Guidelines for Responding to Inappropriate, Concerning and Threatening Behaviour.
This set of guidelines offers simple and practical advice for staff responding to inappropriate and threatening behaviour and stresses the importance of discussing such behaviours with appropriate University staff.
A community that provides a physically and psychologically safe teaching and learning environment is the responsibility of all participants. Therefore all staff, students, contractors and visitors have a responsibility to contribute to a safe university environment that does not interfere with or impede the ability of others to cary out their study, research or work. this includes
â¢ Behaving with dignity, treating all community members with courtesy and respect
â¢ Reporting inappropriate, concerning or threatening behaviour to Campus Care staff
â¢ Caring about other community members and encouraging them to seek help
â¢ Seeking help or advice about dealing with difficult situations by contacting Campus Care staff
Incidents of inappropriate, concerning or threatening behaviour should always be discussed with a supervisor, lecturer or Head of School within the University. In addition, staff are encouraged to seek advice from Campus Care staff, particularly if they are concerned about aspects of privacy or confidentiality.
University supervisors and managers have additional responsibilities by virtue of their role. Supervisors and managers must take all reasonable steps to ensure that the working or learning environment for which they are responsible is free from inappropriate, concerning or threatening behaviour.
To do this, supervisors and managers must:
â¢ Be familiar with these guidelines, and with the policies and procedures referred to within the guidelines
â¢ Promote and support a safe study and work environment, ensuring that:
â¢ Work groups and individuals have access to training
â¢ Workgroups have well practiced immediate response plans in place should threatening behaviour occur
â¢ The physical environment is designed with appropriate safety features
â¢ Take all reports or incidents of inappropriate, concerning or threatening behaviour seriously, and:
â¢ Ensure that advice is sought from Campus Care staff
â¢ Support staff to act as recommended by Campus Care staff and in ways that promote the safety of the community
â¢ Keep a confidential record of all incidents, reports and advice
â¢ Ensure that all community members affected by inappropriate, concerning or threatening behaviour have access to information about support services:
â¢ University Counselling Service for students
â¢ Employee Assistance Program for staff
â¢ Develop protocols and processes that promote an environment where staff, students, contractors and visitors behave in a respectful manner.
inappropriate, concerning and threatening behaviour
Responding to inappropriate and concerning behaviour
Responding to threatening behaviour
Responding to violence
Follow up management of inapporopiate, concerning and threatening behaviour
Accessing help and support within the University
As members of the University community, all staff, students, contractors and visitors have a responsibility to contribute to a safe University environment that does not impede the ability of others to carry out their study, research or work.
Inappropriate, concerning and threatening behaviour from staff, students or visitors requires a careful response that maximises open communication, provides firm limits on unacceptable behaviour, or prevents escalation to violence or other serious incidents thereby promoting the safety of everyone involved.
While some consideration of the motivation behind inappropriate, concerning and threatening conduct might guide the response, it is important to acknowledge that this is irrelevant until the immediate safety of everyone involved is restored. Assessing motivation often requires expertise, particularly in cases where the behaviour persists or is thought to be affected by a mental health problem or substance abuse. It is important that staff do not feel compelled to find out the reasons for inappropriate, concerning or threatening behaviour, or gain skills in diagnosing causes, but rather feel empowered to seek advice on responding to the behaviour.
The following guidelines are a list of options for response, however they are not intended to restrict or direct any person to respond in a particular way. The decision on how a person should respond always remains with that individual. This information suggests actions which may be useful to consider should an individual find them self in the circumstances listed below.
Behaviours that are considered to be inappropriate or concerning include:
â¢ unwanted attention
â¢ unusually persistent complaining
â¢ intentional theft
â¢ pornography use that contravenes the University Computing and Communications Facilities Conditions of Use Policy: http://www.newcastle.edu.au/policy/000817.html and/or affects others
â¢ sexual harassment (unwelcome sexual conduct of any kind)
â¢ all other behaviour, not mentioned above, that is concerning and inappropriate. Examples of inappropriate behaviour might be revealing inappropriate knowledge of personal information or demanding unwarranted special consideration.
