Notes on Lateral Violence

2018 has been the year of learning about LATERAL VIOLENCE.

2 min readNov 25, 2018

“No person is your friend who demands your silence or denies your right to grow”.

-Alice Walker

Lateral violence is displaced violence directed against one’s peers rather than adversaries. Near-synonyms include horizontal violence, intra-racial conflict, and internalized colonialism.

One of the primary causes is generational trauma (caused by white supremacy, colonization, white people, patriarchy, etc.).

Outside the racial context, the term is also used in explanation of workplace bullying, though in that case the circumstances are much different. Except when the work is in social justice.

Also sometimes known as “bullying” lateral violence is a better term bc it removes the stigma and pressure placed on survivors /victims of “being bullied.”

Some common signs of lateral violence:

  1. It comes as a total surprise shock since you don’t expect to be attacked by your peers / accomplices.
  2. Because you didn’t expect to be attacked by them — your first response will be one of concern for your peer/friend/coworker. you will try to understand and even protect them… which in a real case of…




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