Structural violence is a term used to describe the institutionalised prevention of certain basic needs for sustainable human equilibrium. Structural violence is subtle, usually invisible, and often has no one specific person who can (or will) be held responsible (in contrast to behavioral violence), it is a crippling form of oppression and indirectly responsible for millions of deaths every year.
“structural violence”, illuminates a broad spectrum of built in suffering, inhumanity and deprivation that is simply accepted as normality today by an uninformed majority. This context of violence stretches much farther and deeper than many tend to consider. The scope of how our socioeconomic system unnecessarily diminishes our public health and inhibits our progress today can only be recognized clearly when we take a more detached technical or scientific perspective of social affairs, bypassing our traditional, often blinding familiarities." Peter Joseph
"Cultural violence" refers to aspects of a culture that can be used to justify or legitimize direct or structural violence, and may be exemplified by religion and ideology, language and art, empirical science and formal science. Galtung, Johan. "Cultural Violence," Journal of Peace Research, Vol. 27, No. 3 (Aug., 1990), pp. 291-305.
Access to health care problem
In the United States access to adequate health care is a form of structural violence, the ability to afford comprehensive health insurance is a luxury those living beneath the poverty line often struggle with.
Examples of structural violence
A significant trend of negative health associated cases although overlooked by the majority of medical establishments and various governing bodies around the World are in fact linked to structural violence, some of these include:
- lack of health care access
- lower class lifestyle habits such as drug use, smoking, excessive alcohol consumption
An international problem
85 of the richest people on the planet have accumulated the same amount of wealth as the poorest 3,500,000,000 (billion).