Behaviours that are considered threatening include:
â¢ angry, aggressive communications
â¢ an uttered threat to kill, harm another or damage property
â¢ stalking (repeated attempts to impose unwanted communication or contact which elicit concern)
â¢ bullying (repeated, unreasonable conduct in the workplace)
â¢ an uttered threat to self-harm or suicide
â¢ any act of physical violence, property damage, or production of a weapon
â¢ violent critical incident on campus
Inappropriate and concerning behaviour differs from threatening behaviour in that the fear of imminent physical danger is not present.
Inappropriate and concerning behaviour includes behaviour that is erratic, markedly different, unusual or out of character. Sometimes you might notice unsuitable or incongruent dress or personal hygiene, strange facial expression, posture, eye contact or loudness and speed of speech. The person may be angry or agitated, may be verbose, or using confused or irrational language. If you are faced with this sort of interaction it is important to listen to your own cues. You may be feeling anxious, helpless, angry or threatened. You might also be struggling to make sense of what the person is saying. It is important to understand that the person may be feeling vulnerable and frightened and may need additional support.
â¢ Demonstrate your concern and suggest they seek help from appropriate services
â¢ Contact Campus Care staff for confidential advice and action
â¢ If they are not responding to your efforts, if you feel unsafe, or if you notice escalating behaviour or inability to close the conversation, get assistance from colleagues and contact Security.
Remember that assisting early intervention in these cases will promote positive coping solutions and the greatest likelihood of a full recovery.
Concerns for safety and security
If the concerning behaviour that you observe also includes suspicious activity or unusual events such as finding doorways blocked or locked when they are not usually, or seeing people in restricted areas without reason,
â¢ Do not approach suspicious people or situations if you do not feel comfortable
â¢ Observe as much as possible from a safe distance and note your observations as soon as practicable
â¢ Contact Security if you require an immediate response, or contact Campus Care staff to report incidents of non-urgent suspicious behaviour
Remember, the accurate and timely sharing of information can lead to early prevention of serious incidents.
More specific concerning behaviour includes:
Unusually persistent complaining
From time to time you may encounter a complainant who
despite your every effort and best practice continues to complain to the extent
that the pursuit of their grievance becomes emotionally and socially damaging to
well as the targets of their complaints. The transition point from understandable grievance to an abnormal preoccupation may be difficult to discern however prevention, early recognition and safe effective management is essential to minimize the potential disproportionate impact this behaviour has on the person themselves and their targets. Contact Campus Care staff who will assist with strategic advice and management of this behaviour.
Most thefts are opportunistic and as a result of a rational choice. Occasionally however theft and particularly repeated theft may be one of the behaviours that indicates the person may be experiencing underlying issues which they need help to resolve. Regardless of the cause of the behaviour, in the first instance in both situations the matter should be reported to Security.
Pornography use that contrvenes the University Computing and Communications Facilities Conditions of Use Policy (http://www.newcastle.edu.au/policy/000817.html) and / or affects others.
Viewing of pornography on computers within public areas of the university has the potential to impact adversely on others within the area. University policy advises that users are not permitted to utilize the Universityâs Computing and Communications Facilities Conditions of Use facilities to access pornographic material or to create, store or distribute pornographic material. It will not be a defence to claim that the recipient was a consenting adult. Misuse of computing and communications facilities can result in withdrawal of service or access.
Persistent, prolonged, ongoing accessing of pornographic material rather than attending to other normal life activities, tutorials and sleeping for example, may indicate that the person is struggling in other aspects of their life and needs some help and support. Contact Campus Care staff for advice or if the behaviour is currently occurring and impacting on others, contact Security.
Possession and/or dissemination of child pornography is a crime. Any occurrence of this behaviour detected on campus or whilst using the university computing and communications facilities available to staff and students whilst off campus, will be reported to the Police. If you require an immediate response to concerns regarding child pornography contact Security or Campus Care staff.
