When Violence is Justified

When Violence is Justified

By: Kathy Li

Violence as self-defense is justified when the person defending has no intentions to harm the attacker. When there are no intentions to harm the other person but to save yourself, violence is justified. If someone comes up and attacks another person on the street, the defender is justified to do whatever to save him or herself from being attacked. Once the defender is free though, it is not justified to shoot the offender dead. Then the defender has intentions of harming the attacker. Malcolm X has said, “I wouldn’t call on anyone to be violent without a cause. But I think the black man in this country, above and beyond people all over the world, will be more justified when he stands up and starts to protect himself, no matter how many necks he gas to break and heads he has to crack.” Using self-defense is just to defend yourself, but not to cause any further harm than necessary.

Some could say using violence back would make you just as bad as the original violence user. It would be using violence in reverse. Using violence doesn’t make you as bad as the attacker because violence is not being used to cause intentional harm to others. A person using violence as self-defense is not using it for bad intentions, like the attacker is. These are two separate ways violence can be used. People defending themselves are using violence solely to defend themselves, while attackers are using violence only to harm others.

Self defense is only justified when there is an immediate threat. Criminal.findlaw.com states,” The threat can be verbal, as long as it puts the intended victim in an immediate fear of physical harm.  Offensive words without an accompanying threat of immediate physical harm, however, do not justify the use of force in self-defense.” Once the immediate harm ends, violence loses its justification as self-defense. Instead, it would retaliatory, like revenge.



Criminal Find Law – Self Defense