Human acts of violence may be defensive as well as offensive. When offensive they may be premeditated or not, and if not premeditated they may be provoked or unprovoked as in the case of so called senseless violence. Acts of violence may be perpetrated by individuals of any sex or age, or by groups in concerted and pre-planned acts, or spontaneously as in mob-violence. A major non-physical form is structural violence.
In a broader sense, as denoted by the Jain term [himsa], violence also includes other harmful acts which do not involve physical assault. These may encompass violent thought, hurtful speech, deceit, greed, and pride or any forms of violation of personhood when applied to humans. The concept can also apply in relation to other life forms. In these broader senses, any act, whether intentional or unintentional, which depersonalizes can be an act of [himsa] through its transformation of the person into a mere object or be used or manipulated. Hoarding resources may not be an act of violence in its narrow sense but as an act of [himsa] it is a form of violence in the broader sense. The Jains distinguish 432 types of [himsa], some of which do not involve negative intent.
2. Some forms of violence, in its broadest sense, are unavoidable. These include medical interventions, destruction of insects and habitats during harvesting. Violence may be the only form of effective self-defence.