Sexual harassment is an unwelcome sexual advance or unwelcome request for sexual favours or other unwelcome conduct of a sexual nature, in circumstances in which a reasonable person would anticipate that the person harassed would be offended, humiliated or intimidated. Sexual harassment might occur as a single incident or a series of incidents and may include:
â¢ personally offensive comments
â¢ sexual or smutty jokes
â¢ comments or teasing about a personâs alleged sexual activities or private life
â¢ persistent unwelcome invitation/s, telephone calls or emails on campus or at home
â¢ being followed home from campus
â¢ offensive hand or body gestures
â¢ physical contact such as patting, pinching, touching or putting an arm around another person
â¢ the display of sexually-suggestive material
â¢ unwanted declarations of affection
â¢ sexual assault and rape
â¢ use of University computer systems for the retention and distribution of sexually explicit material
Contact Campus Care staff who after an initial confidential discussion will refer you to the University Complaints Manager who will provide advice on lodging a complaint in accordance with the University Complaints Resolution policy and procedures.
An important aspect in managing potential incidents is to be prepared in terms of the physical environment and skilled in de-escalation techniques.
If your workplace is a front line service area there are certain steps you can take to mitigate the risk of escalating threatening behaviour and to protect yourself. Ideally, procedures would be in place to advise staff of any previous threatening behaviour by a person of concern. Staff in the area can develop a prepared safety response which enables them to know what to do if they feel threatened or at risk of harm or violence. Collaborate with other staff in your area to produce a uniform safety response which includes their back up and assistance. Also, keep in mind the following:
â¢ People presenting in an agitated manner should be attended to without delay.
â¢ The first objective is to defuse the situation
â¢ Staff within the reception area should provide backup and assistance as long as they can do so without endangering themselves
â¢ If the person attending the counter has been sent correspondence indicating that contact will only be by telephone/letter or if their right to be on campus has been removed, immediately report the matter to Security
â¢ If the defusing strategies have been exhausted and the person continues to behave aggressively, aggression increases or if the member of staff fears for their own safety, the person should be asked to leave and Security services contacted
â¢ Your counter area acts as an excellent barrier between yourself and the person of concern. Make sure all counter areas and service areas including desks are free of objects that could be used as weapons or projectiles such as scissors, vases and other heavy objects.
â¢ Make use of duress alarm buttons if available. Arrange with Security to test this equipment regularly
â¢ Ensure that doors to staff areas are kept closed and where possible locked at all times, regularly change entry combinations to pass-protected doors and locks
â¢ Do not leave keys or security passes unattended and report lost or stolen keys or access cards to security immediately
Where concerning or threatening behaviour is anticipated contact Campus Care staff or Security for advice and support prior to the encounter.
â¢ Procedures should be put in place to ensure that staff are aware of any previous threatening behaviour
â¢ Ensure the room is clear of objects that can be used as projectiles or weapons. If a drink is to be offered water is suggested (cold, non staining) in paper cups
â¢ Always arrange furniture in the meeting room so that you are nearest the exit. This ensures that if you decide to leave you are not trapped with the concerning person between you and the exit
â¢ Position tables or desks between you and the person you are meeting with so that you are protected and out of immediate reach. If you decide to leave the room, the person of concern has to negotiate these obstacles to follow you
â¢ Where possible have another staff member in the meeting. Discuss beforehand who will lead the interview
â¢ Consider leaving the exit door open or opening the door if your concern increases during the interview
â¢ When leaving the interview room minimise the risk of violence by walking beside or behind the person of concern
Angry, aggressive communication
Low level aggression exhibited by raised voices, yelling and general verbal abuse can be experienced face to face or over the telephone despite efforts to prepare well and establish open communication. When people become upset and temporarily lose control, the following de-escalation skills are recommended.
â¢ Be calm: the more fear and confusion you display, the more the aggressor feels in control which reinforces their threatening behaviour. Remind yourself to be calm and professional and follow your prepared procedures. Be ready to withdraw from the scene should their aggression escalate
â¢ Be aware: assess the situation, step back and take in information â keep thinking. Avoid being drawn into the aggressorâs emotional storm by concentrating on the tasks you have to perform
â¢ Be professional: if you have decided it is safe to engage the aggressor, keep a safe distance (outside armâs length) and attempt to engage them in conversation. Use their name, if you know it, and introduce yourself, including your role, and let them know you want to understand the issue and that you intend to help them
â¢ The aggressive person is likely to be confused and may have trouble taking in complex directions so be clear and firm. Keep them talking and ask them to help you work on finding a solution to their problem
â¢ If possible only one person should talk to the individual to try and clarify their concern
â¢ Convey respect and active listening, remain objective while acknowledging their difficulty.
