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The World's Most Violent Nations

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1) Syria -
2) Afghanistan -
3) South Sudan -
4) Iraq -
5) Somalia -
6) Central African Republic -
7) Russia -
8) Pakistan -
9) North Korea -

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Violence is "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." This definition associates intentionality with the committing of the act itself, irrespective of the outcome it produces. Generally, though, anything that is turbulent or excited in an injurious, damaging or destructive way, or presenting risk accordingly, may be described as violent or occurring violently, even if not signifying violence (by a person and against a person).

Globally, violence takes the lives of more than 1.6 million people annually. Just over 50% due to suicide, some 35% due to homicide, and just over 12% as a direct result of war or some other form of conflict. In Africa, out of every 100,000 people, each year an estimated 60.9 die a violent death. Statistics show that gunfire kills ten children a day in the United States. Corlin, past president of the American Medical Association said: "The United States leads the world—in the rate at which its children die from firearms." His conclusion? "Gun violence is a threat to the public health of our country." For each single death due to violence, there are dozens of hospitalizations, hundreds of emergency department visits, and thousands of doctors' appointments. Furthermore, violence often has lifelong consequences for victims' physical and mental health and social functioning and can slow economic and social development.

Violence in many forms is preventable. Evidence shows strong relationships between levels of violence and potentially modifiable factors such as concentrated poverty, income and gender inequality, the harmful use of alcohol, and the absence of safe, stable, and nurturing relationships between children and parents. Scientific research shows that strategies addressing the underlying causes of violence can be effective in preventing violence.

Collective violence is subdivided into social, political and economic violence. Unlike the other two broad categories, the subcategories of collective violence suggest possible motives for violence committed by larger groups of individuals or by states. Collective violence that is committed to advance a particular social agenda includes, for example, crimes of hate committed by organized groups, terrorist acts and mob violence. Political violence includes war and related violent conflicts, state violence and similar acts carried out by larger groups. Economic violence includes attacks by larger groups motivated by economic gain -- such as attacks carried out with the purpose of disrupting economic activity, denying access to essential services, or creating economic division and fragmentation. Clearly, acts committed by larger groups can have multiple motives.

This typology, while imperfect and far from being universally accepted, does provide a useful framework for understanding the complex patterns of violence taking place around the world, as well as violence in the everyday lives of individuals, families and communities. It also overcomes many of the limitations of other typologies by capturing the nature of violent acts, the relevance of the setting, the relationship between the perpetrator and the victim, and -- in the case of collective violence -- possible motivations for the violence. However, in both research and practice, the dividing lines between the different types of violence are not always so clear.

A United States M8 Greyhound armoured car in Paris during World War II
War is a state of prolonged violent large-scale conflict involving two or more groups of people, usually under the auspices of government. War is fought as a means of resolving territorial and other conflicts, as war of aggression to conquer territory or loot resources, in national self-defence, or to suppress attempts of part of the nation to secede from it.

Since the Industrial Revolution, the lethality of modern warfare has steadily grown. World War I casualties were over 40 million and World War II casualties were over 70 million.

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