WE are regularly exposed to education and awareness-raising initiatives focused on reducing violence. Violence against women, against children, against paramedics, against police officers, against bus drivers.
Yet many still talk and sometimes behave in a way that suggests that violence or aggression - in some situations - is OK.
Young people, some just 12 years old, made headlines this week for being arrested or suspected of involvement in criminal activities.
Some social media responses blame the teenagers' parents, the police and the courts.
But, worryingly, there is a strong sentiment among people willing to put their name to their opinions on social media, that violence is OK.
It's time to set up a vigilante group, suggests one. Let's get a few men together to give these youths a bit of their own medicine, says another. Give them a hiding. It's time for old-fashioned justice. A few hits with a taser would make them think twice.
Is it a sign that people are frustrated? Or does it suggest that far too many people think that violence and abuse in some situations is OK?
We see evidence of that when a bus driver, perhaps trying to insist commuters pay their fare, gets threatened or spat on. But it's not only delinquent teenagers that display this attitude. Police officers, trying to arrest someone for unruly behaviour, get attacked by a friend, brother or sister.
Concerns about attitudes that support violence have been raised in recently released results from the 2017 National Community Attitudes towards Violence against Women Survey.
Focusing specifically on violence against women, the NCAS report says some people have attitudes that excuse a perpetrator, suggesting the victim is in some way responsible for the violence. The report refers to attitudes that minimise violence by denying that it is serious or suggesting it does not have a big impact on the victim.
The researchers say that when such attitudes are shared by influential people or held by many they can contribute to a culture in which violence is not condemned, or worse, is condoned and encouraged.
Youth offending is complex and there is no easy fix but let's not go down the slippery slope of encouraging or accepting violence against anyone, even young people who have done wrong.
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