Early acknowledgment of an emotion allows the person to attempt to regain control for example, in a non judgemental unemotional way state:
âYou seem very â¦.(name the emotion e.g. distressed).. . by this, Iâll do what I can to helpâ
On agreement from the person on the identified emotion restate the emotion and reflect that you have heard their concerns. For example;
âYou areâ¦..(emotional state)â¦becauseâ¦(if you are certain of the cause state this otherwise be silent and allow the person to clarify what has caused the emotional state.â¦)â
Once the person agrees with your reflective listening, focus on developing possible courses of action. Describe a possible action and ask if that course of action makes sense to them, for example, âHow would that work for you?â
â¢ Discuss alternatives and let them know what you can and cannot do to help them while stressing the positives and their options
â¢ Do not challenge or argue with their thinking if they seem irrational or delusional
â¢ Do not react to language or gestures aimed at you
â¢ Do not order, command, warn or threaten
â¢ Do not moralise or ridicule
â¢ Never touch the person as it can be interpreted as an affront or threat
â¢ Maintain normal eye contact, deliberate staring can be seen as aggressive
â¢ Always be aware of your own physical and emotional safety
â¢ Where anger is specifically being directed at you, at a minor level, inform the person of your feelings of discomfort that their behaviour is causing you and clearly state that you had not intended to add to the persons upset
â¢ Withdraw earlier rather than later, and if necessary offer to discuss the matter further at another time when the person may be calmer
If the behaviour continues after every effort
has been made to defuse the situation:
Abuse thresholds of staff vary. Be aware of your own threshold for being abused verbally and discuss with other staff and supervisors their views of what is acceptable.
In face to face interaction
â¢ Give a clear non emotional, non personalised message which motivates the person to control their behaviour and gives them an alternative, for example;
âThe university recognises that when people are very (â¦ name emotion â¦) it is difficult to resolve matters and it can cause distress to staff. The university will not allow us to continue if you are expressing yourself this way and causing others to be distressed
a short break and offer a drink, or the interview ceases with the following options:
- a future meeting to discuss the issues
- a support person to also attend
- a phone appointment to further explore the issues
- the person sends a letter listing the points they wish to raise
- other agreed option
If the person fails to cooperate and the behaviour continues or escalates:
â¢ Advise the person that such behaviour is totally unacceptable and if it continues the interview will be terminated and the person requested to leave
â¢ Never feel obliged to continue or persevere with interviews if you feel distressed or threatened
â¢ If the behaviour persists or the person refuses to leave after requests to do so advise them that Security services will be contacted
â¢ Contact Security
â¢ If you are feeling distressed or fearful, remove yourself from the interview. Depending on your level of fear, do either of the following then contact Security
- leave the room immediately
- excuse yourself and move through the exit, turn and state, âThe university will not allow me to continue this interview when you are expressing your distress and anger in this way as it is harmful to staff". Walk away and wait for security.
Where all avenues of best practise, customer service and de-escalation techniques have been exhausted:
â¢ Give a warning: Advise the caller assertively that verbal abuse will not be tolerated and the call will be terminated if necessary. Examples of termination warnings are:
âI understand you have a genuine concern but the university wonât allow me to continue while you express yourself in this wayâ.
