Physical assault occurs when an individual person or a group of people provoke and attack an individual physically, with or without the utilisation of a weapon, or threatens to harm that person. A threat or intention of inflicting physical bodily harm on an individual that puts the person in danger of or in apprehension.
What are the signs of physical assault?
The following are examples of physical assault.
- Provocation: insults, death threats.
- Intimidation: making a fist, pushing, stalking, stealing/throwing objects.
- Brutality: attacks, struggles, fights.
- Punches and injuries: bites, bruises, injuries, dislocations, fractures.
- Assault with a weapon.
The consequences of physical assault in the workplace?
There are many consequences of physical assault. For the victim of the assault, having lived through a traumatic situation, they may be affected not only physically which include; physical scars, chronic pain, bruises, broken bones, but also psychologically: shock, constant fear, emotional instability, PTSD (post traumatic stress disorder). Depending on the injuries, the victim of the assault could be unfit to work for days, even months, be taken to the hospital and in some severe cases, they might have to undergo rehabilitation therapy.
The witnesses of a physical altercation may experience a high level of stress. Depending upon the type of the violence itself and the time frame of the altercation some witnesses may suffer from psychological problems such as insomnia, nervousness, emotional instability, exhaustion. They may also suffer physiologically including: hypertension, ulcers, eczema. The witness might also suffer from PTSD in some cases of extreme violence.
What are the legal consequences of physical assault?
Depending on the extent of the violence, the Criminal Code distinguishes between three types of assaults. They include:
- Simple assault
- Assault with a weapon or causing bodily harm
Relying on the type of offence, there are different sentences for each and they may vary from a maximum fine of $2,000 up to imprisonment for a term up to fourteen years.
Impact of physical injuries
Life-threatening injury or traumatic brain injuries (TBI) are rare. However, concussion or loss of consciousness is common just like problems with memory and concentration. A loss of consciousness or concussion is often the main result of an assault. Many of the victims may experience mild TBI. Scars and other physical marks, both of these physical consequences have direct and indirect effects on the victim. Strong hits directly affect the victim causing severe headaches, seizures and loss of consciousness. The victim could also sustain damage to nerves in their face. Scarring around the eye could lead to sight problems, which could cause problems with coordination and may prevent the victim from playing sports, attending school, going to work and other basic activities.
Direct effects which include memory and coordination problems may have serious impacts on a victim’s life, causing challenges in their educational, occupational and social functioning. Due to problems with their concentration, their ability to study may diminish, resulting in poor academic performance.
The experience of physical assault often has negative psychological consequences for theBvictim(s) involved. Depression, anxiety, fear and anger are common to experiences of physical assault. Effects can consist of ongoing feelings of depression, hopelessness and worthlessness and might also have suicidal thoughts, challenges with decision making, inability to experience pleasure anymore from enjoyable activities.
Victims may also fear going out in public places as they fear potentially re-encountering their offender. Side effects of this fear are withdrawing from public and social life, refusing to leave their home, avoiding certain areas or shopping centres. Victims sometimes completely relocate in order to avoid encountering the offender.
Experiences of fear, psychological illness and physical injury after an assault could cause issues with occupational and educational functioning. For example:
- being unable to work because of the fear of encountering the offender in the street while doing their job
- an inability to re-engage at work due to serious mental illness caused by the physical assault
- injuries sustained during the assault affecting the ability to return or to complete the work.
In conclusion people should not assault people of the community or anyone out of the society, Before thinking of assaulting someone you should keep in mind the consequences not only for you but for the impact on the victim and their family. There are many consequences for the victim such as PTSD, psychological impacts, physical impacts such as broken bones, internal bleeding, bruises and damage to the head, social impacts and economic impacts. To prevent this type of altercation or physical assault you should contact an adult immediately if you are threatened by someone or if you yourself are thinking of assaulting someone.