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Vengeance is a significant problem in societies around the world. According to the US Department of Justice, 20% of the homicides in the United States are seemingly vengeance-related. Cases from schools to workplaces, friends, and families are emerging year after year with the sole motivation of revenge. It is highly challenging to understand the complex structure of vengeance with the precise causes and effects on individuals, groups, and societies. Vengeance may affect people on many levels that range from physical to psychological and even on a cultural level when dealing with groups and societies. While many factors have contributed to the rise of vengeance rates, the essential ones are the weak rules of law or in subcultures where victims cannot rely on the legal system, the wide gap between societies and laws and even the absence of governmental support enforces vengeance into traditions and conservative cultures.

By definition, vengeance is both an act and a desire. An act of punishing or harming as a reciprocity toward the transgressor. Also, vengeance is the urge to re-enforce what is right and pay back wrongs. On a practical level, if jurisdiction powers enforce laws and adjust rules to support victims and uncover wrongdoers swiftly, the people who would otherwise desire vengeance will be less likely to act as their motive of punishment will be righteously fulfilled. For example, in some cases, crime investigations and trials may take years while the victim’s family and friends are waiting for justice. This delay in ruling is psychologically, emotionally, and mentally intense on the victim’s entourage which can increase the desire for vengeance and might lead to regrettable acts of violence towards the transgressor’s entourage. Consequently, laws’ adjustments, whether initiated nationally by parliaments or revisited by legislative bodies would reduce the growing number of crimes related to vengeance.

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In addition to legislation and rules, people’s lack of knowledge of prosecution procedures decreased the level of trust that society shares with the jurisdiction bodies. This gap between society and laws is increasing the feeling of social victimization, unfairness, and lack of justice among groups and communities. The broader the gap, the bigger the desire to retaliate. To illustrate this, at the beginning of 2020, in the USA, George Floyd was brutally arrested by the police. This accident burst the desire for vengeance, riots took place in many states for many days and racial tension rose to its highest level. As a result, gaps between society and laws amplify the feeling of unfairness and transcends vengeance from an individual to a collective act that threatens communities’ and societies’ safety.

On the other hand, some societies don’t refer to laws to attain justice. In some cases, vengeance is a pillar in many traditions and cultures all around the world. Communities and tribes use vengeance as a tool to protect their sanctity. These societies regard laws as an ineffective tool to enforce justice and protect their existence. Some families transfer the duty of vengeance to descendants for many generations and conflicts may take decades to be resolved. In this kind of society, avengers take pride and are praised for their actions. Governments around the world perceive these communities as a threat that may lead to consecutive crimes and even armed confrontation, thus governments cautiously deal with tribes’ traditions and try to reintegrate them into a national acceptance of laws by increasing social and economic support. When a conflict arises between tribes, some governments interfere as mediators to resolve conflicts and prevent bloodshed, yet it doesn’t always go as planned. Therefore, the absence of governmental support and protection for some communities encourages them to self-enforcing justice using vengeance as a mechanism.

In conclusion, societies and individuals around the world face unique challenges when it comes to vengeance. While vengeance transudes as a flow of victory when accomplished, it always comes with a great cost. Violence, aggression, anger, and even death are the price tag of vengeance. The creation of fair and transparent laws that are fairly and righteously enforced in societies with no distinction will decrease the rate of revenge-motivated crimes. Moreover, Government efforts to integrate all communities under their national umbrellas regardless of any cultural differences increase safety in societies and minimize the influence of vengeance.

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