âIâm sorry but I donât think we can discuss this while you are speaking this way.â
âIâm sorry but if you have no questions Iâll have to terminate the call in order to deal with other people who are waiting.â
â¢ If feeling stressed staff should hit the mute button before letting off steam (a hand held over the mouth piece has little effect)
â¢ If a caller continues to be aggressive they should be told that no further information can be given to them and remind the caller that they have already been asked to stop speaking that way. After restating that the call is being terminated, staff should then promptly hang up
â¢ Make a file note of the conversation and termination
â¢ Advise others to take a consistent approach with the caller if they call back in the same aggressive state
Repeated aggressive phone calls
Protocols should be developed, for example:
â¢ The call should be directed to a supervisor
â¢ If after discussion with other staff and supervisors the agreed approach might be to correspond in writing only if the caller has been advised previously of this, this condition should be repeated and the call again terminated
â¢ Where appropriate the caller should be directed to a particular person and be advised that calls will only be dealt with by that person at a nominated time or a nominated day
Threat to harm, kill or damage property
Written threats: email, text message, letter
In the case of receiving an email, text message or letter containing a threat of any kind:
â¢ Determine if the threat is imminent if so contact Security immediately
â¢ If the threat is of a non-imminent nature contact Campus Care staff for advice
â¢ Save an email or text message in its original format
â¢ Place a letter containing a threat into a plastic pocket as soon as possible and with the minimal amount of handling
â¢ Do not attempt to respond to the threatening email, text message or letter
Verbal threats in person or telephone call
If, in conversation, you hear a threat to harm, kill
or damage property pause the conversation and in a non-emotive, non-accusatory
âDid you just sayâ¦â¦(repeat the threat in their words and clarify âWhat exactly do you mean by that?â)
If the person retracts the threat, advise them of the following:
âThe university views the uttering of threats very seriously and if the behaviour continues I will not be permitted to assist you any furtherâ
Continue the interaction only if you are comfortable
about doing so
As soon as possible write down the wording of the threat and details of context in which it was delivered
When the conversation is terminated report the incident to the Campus Care staff or Security.
Where you are not comfortable about continuing the conversation or the threats are repeated or escalated leave the area or terminate the telephone call. Call Security for an immediate response. Further management of the person who uttered the threat will occur. This may involve advice on the management of the next encounter with the person, and a Safety Plan meeting with stakeholders. An investigation and threat assessment may be carried out in order to establish Security services operations if necessary. Formal university processes under the student or staff discipline procedures may be indicated. Where necessary matters will be reported to the Police. Referrals to University Counselling Service, medical services or external specialist services may also be necessary.
Try not to escalate concern in your work environment. Understand that by contacting the appropriate service â either Security or Campus Care, that the threat will be assessed and managed by a team of professionals who have your safety and the safety of those around you uppermost on their agenda.
Stalking is repeated attempts to impose on another unwanted communication or contact which elicit concern.
In cases of unwanted attention or relationship seeking do not make vague or unassertive responses. A succinct message âI do not want a relationship with youâ conveys your wishes unequivocally. A stalker will misinterpret ambiguous responses and use them to manipulate you. Deliver the message in a calm respectful manner. Do not engage in any further discussions with the pursuer or indulge them in counter argument or negotiation. If you suspect the motive behind the unwelcome contact is resentment or revenge then contact Campus Care staff. If you require an immediate response contact Security.
Contact Campus Care staff if the behaviour continues after a clear message has been delivered.
Advice from experienced staff will be given on the management of the situation including strategies for evading the stalker and bringing the unwanted behaviour to an end, personal safety issues and preservation of evidence. Where circumstances dictate support will be given to escalate the matter to formal University Complaints processes, or reporting the offence to the Police.
If you are in danger, call Security immediately or call on colleagues for assistance to alert Security:
If you are emotionally affected by the behaviour contact the University Counselling Service or EAP.
Workplace bullying is defined as: repeated unreasonable behaviour directed towards a staff member or student, or group of staff members or group of students, that creates a risk to health and safety.
Bullying does not include any legitimate or reasonable use of performance management processes, disciplinary action, allocation of work in compliance with systems, implementation of organisational change or downsizing action taken to transfer or redeploy a staff member or a decision not to promote or reclassify the staff member.
The University is committed to the provision of information and training and to manage any incidents of workplace bullying in a fair and timely manner. The University has a Diversity and Inclusiveness Policy http://www.newcastle.edu.au/policy/000941.html. Contact the Campus Care staff for further information.
Threats to selfâharm or suicide
If someone says they intend to harm themselves or commit
suicide ask them:
How seriously should I take this?
Can I organise for you to see a doctor or counsellor?
An act of physical violence, property damage or production of a weapon on campus is not acceptable and will not be tolerated at the University. The following University policy and procedures apply and are in addition to NSW Legislation.
