At UA Little Rock, all faculty and staff members share the responsibility to report threats, acts of aggression, and violence to a responsible authority, department head, or the Department of Public Safety (DPS).
Threats, acts of aggression, and violence at the university will not be tolerated, by or toward faculty, staff, students or visitors. Such actions may result in disciplinary action, up to and including discharge or expulsion.
Prosecution may result if federal, state, or local laws are violated. Threats can be direct and immediate or vague and may occur either verbally or in writing. Acts of aggression include abusive behavior, stalking, and tampering with property and are intended to intimidate, create fear, inflict harm, or destroy property.
Violent behavior is behaving in a way that poses an immediate threat to self or others by acts of physical harm.
Acts of violence cannot be predicted with absolute certainty, although we can minimize the risk to everyone when behaviors that are observed are reported to appropriate authorities. Often threats or acts of aggression escalate to a level of violence when there is poor communication with the person, and the person cannot cope under stress.
A violent person is often a person angry at the organization and seeking retaliation. It is important to recognize, however, the connection between domestic violence and workplace violence. Pay close attention to behavior and warning signs.
Your own response to the events will help prevent a crisis and enhance everyone’s safety. When interacting with potentially aggressive or violent person, be aware of your reactions, report all behaviors to others, and follow the suggested guidelines:
- Remain calm, and speak in a low voice; don’t argue or agree with distortions.
- Let them know of the consequences. “I’ll call security if you don’t sit down and stop yelling. I can’t help you if you don’t calm down.”
- To avoid invasion of “personal space,” keep safe distances of 3 to 6 feet.
- Treat people with respect, regardless of their behavior, and avoid being judgmental.
- Do not make promises you cannot fulfill.
- If the person has an appeal to a higher authority, then explain appeal options.
Report all violent behaviors or acts of aggression to appropriate authorities, or call DPS at 569-3400. If the behavior reaches the point of violence then:
- Remain calm. Dealing with the person calmly and confidently will help reduce further communication problems.
- Call DPS at 569-3400. If you cannot make the call yourself, have someone else call for you.
- Do not try to physically force a person to leave.
- Do not touch the person.
- If violent behavior is occurring, escape, hide if not already seen, or cover up.
- Position yourself, if possible, near an accessible exit route.
- Never attempt to disarm or accept a weapon from the person in question.
- Don’t argue with or threaten the person, and don’t block his/her exit.
The university offers many resources, (DPS, Department of Human Resources, Employee Assistance Program, Arkansas Department of Finance and Administration, Office of Personnel Management, InterAgency Training Program) to assist you and others with preventing problems.
Staff in these offices can conduct investigations, manage the work place if a situation occurs, and help faculty and staff members cope with stress.