a variety of support to enable professionals to safely support individuals who display violent or aggressive situations effectively. If you think that we can help, please feel free to contact us.

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