â¢ Student Discipline Rules: http://www.newcastle.edu.au/policy/000341.html
â¢ Complaints Resolution Policy: http://www.newcastle.edu.au/policy/000745.html
â¢ Complaints Resolution Procedures: http://www.newcastle.edu.au/policy/000898.html
â¢ Code of Conduct for Residents Policy: http://www.newcastle.edu.au/policy/000060.html
â¢ Academic Staff Enterprise Agreement 2010: http://www.newcastle.edu.au/service/employee-relations/academic-staff-enterprise-agreement-2010.html
â¢ General staff Enterprise Agreement 2010: http://www.newcastle.edu.au/service/employee-relations/general-staff-enterprise-agreement-2010.html
â¢ Teachers Enterprise Agreement 2010: http://www.newcastle.edu.au/service/employee-relations/teachers-enterprise-agreement-2010.html
â¢ Diversity and Inclusiveness policy: http://www.newcastle.edu.au/policy/000941.html
Any act of physical violence or production of a weapon should lead to immediate termination of an interview, conversation or other contact:
â¢ Member of staff should immediately, if it is safe to do so, withdraw to safety and activate a duress alarm button or contact Security
â¢ If there is risk to other persons, and it is safe to do so, they should be alerted and asked to relocate immediately to a safer place. If escape is not possible, treat the situation extremely seriously, for example donât smile or appear casual as a physically violent person will often be in a highly unstable mental state and such behaviour may act as a trigger
â¢ Obey orders quickly, a failure to do so may lead to further violence
â¢ Immediate medical assistance should be given to those injured. Call the University Health Service, Security and an ambulance if necessary
â¢ Make detailed file notes when the danger has abated.
â¢ Further management of the person making threats will occur by an experienced team of staff after the event has been reported to Security and Campus Care staff
Choosing to leave
If you can leave the area then it is best to do so
If you believe that a person making threats has the capacity to carry out the threat and you feel in imminent danger of physical violence you may use such force as is reasonable and necessary to protect yourself. Reasonable force means the amount of force that is sufficient to stop an attack or to prevent injury but nothing more. Staff are expected to retreat whenever possible and if the choice is between hitting an attacker and running away, you should run away. Other staff assisting should not threaten or resort to physical violence except for their own self defence or the defence of another person. Again the force used should only be that which is necessary to ward off an attack.
Call Security when safe to do so
Who to leave
â¢ A person with an obvious physical advantage and who appears to be looking for a fight
â¢ Someone who appears to believe they have nothing to lose and seems intent on murder-suicide
â¢ A person who is extremely agitated, possibly under the influence of drugs or alcohol, or is mentally unstable
â¢ Agitated people defending their own territory or personal space
When to leave
â¢ Preferably when you assess the person is not calming down
â¢ When you have exhausted your options to defuse the situation
â¢ The moment the situation becomes uncontrollable
â¢ When the threatening person drops their guard, becomes distracted or makes a mistake
How to leave:
â¢ Donât leave as a panic reaction but as a positive action; follow your previously thought through personal safety response
â¢ Go to a place of safety, not just away from the danger
â¢ Once started, donât hesitate or stop until free and clear
â¢ In a confined or cluttered space, do not run at full speed and risk running in to something and causing an injury to yourself
â¢ Place obstacles in the path of person if being pursued
â¢ Take off your shoes if this will make running easier and quieter
â¢ Use alternative routes if your planned route becomes blocked
Violent critical incident on campus
In general, university campuses are safer than the communities that surround them due to the additional resources and programs designed to help reduce the incidence and impact of campus crime and promote safe environments.
Despite this, there have been instances of serious and lethal violence at universities in Australia and in other parts of the world, usually involving the use of weapons.
