Escola de Cultura de Pau
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Violence is an “attitude or behaviour which violates or deprives the human being of its essential nature, be its physical form, psychic or moral state, rights, freedoms …” (Asociación pro Derechos Humanos-Seminario de Educación para la Paz (2000). Educar para la paz. Una propuesta posible, Madrid: Catarata).


In general, violence is understood to be physical or psychological aggression, that is, murder, torture, blows to the body, mutilation, or other kinds of physical and psychological attack. This kind of violence is called direct violence.

Though direct violence is more visible, it is not the only kind. Other kinds may be less visible but just as present, with consequences that are as serious. In fact, direct violence is often the visible result of other forms of violence.

One kind of invisible violence is structural violence, or violence which is enmeshed in the social structure and impedes one from meeting his or her basic necessities. Examples of structural violence include social inequality, unemployment, malnutrition, and a lack of basic healthcare and education.

Another kind of violence is cultural violence, or the aspects of cultures (religion, language, art, or science) that justifies or legitimizes structural or direct violence and works to make situations of serious violence seem “normal.”

Often the causes of direct violence are linked to situations of structural violence and/or justifications for cultural violence. Many wars are the result of abuses of power for which oppressed populations are made to pay, or of social injustices, such as an inadequate distribution of land or large income inequalities. Cultural resources are allotted to justify this violence.

Games and activities by the Escola de Cultura de Pau

Direct violence

When Do I Resort to Violence?

Direct violence

Bowling Pins for Tickets
Children and War
Displacement Chess
Right and wrong
Tell me How it Was

Violencia estructural

Chocolate Parcheesi
Imagine the World's Longest Line-up
River Crossing
The Business of War

Cultural violence

Funding values
When I Grow up...

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