Great turnout for the first of three events in our series Why Conflict? Why Violence?, organised in conjuction with local Amnesty. Three fascinating talks on the theme of ‘Lifting the Lid on the Causes of Violence’. Our three speakers took very different approaches which meshed together with give a complex, nuances and thought-provoking picture.
The first, child psychologist Dr Jessamine Chiappella, looked at the early development of the child’s brain, how that is affected by environment and relationships in the first few months of life, and what interventions exist to help support parents and children when those things go wrong.
The second, forensic psychologist Dr Ciaran O’Keefe, took us through the process of assessing a young offender on the likelihood of their committing further violent offences, and showed us the complex network of factors – personal and environmental, positive and negative – that go towards making that assessment.
Finally, Martin Wilkinson of the Equality Trust presented the wealth of evidence that shows that the more unequal a society is, the more likely many of the factors leading to violence – such as depression, social anxiety, drug and alcohol misuse and a sense of hopelessness – are to be present. Studies have shown that both within and between countries, these factors correlate closely with measures of inequality such as income distribution, social mobility and access to health care.
The evening concluded with a Q&A with all three speakers, where they fielded questions ranging from whether we all have the potential within us to commit violent acts to the impact of social media on young people.
A great start to a fascinating series. We hope you will join us for part 2, on Saturday 2nd March, 18:00 for 18:15, Drake Hall, Amersham Community Centre, HP6 5AH, when we will be looking at the types of vilence in our society today. Full details here.