If you are immediately threatened by serious violent behaviour including potentially lethal behaviour:
It is important to get to a safe place and notify others at the earliest opportunity:
â¢ Always contact Security
â¢ Contact Police by calling 000
â¢ Advise your location, name, contact number and describe the incident
â¢ Listen carefully and follow any directions given to you
If you are in a building office or room
â¢ STAY THERE, be silent and secure the door
â¢ If the door does not lock and opens inwards, consider jamming a wedge in the door or barricading it with heavy furniture
â¢ Turn off the lights if they are on
â¢ If the door has a window, close any blind and stay out of view
â¢ Listen for the evacuation siren and where possible respond to these directions
â¢ If you are in a ground floor location, are able and it is safe to do so, consider exiting through a window
â¢ If the windows donât open, or you cannot break them, or you are not on a ground floor, get out of sight, stay low and quiet until you know you are out of danger
â¢ If it is safe to do so and you have access to a phone, notify Security or Police of the situation and your location
â¢ If you manage to exit the building and no Security or Police are visible move well away from the location of the incident to a position of safety
â¢ Where Police or Security officers are present on the scene, identify yourself and follow their instructions
â¢ Once you are in a safe place, stay there until it is safe to leave
If you are in a hallway or corridor
â¢ Get into a room and secure the room
â¢ If the door does not lock and opens inwards, consider jamming a wedge in the door or barricading it with heavy furniture
â¢ Turn off the lights if they are on
â¢ If the door has a window, close any blind and stay out of view
â¢ Do not hide in restrooms
â¢ Do not run long distances along corridors to exit
â¢ If you are near an exit and it is safe to do so, exit the building
If you are outside
â¢ Stay alert and look for appropriate cover locations
â¢ Brick walls, large trees, retaining walls or parked vehicles may provide concealment and/or cover
â¢ If safe to do so, move to the cover location
â¢ Avoid running long distances in the open unless necessary
â¢ Where Police or Security officers are present on the scene, identify yourself and follow their instructions
If you are trapped by or with a violent person
â¢ Do not do anything to provoke them
â¢ Try to stay calm
â¢ Do what they say and do not move suddenly
â¢ When confronted by a violent situation, only you can decide what you will do to defend yourself or others. An act of violence in self defence is lawful if it is necessary to avert the threat and the force used is reasonable to respond to that threat
â¢ Notify Security and or the Police as soon as it is safe to do so
â¢ If you are fleeing a situation, identify yourself to any Police and Security present when safe to do so
These safety tips and guidelines are designed to provide general options for consideration where serious violent behaviour occurs on campus. You should always consider the particular circumstances of the situation carefully before deciding how to respond.
Inappropriate, concerning or threatening behaviour requires a response in the moment where it occurred and a response to follow-up any ongoing safety issues including a decision about what further action should be taken. Follow up should be legal, safe, humane and fair for all involved.
When faced with an immediate threat or emergency, contact Security The University security is manned 24/7 and is available to provide advice and support relating to concerning inappropriate or threatening behaviour.
Involving Campus Care
The Campus Care program has been established to provide confidential advice for all University community members, linking them with staff experienced in the assessment and management of concerning, inappropriate or threatening behaviours within the University community. Any University community member who feels threatened or unsafe, who has concerns about someone elseâs behaviour or who is worried about someoneâs wellbeing, is strongly encouraged to make contact with Campus Care staff.
Involving University Counselling Service
We understand it can be difficult to refer people to
Counselling Services, you may use
some of the following ideas to normalise the need to access counselling assistance:
â¢ The University understands that many factors, often outside the studentâs control, can get in the way of their academic progress. The University provides services, such as counselling, to assist students to achieve their academic goals.
â¢ You donât have to try and work this out all on your own.
â¢ Iâd like you to get some help from University Counselling staff who can give you some information and advice on (the present issue of concern) and:
â¢ Help you develop strategies to deal with (the present issue of concern) to make sure this doesnât disrupt your academic goals
â¢ Explore your options and help you problem solve
â¢ Help you get through this really difficult patch
If the person is more comfortable seeing a doctor then encourage them to do so
â¢ University Security Services:
â¢ Callaghan & City campuses, phone ext. 15888 or 49215 888.
â¢ Ourimbah campus, phone ext. 84222 or 4348 4222
â¢ Port Macquarie campus, phone 6581 6293
â¢ Police: phone 000
â¢ Ambulance: phone 000
â¢ Counselling Service: phone (02) 49215801
â¢ University Health Service: phone (02) 49216000
â¢ Emergency department of your nearest hospital
â¢ For additional numbers please visit the University Counselling Service website: http://www.newcastle.edu.au/service/counselling/useful-links.html
Campus Care program
Any member of the University community who feels
threatened or unsafe, who has concerns about someone
elseâs behaviour or who is worried about someoneâs wellbeing, is strongly encouraged to make contact with Campus
Care staff in one of the ways listed below:
By phone ext 18600 or +612 49218600
By email email@example.com
The Campus Care phone and email service are supported by and link closely with staff in the University Health Service and University Counselling Service.
For staff or students who would rather talk through an issue in person, appointments can be booked through contacting the Campus Care phone line.